10 Ways to Take a Classic Margarita to the Next Level
What could be better than a classic margarita made with good tequila, fresh lime and finished with salt? Adding these extra ingredients!
Start With the Basics
The classic margarita recipe is a combination of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur and fresh lime juice (in varying proportions, depending on whom you ask, but 3-2-1 is always a crowd-pleaser), shaken over ice and served with salt on the rim of the glass. Using our margarita recipe as a base, feel free to add in any of these amazing stir-ins for a whole new cocktail. Or, learn how to make a margarita three different ways. And if you love margaritas, you’ll love any of these tasty tequila drinks.
Strawberry, Mango, Peach—Any Pureed Fruit
You can stir just about any freshly pureed summer fruit into your classic margarita recipe to up your cocktail game. Try it with one part puree of strawberry, mango, peach, kumquat (or whatever fruit you love) to every one part classic margarita. Stir and enjoy (and save the rest of the puree for smoothies)! If you find it’s not sweet enough, simply add simple syrup to taste. Here’s how to make a margarita in (almost) every flavor.
Ruby Red Grapefruit
Try stirring in ruby red grapefruit juice to your classic margarita recipe. You can go with one part ruby red grapefruit to one part classic margarita. Or you can substitute all the lemon/lime in your classic margarita recipe with grapefruit juice. If you like grapefruit, you’ll love a Paloma cocktail. Here’s how to make one.
Because the citrus flavor of a classic margarita perfectly complements the flavor of pomegranate, simply stir a little pomegranate juice in to taste (and to make it a pretty red color) for the perfect pomegranate margarita. You can also use pomegranate juice to make this pomegranate martini.
Backing off from the sweet for the moment, cucumber makes your margarita refreshing and thirst-quenching. To get it right, simply soak cucumber slices in tequila or use cucumber-infused tequila and substitute for your plain ol’ tequila. Garnish with a cucumber slice. Do you know all of the ways cucumber benefits your health?
First, use this guide to peppers, both sweet and hot, to decide just how much fire you really want to introduce into your margarita. When you’ve decided on a pepper, you can infuse your tequila with slices of the pepper and substitute this new tipple for your plain tequila, or you can simply rub the pepper along the rim of the glass before salting it. Peppers also make a pretty garnish for your margarita!
Mint might make you think of mojitos (and here’s a recipe if we’ve got you craving a classic mojito), but mint goes equally well with tequila as it does with rum (mojito’s booze of choice). To use mint, you can either muddle mint leaves in the bottom of your glass before making your classic margarita (as you would do with a mojito) or simply float mint leaves in your drink for a more subtle flavor.
Taste of Home
To add beer to your classic margarita recipe, simply leave room in the glass and add your bubbly brew to taste. If you want more than just the hint of beer in your margarita, then try this recipe for refreshing beer margaritas. We know it seems strange, but this one’s pretty darn tasty! Find more beer-inspired recipes here.
Swap Grand Marnier for Triple sec
Triple sec is an orange-flavored liqueur and so is Grand Marnier. But they’re made differently. Whereas Triple sec is made from beet sugar alcohol and a combination of sweet and bitter oranges, Grand Marnier is made from aged cognac and bitter oranges. The flavor profiles differ somewhat, and a margarita made from Grand Marnier will have a richer, slightly more bitter-orange flavor.
Blue curacao is another orange liqueur that goes works perfectly when substituted for triple sec in the classic margarita recipe. Or you can incorporate blue curacao into this Blue Lagoon Margarita, which adds bubbly fun to your classic margarita. In either case, get ready for a bright blue cocktail!
Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons and don’t have quite the same acidic tang. But they work super-well in margaritas. For a delicious Meyer lemon margarita, you can substitute all the citrus in your classic margarita recipe for Meyer lemon, or you can use Meyer lemon as an add-on (this will work especially well in the fresh lime margarita recipe). Find more ways to love Meyer lemons.