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classic margarita

Everybody loves a margarita and, let's be honest, even a bad margarita is pretty good. Chances are if someone is offering us a margarita, we're saying yes. On the other hand, a great margarita is next-level bliss, especially when it's hot outside and you've got a summer Friday. 

Here are three things you're probably doing wrong — and how to fix them — for the ultimate margarita.

1. You're Using Cheap Tequila.

Remember college? You've graduated and it's time for your tequila to graduate, too. While a classic margarita is traditionally made with basic blanco tequila, we love the added smoothness you get from reposado, which is aged in oak for 2 months to less than a year. Like things smokey? Try tequila's cousin, mezcal. 

Here are a few bottles to try: 

  • El Jimador is an upgrade on whatever you were drinking as a co-ed, but it comes with a surprisingly reasonable price tag, around $20.
  • We're seriously crushing on Tequila Avion right now, especially their reposado, ever-so-subtly off-clear and so super smooth. At around $50 per bottle, it's not cheap, but it's worth it. 
  • Montelobos Mezcal Joven is smokey without being overbearing. For the quality, the $50 price point is a good deal. 

2. You're Using Margarita Mix.

The margarita mix you can find at the grocery store? It's probably LOADED with sugar. Which makes for a really bad hangover. And really, all you really need is fresh squeezed lime juice. 

3. You're Using Regular Simple Syrup.

That fresh lime juice needs a little sweetening up, but not any simple syrup recipe will do. Our go-to recipe calls for a rich simple syrup (it's thicker and sweeter than the regular stuff), but why not experiment? Add jalapeno for a little heat, or loosen up orange blossom honey for a floral note. 

Frozen Margarita Ice Pops
Credit: Photography by Graydon & Herriott