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Celebrate Cinco With a Margarita!

Cinco de Mayo is just days away, which means it’s time to start planning my menu and testing recipes for a little fiesta. To me, this holiday is meant to be enjoyed on a patio with cocktail in hand. That cocktail has to be a margarita.

I don’t mean the neon green, super sweet, overly blended slushy mess. I’m talking about the real deal—no mix, and made from high-quality fresh ingredients. These really are the only requirements. There are a ton of recipes for the “perfect” margarita, all with different ratios of the key ingredients—tequila, orange liqueur, and lime. Some people like a more tart drink and prefer more lime, others like extra orange liqueur, some must have salt on the rim, and others are horrified at the thought of letting salt anywhere near their glass. The point is that there’s no right or wrong way to make it as long as you include the basics, so play with the ratios until you find the margarita you like.

My recipe is for a strong and tart beverage, with just a hint of sweetness. You definitely won’t be drinking these by the pitcher—or if you do, you won’t remember it.

Happy Cinco!


1 1/2 oz. tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. orange liqueur (try Cointreau or Triple Sec)
1/2 tsp. simple syrup
1 lime wedge
Kosher salt

  • Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well for about 15 seconds.
  • Salt the margarita glass by rubbing the lime wedge around the rim and then dipping the glass into kosher salt on a plate.
  • Fill the glass with ice and strain the margarita into the glass. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Makes 1 drink

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  • Amy says:

    Hi Laura,
    The Vegan Booze Directory lists well known brands of liquor and says that Cuervo is vegan. I suspect several other brands are too.

    And yes, anything with a worm in the bottle is off limits for vegans! Tequila typically doesn’t come with a worm in the bottle, but mezcal (similar, but not quite the same thing) sometimes does.


  • Laura Brown says:

    I know that some alcoholic drinks are fined with isinglass or gelatine and are therefore not suitable for vegetarians. Is there any risk of this with tequila, or is it made via a different process? (I assume brands with a worm in the bottle are out!)

  • Jan says:

    These are about the best magaritas I’ve ever had. You’re right though, no pitchers for us. Thanks and Happy Cinco!

  • Lisa (Show Me Vegan) says:

    A margarita is a wonderful way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I searched for my “perfect” marg recipe for a long time, and finally ended up using agave syrup plus water in place of simple syrup. Yours looks delicious!