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Alton Brown’s GOOD EATS Margarita Recipe

A margarita is a simple, classic cocktail that’s been popular since the 1930s! And no wonder – that combination of deliciously sour lime, peppery tequila and orange is pretty unbeatable!

There are many, many variations of the basic margarita recipe, probably because tequila pairs so well with so many different kinds of fruit.

Margarita Photo

This recipe from Alton Brown is fairly classic in terms of flavor (tequila/orange/lime), but whereas many margarita recipes call for an orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier, this one uses fresh orange juice instead. 

Can I use store-bought lime juice in my margarita?

It may be tempting to reach for a bottle of lime juice, but any cocktail connoisseur will tell you that it’s no substitute for the freshly squeezed variety!

Some might even go so far as to say that the quality of the lime juice in the mix is more important than that of the tequila!

Margarita Picture

That being said, the 100% Blue Agave Tequila used in this recipe is the ‘creme de la creme’ of tequilas, and definitely the one we’d recommend.


Whilst this light and fruity margarita is perfect just as it comes, there are a few ways you can change it up!

Margarita Image

Instead of serving it as a shaken cocktail, why not make it a frozen margarita instead?

Once you’ve extraced the juice from the orange and limes, simply add it to a blender along with the tequila, agave nectar and ice, then whiz it all together for a frosty and refreshing treat.

Switch the orange for an orange liqueur

Blue curacao is a good one to try, because it gives the cocktail such a fun and colorful appearance, without changing the flavor too drastically!

Margarita Sangria Pic

Use a different fruit

Try switching the orange for strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, peach, mango or pineapple. The possibilities are endless, and you can even try a combination of fruits.

We think it’s definitely worth experimenting, in the interests of research, of course!

Peach Raspberry Margaritas Image

And if you love tequila, be sure to try this recipe for Raspberry Mint Tequila Smash.

Margarita Photo

Alton Brown’s GOOD EATS Margarita Recipe

The Editors at Food Fanatic
A fruity and refreshing margarita recipe from Alton Brown himself!
2.62 from 21 votes
Servings 1
Calories 200 kcal


  • 2 ounces 100% Blue Agave Tequila
  • 2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 medium Hamlin or Valencia Orange quartered
  • 4 medium Limes
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 cup Ice Cubes


  • Take 2 saucers. Spread the kosher salt in one and pour 1/2 ounce of the tequila into the other.
  • Dip the rim of a martini glass into the tequila (or use any wide rimmed glass).
  • Remove the glass from the tequila and hold upside down for around 10 seconds, to allow the liquid to evaporate slightly.Then dip it into the salt, so that the rim is coated.
  • Cut 2 of the limes in half and juice them into the bottom of a Boston-style cocktail shaker. 
  • Cut the other 2 limes into quarters (remove a thin slice to use as a garnish). Add the quarters to the shaker, along with the quartered orange.
  • Next, add the agave nectar and muddle the ingredients until the juices are released.
  • Using a cocktail strainer, strain the juice into the top of the shaker. Discard the solids.
  • Pour the rest of the tequila (inlcuding any left on the saucer) into the bottom of the shaker, then pour in the strained juice.
  • Add ice, cover and shake for 30 seconds.
  • Strain through the cocktail shaker into the glass. Use the reserved slice of lime as a garnish and serve immediately.


Calories: 200kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 4gSugar: 36g
Keyword Alcohol, Cocktails, Margaritas, Party Food
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