How To Make The Perfect Margarita

Originating in the late 1940s, the margarita was invented by American socialite Margarete “Margarita” Sames, who wanted to create a refreshing drink for her guests that could be enjoyed by the pool before lunch. While tequila was Margarita’s favourite spirit, at the time, there were no cocktails that incorporated it (shocking, we know); with tequila traditionally served in classic style in a shot glass, accompanied by salt and a slice of lime.

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Having previously enjoyed the unique flavour and complexity of Cointreau, an orange liqueur produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, France, Margarita decided to combine this with tequila and its classic accompaniments of lime and salt, serving to add a touch of European flair and sophistication to classically Mexican flavours. 

The end result? A classic cocktail that has remained unchanged to this day. Here’s how to make a traditional marg, à la Margarita Sames.

The Original Margarita  

Cointreau margarita rocks


30ml Cointreau 
30ml Sierra Tequila Silver 
30ml fresh lime juice 
Salt for the rim of the glass
Lime wheel, for garnish


In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled, salt rimmed glass. To finish, garnish with a lime wheel.

If you’re feeling adventurous, get creative with your cocktails by trying it with a strawberry and basil twist, or a piña colada-inspired take. 

Strawberry Basil Margarita

Sweet and tart, this strawberry basil iteration is a refreshing take on the classic marg.

Cointreau Strawberry & Basil Margarita


20ml Cointreau
45ml Sierra Silver Tequila Silver
20ml fresh lime juice
2 strawberries, plus half to serve.
Basil leaves


Muddle strawberries and basil in a cocktail shaker. Add Cointreau, tequila, lime juice, and ice before shaking vigorously. Strain into a salt rimmed rocks glass with ice. Garnish with half a strawberry and a basil leaf.

Piña Margarita 

Nothing says summertime like a fresh Cointreau Piña Margarita. The pineapple juice and added cinnamon sugar rim provide an indulgent, slightly sweeter take on a classic margarita.

Cointreau Piña Margarita


20mL Cointreau
45mL Sierra Tequila Silver
20mL fresh lime juice
15mL fresh pineapple juice
Cinnamon Sugar


Add Cointreau, tequila, lime juice, and pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled, cinnamon sugar rimmed glass. 

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When is National Margarita Day?

National Margarita Day is on the 22nd February. 

How do you make a margarita from scratch?

To make a margarita from scratch, simply combine 30ml Cointreau, 30ml tequila, and 30ml fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled salt-rimmed glass.

Is triple sec necessary for margaritas?

Triple Sec or Cointreau can be used in a margarita, with Cointreau containing a stronger alcohol content. 

Words by AR Staff