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The Classic 3-2-1 Margarita Recipe

The Classic 3-2-1 Margarita
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 1 drink

This classic margarita recipe uses the traditional 3-2-1 ratio of three parts tequila, two parts good triple sec (like Luxardo Triplum, Cointreau, or Combier), and one part lime juice. Serve it on the rocks with salt like you see here, or serve it up in a chilled glass if you prefer. If you like your margaritas on the sour side, we’ve got that covered too.

What to buy: Make sure to use a good-tasting triple sec. We like Luxardo Triplum, available online. For some background on triple sec, see Jordan Mackay’s CHOW column on the orange liqueur.

Watch the CHOW Test Kitchen’s Christine Gallary demonstrate how to make this simple margarita recipe in an episode of our Easiest Way video series.

INGREDIENTS
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 thin lime wedge
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver (blanco), 100 percent agave tequila
  • 1 ounce triple sec orange liqueur, preferably Luxardo Triplum or Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1 very thin lime slice, for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pour enough salt on a small plate to cover it.
  2. Rub the lime wedge on the outside rim of a 4-ounce cocktail glass. Holding the glass at a 45-degree angle, dip the outside rim in the salt, rotating as you do, so the entire rim is coated with salt. (Avoid getting any salt inside the glass.) Fill the glass with ice and place it in the freezer to chill.
  3. Add the tequila, triple sec, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker turns frosty. Strain the margarita into the chilled glass and garnish with a lime slice.