Simple margarita

“What the hell do the British know about margaritas?” That was my first thought when my Welsh born brother-in-law offered to make the margaritas for my daughter’s second birthday party. Apparently, they know a lot more than I realized; they don’t call them limeys for nothing, now do they? I bet you thought it had something to do with sailors and scurvy, but I am here to tell you it’s related to their innate understanding of what goes into making a quality cocktail.

The secret to my brother-in-law’s recipe lies in the simple syrup. Dissolving the sugar in water in advance makes all the difference in the final product. Now I bet you are thinking “What were you doing serving margarita’s at a two-year-olds’ party!” That’s easy: I wanted the parents to have fun too. And boy did they. These margaritas are now a staple at birthday parties in my neighborhood, and my child’s pre-school has garnered a reputation for having the happiest contingent of parents in town.



  • Shaker
  • Sauce pan
  • Glass jar
  • Juicer


  1. Mix two parts sugar with one part water in a sauce pan and place over a medium heat for about five minutes. Stir regularly and until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and pour the simple syrup mixture into a glass jar. The syrup will last for two months or more in the refrigerator.
  2. Juice your limes and set aside.
  3. 2-1-1-1 These are the only numbers you need to know. Remember this combination and you will never be far from a great margarita. Let me translate. Pour the following ingredients into your cocktail shaker: 2 parts tequila, 1 part cointreau, 1 part lime juice, 1 part simple syrup.
  4. Add a few ice cubes, cover and shake. That’s it, you’re done. Pour the margaritas over a few ice cubes and serve.

What you should know

This is not cheap. At least if you compare it to collegiate margarita mixes, but the difference is night and day. Instead of using a cocktail shaker you can also use a blender. But be careful not to over blend. The perfect frozen margarita should have the equivalent of rough crushed ice.

Some people believe that the better the tequila the less the sugar should be used. I am one of those believers. So if you spent the big bucks, try using less simple syrup. If you don’t like it, you can always add more.

Margarita Quick Links

  1. Sour Margarita
  2. 3-2-1 Margarita
  3. Uptown Margarita
  4. Strawberry Margarita
  5. Honeydew Margarita
  6. Strawberry Margarita

Cocktail Recipes

Re: Simple margarita

Would have been five stars, but you lost me at the blender… and the rough crushed ice.

I happen to be a proponent of limiting the dilution of cocktails. Sure, putting in crushed ice will extend the life of your drink, as the ice melts, and your drink gets watered down.

My suggestion would be to shake and strain into a chilled glass, or pour over the single largest ice cube you can find/make.

Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.

Re: Simple margarita

Honestly, I couldn’t agree more with your comments. I threw the bit about the blender in to encourage the neophyte. Instead I exposed my own inexperience. I accept the loss of a star with a humble nod.

And by all means take the time to chill your glass.

Re: Simple margarita

I like to add the zest of one lime to the simple syrup. I zest the lime into the water and let simmer for a few minutes before adding the sugar. This simple step takes a delicious recipe to a hole new level.

Oh, and I agree re the less sugar the better. I use half as much when making the simple syrup.

Re: Simple margarita

Also, I now make this for all my dinner parties. My guests ask for it.

Re: Simple margarita

Even being part of a beer of the month club i can agree that a good margarita on a hot summer day is just oh so good.

Re: Simple margarita

A perfectly awesome recipe and so better than the mixes. I make tons of simple syrup at a time for use, but it could be worth keeping some with lime zest around, as one commenter suggested. I keep mint (mojitos and mint tea and lemonade) and standard around now… what’s one more bottle.

Re: Simple margarita