Homemade Margaritas — How to make a margarita with just three natural ingredients! Nothing fake, neon green, and no sugary chemicals. This is the best homemade margarita recipe I’ve tried and it’s the easiest!!
Simple Homemade Margarita Recipe
If there’s one drink that should be so simple, but somehow turns so complicated, I think it’s a margarita. There’s blended, on the rocks, from a mix that comes in gallon-sized jugs — sometimes with alcohol already added and sometimes without.
Some margaritas are made with just tequila and others with a smorgasbord of other booze added, including triple sec, Cointreau, Gran Marnier, Chambord, and more.
People shouldn’t need to look up how to make a margarita because it shouldn’t be so hard. I’ve gone back to the basics, with the classic margarita ingredients.
Homemade Margarita Ingredients
This fresh margarita recipe has no mix or concentrate, and nothing complicated or fussy. No simple syrup to make, no blender to dirty, just three basics ingredients!
Here are the ingredients in a margarita:
- Lime Juice: I use freshly squeezed lime juice and recommend doing so.
- Agave: It’s sold in nearly all grocery stores these days. I’ve used honey in a pinch, too. If you prefer to make a simple syrup instead, be my guest.
- Tequila: The choice of tequila is up to you.
What’s the Best Tequila for Margaritas?
I use Patron Silver or Don Julio Blanco, but the choice is yours. Choose a trusted favorite, or ask for help choosing one at your local liquor store.
How to Make a Margarita From Scratch
This is a super simple margarita recipe — trust me, a drink this good doesn’t need any fussy ingredients or extra steps! This is technically a margarita on the rocks recipe since I poured the mixture over ice; feel free to omit if desired.
Here’s how to make homemade margaritas:
- Squeeze two juicy limes over a cup.
- Then, stir in a little water, agave, and tequila.
- Give your margarita a taste to see if it needs any tweaks.
- If desired, you can strain the margarita at this point to remove any lime pulp, but I personally don’t mind the pulp.
- Add ice to the glass and stir or shake (if you prefer shaken margaritas, make sure to put another glass on top to prevent spills).
See? Making a margarita without mix is so easy!
A Note About Measuring
In the recipe section, I referred to the ingredients as shots. Some recipes use ounces, cups, and shots, all in one. Holy confusion after you’ve had a few.
The very average-sized shot glass I use (not a jumbo frat-house style shot glass) holds the same amount of liquid as a 1/4-cup measure, which makes it easy to make the recipe in bulk. X parts this to Y parts that.
While you could technically share the recipe as written, after having one, you’ll want another. So plan on it serving one, nicely. You can sip worry-free since there’s no granulated sugar.
They go down so incredibly easy. Especially on vacation.
Can I Prep Fresh Margaritas in Advance?
Yes! Feel free to make a big batch of lime margaritas and keep it for a few days in the fridge. Between the lime juice and the alcohol, homemade margaritas stay fresh for a couple days.
Can I Omit the Agave?
A few readers have asked if they can completely omit the sugar from this recipe. Technically you can, but I prefer my homemade margaritas to have a little sweetness to them to balance out the lime juice.
Can I Make a Pitcher of Margaritas?
Yes! Like I mentioned above, I measured this recipe in shots but you can just as easily measure it out in parts. So that means 1 part lime juice to 2 parts water, and so on.
Tips for Making the Best Homemade Margaritas
I prefer my margaritas boldly tart but sweet enough to balance the tartness, and I’m not shy with the tequila. You’ll need to find the exact ratio of ingredients that you enjoy best.
Small changes can have a big effect on taste. Like a half shot glass of lime juice or a small drizzle of agave can really make a difference. Play around with this fresh margarita recipe to find your happy place, pun intended.
You can doctor up the basic mixture as you like by adding other liquors or add a handful of strawberries, put it all in a blender, and you’ve got a frozen strawberry margarita in seconds.
It’s also worth mentioning that you want to look for really juicy limes. In general, paler green limes and those with yellow spots, as well as those with thin skin are juicier than darker-skinned limes or those with thicker skin. Medium/large limes seem to release their juice easier than small limes.
What Goes With Margaritas?
Serve these from-scratch lime margaritas with your favorite Mexican foods. Think: chips and salsa, tacos, quesadillas, you name it!
Here are some of my favorite things to serve with margaritas:
- Baked Cheesy Beef Taquitos
- Loaded Beef Taco Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
- Chicken and Grilled Corn Salad
- Grilled Mexican Corn
- Baked Tortilla Chips and Salsa
Pin This Recipe
How to make a margarita with just three natural ingredients! Nothing fake, neon green, and no sugary chemicals!
- 1 to 1 1/2 shots lime juice*
- 2 shots water
- 1 to 2 shots tequila**
- 1/2 to 1 shot agave nectar, or to taste
- ice, as necessary
- Over a large cup, squeeze limes, about 2 medium/large, ripe limes.***
- Add the water, tequila, agave, and stir. Taste and see if you need to make tweaks.
- If desired, strain mixture to remove any lime pulp, although I don’t bother.
- Add ice generously, and stir or shake (by putting another cup over the top).
- Serve immediately. Recipe is intended for those whom alcohol use is legal, done responsibly, and is appropriate.
*Note: 1 shot glass equals 1/4 cup liquid
**I use white/blanco tequila and prefer Patron Silver or Don Julio Blanco
***Paler green limes and those with yellow spots, and those with thin skin are juicier than darker-skinned limes or those with thicker skin. Medium/large limes seem to release their juice easier than small limes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 30gProtein: 0g
More Easy Cocktail Recipes:
Beer Margaritas — Summer tastes better with a pitcher of these delightful and refreshing beer margaritas are made with Corona, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, agave, and a sugared (or salted) rim! Cheers to beer-garitas!
Tequila Sunrise — Not only is it pretty to look at, but a Tequila Sunrise is also refreshing, nostalgic, and the grenadine sweetens it up enough that you may not even notice it packs quite a punch!
Tropical Party Punch — This alcoholic punchis one of my all-time favorite party drinks! Feel free to leave the alcohol out if desired. This punch tastes delicious even without it!
Rum Runner — A fruity and tropical cocktail, but not in a strawberry daiquiri doesn’t-do-much kind of way. This delicious Rum Runner recipe (complete with my secret ingredient!) packs a punch that can sneak up on you!
Malibu Sunset — A fun, fruity, easy Malibu drink recipe! Because there’s really no wrong way to do pineapple, orange juice, coconut rum, grenadine, and cherries!
Pomegranate Mojito – Everyone will love this fruity twist on a classic mojito recipe! The tart pomegranates and lime blend beautifully and are paired with simple syrup, mint, and white rum for a refreshing cocktail that’s perfect all year long!
Grilled Strawberry Pineapple Sangria — EASY, light, refreshing, and perfect for your next warm weather PARTY!! Grilling brings out pineapple’s natural sweetness and it’s DELISH!!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini – An indulgent chocolate martini that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, date-night-in, or a girls-night-in! Plenty of chocolate flavor in this festive, fun, and easy martini!
Republished June 28, 2018 and republished May 28, 2021 with updated text.
Margaritas were fantastic! Easy to make too. Thanks!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they were fantastic and easy!
I have been drinking margaritas for years and have tried many many recipes. Last year, while in Seattle, I had what I believe to be the best margarita ever. The waiter gave me the recipe and I’ve been making them since. Guess what?! It’s the same as your recipe. These are sooo good. Also, there isn’t any citric acid in these like with so many mixes have.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you think this is the best margarita recipe out there!
I received this recipe in my inbox, this morning and have made it this evening. Its simple, easy and delicious. I couldn’t find the perfect recipe until today, and have tried many. This is the absolute best. Will be my go to recipe. Thank you Averie, for posting this.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this is going to be your go-to margarita recipe!
So good and refreshing.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was good and refreshing!
These are a definite go-to. So easy and so good. Thanks!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it’s your go-to!
In response to the complainers above, processed sugar is completely different than sugar from a plant. Anywho, these are freaking amazing. Thank you for the recipe. Sippin as I type…
Thanks for the 5 star review and I appreciate the support and glad you are enjoying!
Agave is sugar. I don’t think it’s fair to say this is “No Sugar”
I make one like this but use fresh squeezed OJ instead of water. Going to try your recipe. Looks delicious!
Agave is just a different form of sugar,it’s just lower on the glycemic index so it won’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugar.
Jon (and my sister) love a simple, no frills margarita. These would be good with the steak kabobs you posted the other day (I have all my ingredients for those–can’t wait)! Jon would be thrilled if I sent him out for a nice bottle of tequila. Have a great holiday weekend!
Have a great holiday weekend as well! And yes, when it comes to margaritas, I enjoy simplicity and this one is perfect for keeping things simple but tasty!
Perfect–really tasty!! I am with you on the fresh squeezed limes and good tequila because when you only need a few ingredients, it’s worth it to make sure they are high quality!
Super simple! Looks so refreshing!
Definitely refreshing and perfect for this time of year! Enjoy your holiday weekend!
I made these for happy hour with my girlfriends yesterday, and WOW! Game changer!!! I’ve always complained about the ‘fluorescent’ cocktails you get at certain restaurants, but was afraid to believe something this simple, and all-natural, could taste so perfectly margarita-y. I used two parts water, two parts tequila (100% blue agave), 1 part agave syrup, and 1 part lime juice, and rimmed the glasses with pink sea salt. I am never going back! What a summer this will be – thank you!
Thanks for the awesome comment and glad this is literally a lifetime game changer for you! No need to drink fluorescent stuff when the natural version is better, right! :)
After my quest for the best margarita using many types of tequila, mixers, sweeteners, orange liqueurs I came up with this basic recipe as the best. My biggest discovery was the huge difference between bottled lime juice and fresh squeezed. WOW it knocked me over and will never use other than fresh squeezed.
2 parts 100% agave tequila (reposado or blanco)
1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
1 part agave nectar
1 part water
This is a great recipe! I use the agave with 1 gram sugar and stevia added to it. Thank you for a great recipe, so much better than the corn syrup mix and good for you too.
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you with the agave/stevia mix!
Genius, simply genius. The wife’s on the way to the grocery store as I’m getting ready to make dinner. I shout “Let’s have margarita’s; can you add margi mix to the list?”. She comes back with the 2 liter bottle and complains about the high fructose corn syrup and GMO all over the label. “All the brands had it!” She was right. Began my search for homemade margarita mix and stumbled upon this thing of beauty. Thank you for the simplicity and basics. The chartreuse chemical jug is going back to the store and it’s this recipe forever more! Thanks Averie!
The chartreuse chemical jug is going back to the store and it’s this recipe forever more! <---- That's awesome! So glad you're happy with my version and hope you've been enjoying refills tonight :)
We just finished off our first batch of these — perfect for this hot day in the middle of June. Awesome, simply awesome. Thanks so much !!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I’ve had more than my share of these on this hot weekend as well! :)
This recipe is awesome. It is the same as a Puro Margarita or “Pure” Margarita. A classic that need not be messed with! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad you enjoyed the drinks!
This drink was ah-maze-zing….so delicious!!! Thanks!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!
I’ve been on your site several times but finding this recipe seems like divine intervention! I made chicken enchilada soup and got the idea that a margarita would be a great compliment. I’ve had an unused bottle of tequila since cinco de mayo 2014…which is strange because I LOVE margaritas…anywho I had all the ingredients for this and it is amazing! No more mixes for me! Also I used Trader Joe’s raspberry lime sparkling water to top it off, added at the end to keep the fizz! Thanks so much!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it hit the spot and that you don’t need marg mix now! Woot! It’s Sat. night and I’m about to pour one of these myself :) And with the soup you made, I bet that was a perfect pairing!
I appreciate your attempt to create a more natural margarita, but agave is not a healthier or more natural alternative to sugar. It is highly processed and contains more fructose than HFCS. There are several resources you can find if you google.
We all have our own opinions and my attitude is everything in moderation and life will be just fine. :) This is a hotly debated topic, one which I have been following for about 10 years now, and am well aware of all the hoopla surrounding agave.
Love this margarita! Made these two weekends in a row–such a hit! Thanks for the recipe; everyone loves them. Tastes so fresh.
Wish I was at your house :) I love homemade margs and so glad you guys enjoyed these!
I just love all of your photos, girl. Every single one is stunning! And this drink sounds lovely! :)
You are so sweet, Jocelyn! Thank you for the compliments! xo
So this is PERFECT bc I used to think I didn’t like margaritas bc I don’t like sweet drinks, but lately I’ve been getting margaritas on the rocks with salt and I’m obsessed. I love this recipe because I can control the sweetness…what can I say, I’m apparently a cocktail control freak!
I HAVE to be able to control my drinks. Nothing to do with sugar either. More to do with taste. Bad drinks are as bad as bad desserts…NOT worth the calories and cardio (and possible hangover LOL)!
Great job Averie! You’ve really captured the secret to the best homemade margaritas. Simple, fresh ingredients.
Brandon they go down way too easily :)
We’ve also used bubbly water from the soda stream, it makes it extra delicious!
Mmm, that would be so good!
These margaritas look crazy good. I mean need one – or two – after today ;) Pinned!
I need at least a few. Oh boy, it’s been a couple of doosies around here! thanks for pinning!
Could this margaritas be any prettier? What gorgeous lighting, and styling! I need drink shooting tips from you, friend!
You start with really bad lighting to begin with, crank up your ISO to 1000 and pray. You lay on the floor of a 90F hot house with no A/C and hope.to.god. you get your shot. You make the drinks with real liquor, not stunt drinks, and sip while shooting. And pray. And I am not kidding. So many minor miracles all had to come together :)
Perfect for summer!
I had this made for Jon when he walked in the door. I told him it was one of your recipes and asked what I should tell you about it. He said “it’s excellent–you can make me another”. Good thing the rest was in the fridge! This is the perfect margarita for his taste.
Oh wow, so glad it passed Friday night muster after a long week – whew! :) It’s so simple but I find it just really hits the spot & glad he liked it!
I love your simple spin on the classic margarita, Averie! Can’t even tell you how badly I could for a tall, sweaty glass with lots of ice and limes!
All of your cocktails look wonderful Averie!! I love the idea of only 3 ingredients too ~ perfect for this time of year & pretty too! Pinning now :)
This is gorgeous! I love simple recipes like this :)
We have the same thoughts on the ideal margarita – tart with a dash of sweet to balance it out. I think I need to pick up a bottle of tequila so I can make these this weekend. Great drink, Averie. And pinned too!
So gorgeous though I have a feeling these margs could cause some serious trouble ;).
Thanks, Laura, and yes, they could be trouble!
Stunning!!! I love the recipe, I love the photos… absolutely gorgeous!
xoxo! Wish we could have a few together!
I think you should call this a tequila collins. It’s far more sophisticated than a plain ole margarita! GREG
Well considering you wrote a book on cocktails and shot them all, I am super flattered that you’d call these sophisticated! I was laying on the floor of my Aruba house sweating like crazy feeling anything but sophisticated as I was shooting these. But it wasn’t stunt liquor. It was the real deal and the set sure tasted great :)
You’re speaking my language Averie!! LOVE it :)
All these drinks look gorgeous! It may be a drunken weekend!
I was JUST looking for the perfect Margarita recipe…looks like I found it :)
I love how you measured these by ounces and cut out all the sugar – I hate wasting my “sugar calories” on drinks when I’d rather be eating them in cake ;) Pinned and can’t wait to make this summer!
Thanks for pinning and I totally agree with you about sugar calories. I want to eat them, not slurp them mindlessly!
This looks perfect! I love how simple it is with ingredients always on hand! (yes…tequila is always on hand). Can’t wait to try!
Now that’s a well-stocked pantry, love it :)
Love this!! Just finished a convo with my dad about processed food and how its mostly just convenient – I love that this is convenient and FRESH!!!
Fresh is always best, right!
Okay, so this is slightly embarrassing but… I’ve never had a margarita. (Only the pizza kind, and that’s spelled differently anyway.) Shortly after I turned 21, I came down with a second round of mono — as if once wasn’t bad enough! — and I just didn’t want to drink while being that sick. It lasted for months and months, and I really haven’t felt like drinking cocktails, beer or wine since then. Crazy, huh? But your margaritas look so refreshing and sound so simple, exactly the way a drink should be!
That’s great that you’re not much of a drinker! Think of all those mindless calories you’re saving that you can allocate towards….cookies :) Mono, twice. Eek! That had to have been the worst!
Ohmygosh Averie, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I typed out my comment — I’d rather save the calories for an extra cookie!! Especially a double (or quadruple!) chocolate one. Great minds must think alike! :)
Woo hoo, it looks great and will be perfect if and when it ever gets warm here. It’s my first time to your blog, I like it! I’ll be looking around now and thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for finding me and hope you check back, Pam!
These photos just scream summertime. Now that it is warmer I cannot think of a better drink to whip up and sip on the back porch.
I love that this is all natural and so simple! I don’t make margaritas often for the fact that you stated there are usually so many ingredients and steps, who has time for that when all you want is a cold refreshing drink (or 2, who am I kidding)! Can’t wait to give these a try!
Simple is best, especially with drink-making! :)
I had a summer of drinking Skinny Girl margaritas but they started to taste weird after awhile. This recipe sounds perfectly delightful and healthful and just the thing I need for my summer at the beach!
I’m biased but I much prefer this version to any of the pre-made margaritas. If you try it, LMK!
This looks great, I love margaritas. But with lime prices skyrocketing, I’m having to rethink our typical summer cocktail-which is usually a mojito or a margarita. I’m curious what you’re paying for limes in California? They’re up to .99 cents each here in Maine. And that’s for a small, sad looking little lime. Occasionally I can find them at Target for .69 each but the supply gets cleaned out quickly at that price…
99 cents each is nuts! I made these drinks in Aruba and got about 6-8 small/medium limes for about $2 US dollars. Not all the limes are juicy a couple per bag are total duds but still, I’d say 50 cents each, max.
In CA, honestly I don’t pay that much attention but I’d say 2 for $1 or 3 for 99 cents in the height of the season? Definitely not 69 or 99 cents each like you’re paying! Gah! I’d try an ethnic or non-mainstream grocery store (i.e. a hole in the wall is fine). The produce is always so much cheaper!
Love this recipe!! I also love this line ‘serves 1, nicely’
These photos are gorgeous and I love your simple approach! I just bought some new glasses, and I think this margarita is just the thing to christen them with :)
Perfection! I love the use of agave in this! Simple is often times better, Thanks Averie!
Great photos Averie! This is how I generally make my margaritas too! You now have me craving one :)
That’s great you do it similarly! Great minds…. :)
This is making me want a margarita before lunch! I love the all natural ingredients – no icky neon flavored mixings!
Neon was college, but I’ve moved on :)
This is so much healthier than the usual margarita mixes with all the high-fructose corn syrup. Thanks for posting this delicious and healthy alternative! It’s definitely that time of year.
Thanks for the compliments!
I so totally need one of these. Now would be good. I mean…lemon juice has it’s place in the morning, right??? Pinned of course!
Thanks for pinning and this is one of the lime recipes I told you about. There’s another one too. We need these for Miami!
What a gorgeous, simple drink, and beautiful photos! I have had the sort of week where I may need one of these things in my life tonight (even though it’s only Thursday)
Thanks for all the compliments!
I can’t take drink photos to save my life! This looks stunning, PINNED :)
Normally I make stunt drinks for the camera since I never know how many tries it will take me but these were 100% real :) And I was taste-testing in between set changes. LOL I guess you should try that. It was also 90F in my hot Aruban house and I was kneeling on the floor sweating. Oy vey. The things we do!
Margaritas are my go-to drink and these are PERFECT for cinco de mayo coming up! I love that there are no mixes involved and that agave stands in for sugar. Can’t wait to try these!
This is just how I like my margarita as well, Averie! Nothing fancy, but just simple and basic ingredients! Looks fabulous! :)
Is it bad that I want this margarita, like right now, and it’s only 7:20 in the morning?! This looks so delicious and easy to prepare! Can’t wait to try this one out!
Not bad at all :)
This is exactly how we make our margaritas. I’ll never go back to adding the other junk. This is margarita perfection.
Yum, this looks really refreshing! And I laughed so hard reading your post ” Holy confusion after you’ve had a few.” hahahaha.. Thank you for sharing ^^
Jon would love this! He’s not into sweet mixed drinks but loves lime with vodka or tequila. A little agave to mellow things out would be all he’d need. I think I’ll surprise him with a little cocktail when he gets home tomorrow.
Well aren’t you just scoring brownie points left and right then! :) LMK what he says!