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What Makes a Great Margarita?


Making a Superior Margarita From Scratch: A Surprising Secret

Few things are more pleasant on a hot day (or night) for tequila enthusiasts than an icy, acidic, salt-dusted classic margarita. Name-brand margarita mixes with boasts like “simply add tequila!” adorn the shelves of supermarkets and liquor outlets. However, a margarita is more than just tequila and a dash of neon yellow deliciousness.

The juice is the key to a superior margarita recipe. That means freshly squeezed lime juice (not bottled lime juice) and a splash of fresh orange juice (the true secret). That’s correct. The secret to a cleaner tasting, more refreshing margarita is fresh-squeezed juice from an *actual* orange, not orange-flavored liquor.

This is why:

Triple Sec is an orange-flavored liqueur prepared by macerating orange peels with sugar and alcohol. It’s widely used in margaritas. If you make your cocktail with a sweetened liqueur like this one, you won’t be able to change the sweetness or booziness without adding more orange flavor and/or alcohol on top.

  • It should start with a mixture of equal parts tequila and freshly squeezed lime juice, around 2 ounces each for a single dose, instead of using Tequila Triple Sec or something similar. 
  • Then add sweetness in the form of simple syrup. Agave is a good substitution for simple syrup in most dishes, not just cocktails, because its neutral sweetness doesn’t overshadow the citrus and tequila flavors. 
  • Start with a tablespoon of sweet stuff per cocktail (you can always add more, but you can’t take it away), a splash (or two) of fresh orange juice and/or lemon juice, and plenty of ice cubes.
  • After that, give it a good shake. Is this something you created in a cocktail shaker? If you didn’t, that’s fine; just give it a confident stir. Alternatively, a mason jar can be used. 
  • Run a lime wedge over the rim of a rocks glass and, if desired, dip in coarse salt. Fill the margarita glass with a salted rim with ice until it’s completely full, then pour your perfect bespoke margarita on top. 
  • Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing on the side.

All you need now is a bag of limes, a couple of oranges, and a sunny area to enjoy your beverage.

Margarita Sunrise Recipe

The Tequila Sunrise cocktail, with its vibrant hue striations, is reminiscent of a summer sunrise. This famous cocktail contains only three ingredients: tequila, grenadine, and orange juice, and it is served unmixed to maintain the color of each layer.

Two traditional tequila drinks combine in a drink that’s acidic and sweet, and almost as lovely as a true sunrise. Pour the grenadine into the bottom of your glasses for this magnificent display, then gently pour the tequila mixture on top.


  • a slice of fresh lime (optional)
  • Margarita salt (optional)
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons orange liqueur
  • three tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. tequila
  • ⅓ to ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Ice
  • 3 tbsp club soda (or lemon-lime soft drink)
  • 2 grenadine tablespoons


  1. Order your favorite tequila at J&J Alcohol Delivery!
  2. Rub the rim of a cold margarita glass with a lime slice then, if preferred, dip in salt to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, liqueur, orange juice, tequila, and powdered sugar. Shake until well cooled, then cover with a lid. Pour into a prepared glass. If desired, add club soda or lemon-lime soft drink for a little fizz. Decorate with grenadine. Serve right away.
  4. Fresh lime juice can be substituted with 1/3 cup thawed frozen limeade concentrate. Omit the powdered sugar and continue with the recipe as written.
  5. Enjoy!


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