These Margarita recipe variations have it all: an earthy agave spirit, tart lime, and sweetness from the orange liqueur and/or agave. Some of which have become perennial favorites following tequila’s recent renaissance — the many modern Margarita variations rival the seemingly more classic Manhattans, Martinis, and Negronis.
There is no concrete evidence of where the drink came from. It’s widely recognized as a Mexican riff on the classic Daisy cocktail, a post-Prohibition beverage made from a spirit, lime, and orange liqueur. Margarita, after all, is Spanish for Daisy. While the drink is not authentically Mexican. It is a cocktail that reflects and is meant to celebrate Mexican culture — most often seen in Tex-Mex restaurants.
In December 1953, Esquire named it their cocktail of the month, securing its place as a contemporary classic. By the 1970s, the frozen Margarita became popular with sour mix, low-shelf tequila, and triple sec.
Since the resurgence of tequila, Margaritas are often made with more elevated ingredients but still maintain the comfort of a classic. In craft cocktail bars, blanco tequila, Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime juice served over the rocks are the winning ingredients. But a few additions or subtractions to the mainstay Margarita can make just as delicious a concoction. Whether you’re a frozen, spicy, or classic fan, you’re sure to find a Margarita that suits your tastes.
1. Classic Margarita
You can’t go wrong with a classic Margarita. Closely related to the Brandy Daisy and the Sidecar. Simply combine tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup. Serve on the rocks. For the best taste, use freshly squeezed lime juice.
The ground-breaking Tommy’s Margarita showed the cocktail world that the agave-based drink didn’t have to be a sugary, slushy cover-up for tequila. Best made with quality tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave syrup, Tommy’s version showcases the spirit’s natural flavor.
A modern classic, the Spicy Margarita adds muddled jalapeños to the classic’s tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup recipe. The result is a refreshing flavor with an exciting addition of heat.
Swapping St-Germain for orange liqueur in a Margarita recipe makes an even more refreshing cocktail. The St-Germain Margarita is clean and crisp, with notes of citrus and herbal flavors that are truly thirst-quenching.
Blended Margaritas have been a mainstay in Tex-Mex culture since the 1970s. To make at home, grab tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Blend with ice for a classic slushy Margarita that’s refreshing, especially in the sweltering heat of summer.
The slightly bitter kick of amaro in the Aperol Margarita adds the perfect amount of intrigue. Made with tequila, Aperol, St-Germain, and lime juice, the cocktail is balanced and an eye-catching neon orange.
Complex Campari elevates the classic frozen Margarita in this satisfying recipe. Great for a crowd on a scorching summer day, you’ll need tequila, orange liqueur, Campari, lime juice, and agave syrup for a Margarita with just a hint of amaro.
The addition of marmalade to this Margarita variation makes it a suitable addition to the brunch menu. To recreate this fruity concoction, combine tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and agave syrup.
A fruity, medium-bodied wine adds the perfect depth and color to a Devil’s Margarita. Take the classic recipe’s ingredients and add a float of red wine to the drink’s surface at the end for a delightful crimson finish.