Making a Simple Margarita Recipe from Scratch (no mixes or syrups)

I stumbled onto this really excellent margarita recipe completely by accident. I was actually trying to recreate a recipe I found online because I was having guests over, but in my rush, I goofed the proportions. My guests exclaimed that they really liked the cocktail and I was surprised at how well it turned out. I didn’t even realize what I’d done until way later when I was going over the amounts I used.

This slightly modified version of a traditional basic margarita goes a little heavier on the tequila and orange liqueur, while lessening some of the sourness from the lime juice. The happy accident made for a tangy yet balanced margarita that doesn’t really require sweetening for most people (though I’ve added directions for sweetening as well). This base lends itself easily to slushy margaritas or other creative variations. It might seem like squeezing all those limes isn’t worth it, but the end result surely makes it worthwhile.

Makes one drink at ~260 calories

Easy and Unsweetened Margarita Made from Scratch

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Delicious, simple margarita.


  • 2 oz. Tequila Blanco
  • 1 and 1/3 oz. Triple Sec or Cointreau or Dry Curacao
  • 1 and 1/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup of cubed ice
  • Optional: Coarse salt for rim
  • Optional: Lime slice or wedge for garnish
  • Optional: 1/2 oz. agave or simple syrup for those that like sweeter drinks


  • Ounce measurement
  • Short glass
  • Cocktail shaker and strainer
  • Small plate
  • Knife
  • Lime juicer


  1. Cut and squeeze once or two limes to get 1.25 oz. of fresh juice
  2. If salting the rim of the glass, put a thin layer of coarse salt on a small plate and use one of the squeezed limes to gently rub the rim of the glass with the interior of the lime. Turn the glass over and place the rim down onto the plate with the coarse salt on it and gently turn the glass until the salt sticks to the rim.
    Note: Try using flavored salts, salt and pepper, or even sugar on the rim instead to mix things up (no pun intended)!
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the lime juice, tequila, and triple sec (or orange liqueur). If you like sweeter margaritas, then add a 1/2 ounce of agave or simple syrup, but it doesn’t really need it in my opinion.
  4. Cover and shake the drink for about 30 seconds.
  5. Pour through a strainer into a short glass.
  6. Add a lime slice or wedge as a garnish and enjoy!
  7. Optionally: Blend the whole drink with the ice instead of shaking for a slushy margarita.

Man Fuel Food Blog - Simple Margarita Recipe


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4 thoughts on “Making a Simple Margarita Recipe from Scratch (no mixes or syrups)

Add yours

  1. Hi, love margaritas and this is looks easy and natural! How many limes do I need for 1 drink?

    1. Hi Nancy! Thanks for your interest in the recipe and your question. An ounce is roughly 2 tablespoons and 1 lime has about two tablespoons of juice. Since you need 1.5 ounces of juice for one drink, you’d need about 2 limes to make one drink or 3 limes to make two drinks. I hope that helps!

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