Classic Margarita Recipe

Posted by Moyra T Hakobyan on

Classic Margarita

Recipe by Narek Hk

The Margarita likely originated sometime between 1936 and 1948. The earliest account of the drink was written by an Iowa newspaper editor named James Graham, who had encountered an Irish bartender in Tijuana in 1936 serving Tequila Daisies. The Daisy is a whole family of drinks based on a spirit, fresh lemon juice, and seltzer water, sweetened originally with orange liqueur and Gomme syrup and yes, the Spanish word for “daisy” is “margarita.” It’s likely, then, that a sour cocktail--or a Daisy-family cocktail--based on tequila was invented and served in Mexico long before a tourist found it. Even though a few bartenders and restaurant owners in Mexico claim to have invented the Margarita in the late 1930s and early 1940s, any one of them could have done so without even suspecting others had as well. An experienced bartender does not have to be a genius to use the most basic ingredients while playing around the nation's number one spirit. 

The Café Royal Cocktail Book, published in London in 1937, presents the Picador cocktail which mixes 2 parts tequila, 1 part Cointreau, and 1 part lime juice, the exact recipe for the classic Margarita used today in most cocktail bars. What we see, then, is that the combination of these ingredients was invented overseas as well. Through the decades some very popular versions of Margarita appeared all over the world, including the frozen variety—a summer favorite worldwide. Other variations include the addition of certain fruits to yield delicious fruit concoctions (which we will discuss in a later blog post), as well as the famous Tommy’s Margarita, created in Tommy’s Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. Tommy’s delicious twist on the cocktail replaces the triple sec with agave nectar. For people who like the Tommy’s Margarita without its classic touch of tartness, we highly recommend adding half a teaspoon of agave nectar to the recipe above. Try it, you won’t regret it! And generally, you can always adjust the sweetness to your taste.

So interesting! Let's take a look at the original recipe:


  • Tequila Blanco 1½ oz
  • Cointreau ¾ oz
  • Fresh lime juice ¾ oz

How to mix and prepare:

  1. Take a five oz cocktail glass and moisten the rim with a piece of lime. 
  2. Roll the outer side of the rim in coarse salt to cover it completely. 
  3. Carefully add a few pieces of cracked ice into the glass to chill it.
  4. Shake the tequila, Cointreau, and the lime juice with ice; empty the glass and strain the drink into it.


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