Margarita on the Rocks

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Perfectly balanced, made from scratch, and simple to prepare! Our classic margarita on the rocks takes less than 5 minutes to make. So, grab the tequila and triple sec and let’s make cocktails!

Simple margarita in a glass with lime.

If you’re new to making drinks at home or just want something really simple, our classic margarita on the rocks is a great place to start. Our recipe has only 4 ingredients (plus a couple more if you count salt and a lime wedge) making it a quick and easy drink to put together.

I was never a fan of those monster sized margaritas that restaurants serve because they taste very synthetic. After trying a few, I gave up entirely and decided to start making my own drinks from scratch.

It took a couple of tries, but I got the ratios just right in my simple margarita recipe. It’s well balanced, a little sweet, a little tart, and perfect for Cinco de Mayo or your next Taco Tuesday. Our margarita on the rocks pairs perfectly with a serving of chips and cheese dip or salsa!

What’s in a Margarita?

There are a lot of margarita recipes out there with several different flavor variations. We have a handful on Berly’s Kitchen like this Espresso Margarita, Pineapple Coconut Margarita, and a Christmas Margarita which is a margarita that has cream of coconut in addition to the other ingredients. But a classic margarita is doesn’t have all the extra flavors. It’s very simple.

A traditional margarita consists of 3 basic ingredients:

Tequila: I like to use a silver or blanco tequila, but a lot of people prefer gold tequila. Use whichever you like better or have on hand. Gold tequila has a slightly different taste compared to blanco, so keep that in mind.

Triple Sec: This liqueur adds a hint of sweet orange flavor to a margarita but can easily overpower the drink if you use too much. You can also use Grand Marnier. It’s an orange-flavored liqueur with cognac, so it’s going to be stronger than something like Cointreau or a bottom to mid-shelf triple sec that may be on the sweeter side.

Lime Juice: Fresh is best when it comes to lime juice, but in a pinch bottled juice works. Some recipes call for more lime juice than others, and that’s about preference. Much like triple sec, too much lime juice can easily overpower a margarita. Start with a little and add more if needed.

Simple Syrup: There is a fourth optional ingredient, and it depends on how you like your cocktails. If you’re a sweet cocktail person like me, you’ll want to use some simple syrup. I really like the flavor of beachy style cocktails with sweet, tropical flavors. Or, as the gentleman in the liquor store called them, cruise drinks, but that’s a whole other conversation. Adjust the simple syrup as needed or leave it out completely. That’s totally up to you!

Cocktail with tequila and lime juice.

Kim’s Tips

Use a good quality tequila. Try to use a mid to top shelf tequila if possible. It makes a big difference in the overall flavor of the margarita.

Prep ahead of time. Make the simple syrup in advance and keep it in the fridge. That way it’s cold and ready to go when you get ready to make the drinks. Some stores sell bottled simple syrup, so that’s also an option.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerator: If you happen to have leftover margaritas, remove any ice and transfer the liquid into a glass jar or sealable container. It will stay good for 1-2 days in the fridge.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How can I make a pitcher of margaritas using this recipe?

We haven’t tried to make a full pitcher using this recipe, but we have doubled and tripled it. You’ll want to scale up the recipe for as many servings as you’ll need. For example, if you need 8 servings simply multiply the ingredients by 8. However, I’ve found that the tequila needs to be reduced slightly. It becomes too strong in larger quantities.

Can I make frozen margaritas using this recipe?

Yes! To create the frozen or blended version of the drink, use a blender to combine the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and simple syrup with ½ cup of ice. Add more ice if needed to obtain the desired consistency.

Margarita in a glass with ice and lime wheels.

Margarita on the Rocks

4.5 from 18 votes
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Serving


  • Lime wedge, for wetting the glass
  • Coarse salt, for rimming the glass
  • Ice, split between glass and shaker
  • 1 ½ ounces blanco tequila
  • ½ to 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, adjust to taste
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce simple syrup, optional (adjust to taste)


  • Run a lime wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass. Dip the rim in coarse salt or margarita salt. Fill with ice, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Combine the tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup in a drink shaker with ice. Shake to combine.
    1 ½ ounces blanco tequila
    ½ to 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
    ½ ounce triple sec
    ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Pour the margarita in the cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with extra lime slices or wedges. Serve immediately.


The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of 1 (3.5 ounce) margarita. Actual calories will vary. 
*Simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of granulated sugar and water cooked over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Here is our simple syrup recipe in its entirety.
*Skip to Ingredients with Substitutions.
*Skip to Tips.
*Skip to Storage.
*Skip to FAQs.


Serving: 3.5ounces | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
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