Margarita cocktail in a coupe glass

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Alternatively, you can serve it over ice in a rocks glass.

The margarita probably originates from Tijuana in the 1930s where it was served as a Tequila Daisy. (The Daisy is basically a Sour—spirit, citrus juice and sweetener—that dates back to the Victorian era.) However, strangely enough, the first written recipe for a margarita is found in the Café Royal Cocktail Book from the Café Royal in London published in 1937. There the drink is called the Picador but it is exactly the classic margarita recipe of tequila, Cointreau and lime or lemon juice and in the classic 2:1:1 proportions.

In agreement with Difford's Guide we find the classic 2:1:1 proportions to be a little sour and in the recipe above the amount of Cointreau is increased to add a little more sweetness. You could also add simple syrup or agave syrup to balance the drink instead.

You need to use a good quality tequila. We use Herradura Silver but whatever brand you choose make sure it is labeled 100% agave. We also like to use Key limes, but then—we do have a Margarita tree.

Cadillac Margarita

  • 1½ oz reposado tequila
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup

The Cadillac Margarita is a variation we enjoy often found in the Mexican restaurants where we live. It uses a premium, reposado, tequila and substitutes Grand Marnier for the Cointreau. Grand Marnier is not as sweet as Cointreau so you will need to add a little simple syrup or agave syrup to balance the drink.