Lime. Tequila. Triple sec.
There is no combination that screams summer quite as loudly as these three. Whether you prefer your margarita on the rocks, frozen, or straight up, a sip is likely all it takes to picture yourself planted in a beach chair in some tropical destination far, far away.
We’ve compiled a list of margarita recipes that will satisfy your craving for summer, no matter what the weather outside suggests. Try one or try them all—preferably with Jimmy Buffett crooning in the background.
Margarita aficionados will argue relentlessly about the exact proportions of a classic margarita, but they can at least agree on the ingredients: lime juice (freshly squeezed, no exceptions), a good tequila (preferably labeled 100% agave), and triple sec (an orange flavored liqueur). The rim of the glass is typically salted to keep everything balanced.
The International Bartenders Association’s official margarita recipe comprises a ratio of 7:4:3—7 parts tequila (50%) to 4 parts Cointreau (29%) to 3 parts fresh lime juice (21%).
Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita
Give your margarita a distinctly refreshing grapefruit twist with Emeril Lagasse’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Margarita recipe. This margarita is made with a combination of lime and grapefruit juice, and triple sec is swapped out with Ruby Red vodka. Don’t forget that grapefruit garnish—presentation is key!
There’s no doubt that watermelon can claim the title of summery-est food. Applying a little logic, you should, in theory, be able to make a margarita even more of a summer staple by adding watermelon to the mix. That’s exactly what Martha Stewart has done with her Watermelon Margarita. Pureed watermelon is strained and mixed in with lime juice, tequila, and a homemade orange peel-infused simple syrup. Now all you need is the perfect patio to sip it from.
Fruit seems like an obvious pairing with the classic margarita recipe, but jalapeno peppers take the cocktail to another level. The New York Palace hotel is known for their signature Jalapeno Margarita, a margarita that looks like the classic in all ways but one: the tequila is infused with exactly one and a half deseeded jalapenos peppers for 48 hours. It’s perfect for those who love a drink with a little kick.
The strawberry margarita often gets a bad rap, thanks to the chain restaurants that serve a version made with a sickly sweet pre-made mix. But a strawberry margarita made with love can be a beautiful thing. How Sweet It Is has a delectable recipe for the real deal. The recipe calls for unconventional ingredient ratios (4:4:3 of Grand Marnier, lime juice, and tequila, respectively) mixed with a homemade strawberry simple syrup. Serve in a glass rimmed with salt and sugar.
What do you take when you combine one distinctly Mexican beverage—the margarita—with another—a good old bottle of Corona? This bizarre combination is known as the Bulldog. It’s as simple as it sounds: start with a blended margarita and pop a bottle of Corona in the glass, upside down. This recipe from Dirty Drinks will get you started.