How to Make the Ultimate Margarita, Plus New Twists on the Classic

Classic Margaritas

A maragarita in a short glass placed on a round wooden tray

©Food/Prop Styling: Paul Lowe

Food/Prop Styling: Paul Lowe

Forget the super-sweet margaritas that are served in oversized tumblers at your local Mexican dive bar. The ultimate margarita is something simpler, far less heavy and indeed more like a cocktail than a dessert. All you need to make it is just a few liquors, a cocktail shaker and perhaps a blender, depending on how you answer the question: Frozen or on the rocks? Check out a few of FN Dish’s favorite margarita recipes below, a roundup of traditional and deliciously unusual offerings alike, then browse Food Network’s 10 Cinco de Mayo Margaritas for more cocktail inspiration, just in time for tomorrow’s Cinco celebration.

In its recipe for a Classic Margarita, Food Network Magazine shows how simple it can be to make this Cinco de Mayo staple, ready to enjoy in just 10 quick minutes. Start with your favorite tequila and add to it fresh lime juice and just a splash of orange liqueur. Although no one wants a margarita that’s more akin to a sweet treat than a cocktail, it’s best to add a pinch of superfine sugar, as well — it will help balance the tartness of the citrus without overpowering the drink. Shake the mixture, pour it into salt-rimmed glasses with ice and serve it with lime wedges for easy cheersing. The beauty of this adults-only cocktail is that it makes enough to serve four people; by making cocktails in bulk like this, you’ll be able to enjoy your Cinco bash with your guests and not have to play bartender all night.

Want to spice up your sipper with creative ingredients? Try making Pineapple-Chili Margaritas from Food Network Magazine. Featuring a mix of pineapple and lime juices, plus tequila and agave nectar, this recipe packs a subtle punch of heat, thanks to a rim of chili powder-salt on the glass. Since the chili powder isn’t mixed into the cocktail, the margarita isn’t overwhelmingly spicy, and you can control how thick of a coating you want on each glass.

Mango Margaritas


The Pioneer Woman opts for frozen margaritas and prefers them with a bright fruity finish, like what’s made in her recipe for Mango Margaritas (pictured right). She combines mango chunks with ice, tequila and triple sec, blends the mixture until it’s smooth, then fills up each glass to create a top-rated standby that feeds a crowd. Before adding the margarita, be sure to dip the rim of each glass in sugared lime zest to guarantee a sweet-tart taste with each sip.

Check out Food Network’s favorite 10 Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo, plus find last-minute Mexican recipes and easy entertaining ideas to help you throw an effortless fiesta.

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