How to Make a Margarita

DIY citrus syrup takes your margarita game to the next level.

There are oh-so-many ways to enjoy margaritas. On the rocks, straight up or frozen? Classic with lime or mango or strawberry? Salt or no salt?  We like ours the classic way — straight up with fresh lime with no bottled mixes.  Whip up your own citrus syrup and you’ve got the foundation of the best margarita around. 

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1 Zest & Juice Your Citrus

Start your syrup with a tablespoon each of lime and lemon zest. You can either use a citrus zester, rasp grater or simply use a vegetable peeler to remove pieces of the peel and then coarsely chop them with a knife.  

After removing the zest, cut the lemons and limes in half to juice them. Try rolling them on a countertop before you cut them to help get the most juice. 

Be careful to remove only the colored part of the peel, as the white pith can add a bitter taste to your creation.

2 Mix Your Syrup

Combine the zests, 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup pineapple juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar fully dissolves.

3 Strain Your Syrup

Cool the citrus syrup to room temperature and pour through a small colander to strain out the zest. If you’re not making margaritas right away, the citrus syrup can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

4 Salt Your Glasses

When you're ready to mix your margaritas, chill your glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes or so. Then, salt your glasses by simply moistening the rims with a lime wedge and dipping them in coarse salt.


5 Mix Your Margarita

Fill a cocktail shaker about half full with ice, and pour in the citrus syrup, 1 cup good quality white tequila and 3/4 cup Triple Sec. Shake it until the ingredients are well chilled. Shaking for a full 30 seconds to one minute is recommended.

To finish, pour the mixture into the prepared glasses and garnish on the side with lime wedges.

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About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.