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Cotswold Cocktail School - Margarita Cocktail Recipe

ABV 24% / 3 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Tequila

A Brief History of the Margarita

The Margarita's origins are shrouded in mystery and folklore, with several intriguing stories claiming its creation. Some credit it to a Mexican bartender in the late 1930s, while others suggest it was born in the 1940s at a Tijuana bar. Regardless of its exact birthplace, the Margarita quickly gained popularity and became a symbol of Mexican culture and relaxation.

The name "Margarita" is derived from the Spanish word for daisy, which is fitting given the cocktail's vibrant and colourful nature. Over the years, the Margarita has evolved into an international favourite, celebrated for its versatility and ability to transport the drinker to the shores of Mexico with every sip.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Margarita is a masterpiece of refreshment, boasting a balanced and tangy taste:

  • Tequila: The heart of the Margarita, tequila provides a robust agave character with notes of earthiness and spice
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice infuses the cocktail with a bright and zesty citrus tang that cuts through the tequila's richness.
  • Triple Sec or Orange Liqueur: Triple sec or orange liqueur adds a touch of sweetness and citrus complexity, enhancing the overall flavour.
  • Salt Rim: A salt rim on the glass rim provides a savoury contrast to the cocktail's citrusy and slightly sweet notes.

The result is a cocktail that's crisp, invigorating, and utterly delightful—a true testament to the magic of Mexican mixology.

Food Pairings

To enhance your Margarita experience, consider these delectable food pairings:

  • Guacamole and Salsa: Classic guacamole and salsa with tortilla chips provide a delightful contrast to the Margarita's citrusy notes.
  • Tacos: Margaritas pair wonderfully with a variety of tacos, from grilled shrimp to carne asada, enhancing the flavours of the fillings.
  • Ceviche: The citrusy notes in ceviche harmonise with the Margarita's lime juice, creating a refreshing combination.
  • Mexican Cuisine: Enjoy your Margarita with traditional Mexican dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, or mole for an authentic experience.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Margarita or a rocks glass


  • 50ml Tequila
  • 25ml Cointreau
  • 20ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 5ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 5ml simple syrup*
  • Garnish: lime wheel and kosher salted rim
  • Ice


  • To add a kosher salt rim, rub a citrus wedge around the rim of the glass.
  • Put some kosher salt onto a plate and gently twist glass (rim side down) onto the plate
  • Add the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cooled
  • Pour into a chilled salted rim Margarita or rocks glass (optional ice)
  • Garnish with lime wheel

*Simple syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool

What's the best Tequila for a Margarita?

The best tequila for a Margarita cocktail largely depends on your personal preferences and budget. However, many bartenders and Margarita enthusiasts recommend using a good-quality blanco (also known as silver or white) tequila for the best results. Here are a few reasons why blanco tequila is often preferred for Margaritas:

  • Clean and Agave-Forward Flavour: Blanco tequila is typically unaged or aged for a very short period, allowing the natural flavours of the agave plant to shine through. This clean and crisp agave flavour pairs well with the citrusy and slightly tart elements of a Margarita.
  • Affordability: Blanco tequilas are often more affordable than their aged counterparts (reposado and añejo), making them a popular choice for mixing in cocktails.
  • Versatility: Blanco tequilas are versatile and mix well with other cocktail ingredients, allowing the Margarita's flavours to come together harmoniously.
  • Agave Notes: The agave notes in blanco tequila can enhance the overall taste profile of your Margarita, giving it a true and authentic tequila character.

It's worth noting that some well-known brands of blanco tequila that are often recommended for Margaritas include:

  • Patrón Silver: A smooth and popular choice for Margaritas, known for its high-quality agave flavor.
  • Espolòn Blanco: A reasonably priced option with a pleasant agave character that works well in Margaritas.
  • Herradura Silver: A well-respected tequila with a slightly fruity and herbal profile, making it a great choice for craft Margaritas.
  • El Jimador Blanco: A budget-friendly tequila that still offers a decent agave flavour, making it a solid choice for Margaritas in large batches.

Ultimately, the best tequila for your Margarita will depend on your taste preferences and budget. You may want to try a few different blanco tequilas to see which one you prefer in your Margarita cocktail. Remember that the quality of your other ingredients, such as fresh lime juice and orange liqueur (like triple sec or Cointreau), also plays a crucial role in crafting a delicious Margarita.

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