19 Best Margarita Recipes Because It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

Which one will you sip first?

April 10, 2023
Photo by Linda Xiao

This article is part of an Aperitivo Hour series, featuring sips and snacks for the warming weather, presented by Patrón Ahumado.

A good margarita is the ultimate refreshing cocktail—perfect for pairing with food or sipping all on its own in the sunshine (even better if there's a body of water nearby). A classic marg is, well, a classic for a reason, but there are also so many delicious ways to riff on the traditional combo of tequila, triple sec, fresh lime, and agave.

So pull up a cocktail shaker or a blender, and take your pick of our all-time best margarita recipes.

1. Margarita

If you need me, I’ll be wasting away again in Margaritaville with this absolute classic margarita made with tequila, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave syrup.

2. Spicy Mango Margarita

Bring a little bit of heat with this margarita recipe made with hot sauce and mango shrub (ripe mango, apple cider vinegar, cumin seeds, pink peppercorns, agave nectar, and fresh pineapple).

3. Hibiscus Margarita

This pretty-in-pink cocktail gets its raspberry hue and floral flavor from dried hibiscus flowers, which are heated with a spiced simple syrup to bring the spirit of Charleston to the glass.

Patrón Ahumado Silver

Patrón Ahumado Silver

4. Strawberry Margarita on the Rocks

“I love fruit margaritas, but often the frozen kind are made with fruit-flavored syrups instead of real fruit. This strawberry margarita on the rocks calls for whole strawberries and absolutely zero of the sweet and sour mix that can make for a cloyingly sweet, artificial-tasting drink,” writes recipe developer Marshmallows&Margaritas.

5. Spiced Pecan Margarita

Margaritas aren’t just for hot summer days. This warmly spiced, cold weather-friendly version features a homemade pecan and tea orgeat.

6. Rosemary-Grapefruit Margarita

Grapefruit juice and tequila work in tandem for this not-too-sweet margarita, which is made complete with a smoky rosemary garnish.

7. Lemon Lime Margaritas

Equal parts of tequila, Cointreau, lemon juice, and lime juice are stirred together (not shaken) to create this extra-refreshing margarita that's served over crushed ice.

8. Honey Apple Margarita

“This drink is inspired by my time living in Seattle,” says bar director Natasha David. “Washington state is of course well known for all of its beautiful apples,” she adds, so it's no surprise that they’re the star of this margarita.

9. Spicy Apple Cider Margarita

When you can’t decide between a hot toddy, Old Fashioned, and margarita, try this autumn-approved cocktail starring apple cider.

10. Italian Margarita

Food52’s resident drink expert John DeBary developed this recipe inspired by one of his favorites found at Olive Garden (yes, THAT Olive Garden). Amaretto liqueur is used in place of the usual orange liqueur, which brings a lovely almond flavor to this tequila-forward cocktail.

11. Charred Red Pepper & Strawberry Margarita

Pretty much every margarita qualifies as a super summery drink, but this one takes the cake, thanks to the juicy berries and smoky bell peppers, which are blended to form a smooth purée.

12. Session Margarita

This low-ABV margarita cuts back on the tequila and introduces some sherry for a drink that’s less likely to make your head hurt the next morning.

13. Count to 4 (Basic) Margarita

If you’re exercising your bartending skills for the first time in a while, this is a great margarita recipe to start with. It calls for one ounce Cointreau, two teaspoons of simple syrup, three ounces of añejo tequila, and 4 tablespoons of lime juice—see, 1, 2, 3, 4.

14. Mid-Winter Margarita

What makes this margarita apt for serving during winter is neither the use of hot cocoa mix nor the use of fresh snow. Rather, it takes advantage of the abundance of juicy citrus fruits like grapefruit and limes, which are at their peak during this time of year.

15. Sage-Infused Classic Margarita

Sage is a gentle, earthy herb that would normally pair with turkey or roasted butternut squash. But it also goes so well with a margarita. (Yes, really!) Make your own sage-infused tequila a few days in advance and then shake up this cocktail.

16. The Project Gemini (Spicy Basil Margarita with Cointreau)

We love a margarita made with Cointreau. And we really love when the margarita is a little spicy—here, basil leaves and sliced jalapeño peppers are muddled together to bring a little heat to this classic tequila cocktail.

17. Shio Kosho Margarita

“Starring Patrón Silver Tequila, a lemongrass syrup spiced with ginger and yuzu kosho (a Japanese condiment made from yuzu zest, chiles, and salt), and fresh grapefruit juice, this margarita hits sweet, spicy, and bright citrusy notes,” writes award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido. “A rim of flaky Maldon salt, crushed white peppercorns, and fragrant grapefruit zest tie all of these elements together, teasing out flavors with each sip.”

18. Spicy Celery Margarita

Vegetal celery juice is lightly sweetened and given a little kick (thanks, serrano chile) before getting shaken with tequila and lime juice for a margarita that's ultra-vibrant and well balanced.

19. Clementine Sunrise Margarita

A real showstopper when it comes to looks and taste, this margarita riff on a classic Tequila Sunrise calls on freshly squeezed clementines, a splash of pomegranate juice, orange liqueur, lime, and tequila.

What's your favorite margarita recipe? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jon Morrison
    Jon Morrison
  • Sue
Former Food52 Staff Editor


Jon M. April 24, 2022
The original margaritas where made with just, 2 oz tequila, 1 oz Cointreau and one oz fresh squeezed lime juice. Not diluted with agave or simple syrup.
Sue February 17, 2022
What, no jalapeño margarita? 🙁