How To Make a Margarita (Best Margarita Recipe)

Orange Bitters Agave Margarita
This Orange Bitters Margarita is Manservant’s best margarita recipe. Made with simple ingredients, this fresh margarita recipe contains no sweet and sour, just a touch of agave, fresh lime juice, tequila and a few drops of orange bitters. Now you know what a real margarita is!

A Real Margarita

(This is an updated post from 2017)

This is Manservant’s best margarita recipe. It is only fair I give him his due. After all, it took years before I told him, I think he got it right!

Margaritas have been a favorite of mine since the day I discovered Mexican food. It would be scandalous to suggest that the two don’t go together.

Over the years I’ve had margaritas made in countless ways. Frozen or blended; salt or no salt; shaken or on ice; but for the record I prefer mine on the rocks with a salted rim. And Manservant’s best margarita recipe with all fresh ingredients is the best ever.

Yes, any day is a holiday for me if it contains a margarita! Traditionally Christmas Eve is a time for many Mexicans to make tamales. So I figured there must be lots of margaritas involved too! And if there aren’t, there should be!

So I propose margaritas during the holiday season. Want to join me?

A Real Margarita

And lest we not forget that every year National Margarita Day is celebrated on February 22. Yes, that is George Washington’s birthday, in case you have forgotten. I dare say George would have loved this birthday celebration.

As holidays are my specialty, we must not forget Cinco de Mayo on May 5th. And what, you may ask,  is Cinco de Mayo? Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over Napoleon in 1862. Now that’s a good reason to celebrate, because truly I can not imagine the French in Mexico.

I mean can you imagine no quesadillas or tamales or burritos? Just quiche and French onion soup?

But back to margaritas. Manservant’s best margarita recipe includes few ingredients. It has no sweet and sour, which is the kiss of death to me.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had pitchers of ‘ritas with the horrid, fake stuff called sweet and sour, and have woken the next morning holding my head. I don’t think it was the tequila, though it could have been, because sweet and sour is the perfect way to disguise bad tequila.

This orange bitters margarita contains primo tequila. No skimping here unless you also want a bad margarita, and a BAD headache. Please skip the sweet and sour route, scope out some good tequila and squeeze lots of limes to make your margarita fresh and addictive.

Margarita in a Margarita Glass with Tequila


  1. Use good tequila. (There are so many out there, but if you drink a lot of margaritas, invest in tequila that tastes good. Each tequila has its own nuance, so try some. Our house tequilas are listed above.
  2. Use a chilled glass. I love drinking out of a martini glass or a traditional margarita glass, but this depends on if you want your margaritas, frozen or on the rocks. I prefer rocks. Frozen margaritas get watery very quickly.
  3. Use fresh lime juice, but other citrus juices should be fresh also. A fresh margarita is the best! If you must use sweet and sour than look for those made with fresh lime juice. Make sure they aren’t made with corn syrup and citric acid and lots of food coloring additives that you can’t pronounce.
  4. About that lime juice. Squeeze it ahead and get the grunt work done. If you have some leftover, just freeze it for your next margarita session.
  5. We love orange bitters, instead of triple sec, which is an orange flavored liquor. Using orange bitters lets you taste the tequila and isn’t that what a margarita’s all about?
  6. We use agave sweetener rather than a simple syrup. Since tequila is made from agave, why not keep things in the same family? Depending on your limes and your tequila, you may find you don’t want your margarita so tart. The agave helps with that.

The Best Margarita



Cheese Crisp

The cheese crisp may look like a quesadilla, but it is not. Never folded and always crisp, found mostly in Arizona…you need to know about this! 


Poblano and Cheese Casserole

This Mexican poblano cheese casserole is proof that simple ingredients in the right combination, can easily become more than the sum of its parts. This savory, cheesy gratin is home made Mexican goodness! I could eat it every day!


Chicken Tinga Tostada


Lots of Cheese Quesadillas


A Real Margarita

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The Best Margarita

How To Make a Margarita (Best Margarita Recipe)

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 5 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: cocktails
  • Method: Shaker
  • Cuisine: Mexican/American


This Orange Bitters Agave Margarita depends on a great tequila. Add some agave, lime juice and orange bitters and you have a very special margarita. And also a very potent one.



3 oz silver agave tequila

1 oz agave

34 drops of orange bitters

Juice of 1 1/2 limes freshly squeezed


  1. Fill a margarita glass with ice and water to chill.
  2. Combine lime juice, tequila, agave syrup, and orange bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake 40 times vigorously. (Really.)
  3. Empty ice filled glass. Rub a slice of lime along the rim of the glass. Dip rim of glass into a plate of kosher salt. Strain contents of shaker into glass.
  4. Sip slowly and enjoy!


This makes one strong and great drink!

Keywords: margarita, orange bitters margarita, fresh margarita recipe, best margarita recipe, best margarita tequila, margarita how to make, recipe for best margarita






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  • Karen (Back Road Journal)
    February 26, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    We recently bought orange bitters for another cocktail and now we have a second use for it. Thanks to you both for sharing the recipe. And yes, I’m pinning.

  • mimi rippee
    February 23, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I just bought some orange bitters and I can’t wait to try this! I like margaritas strong. Tequila is the only liquor I like to actually taste!!!

  • John / Kitchen Riffs
    February 23, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Mmmm, margaritas! Love ’em. One of my top 5 favorite drinks Never made one with orange bitters — I need to try that. My recipe is pretty similar to yours except I substitute triple sec for the agave, and of course I don’t use the bitters. And I prefer my margaritas “up” rather than on the rocks. Frozen? Never! Well, almost never — I do make it a policy to never say never. 🙂

  • Calli W
    December 29, 2016 at 2:53 am

    I love strawberry daiquiris!

  • Susan Christy
    December 24, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Margarita on the rocks is my favorite.

  • Sippity Sup
    December 24, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks for this recipe I have been anxious to get a peek at hit. Happy first night. GREG

  • Tricia Buice
    December 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I just adore margaritas! Wish I could have one in Mexico 🙂 Hope your husband is all healed up. Wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Hanukkah! Blessings to you and your family.

  • Mary Frances
    December 24, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Wow – this makes a big drink! Going to visit my brother and sister-in-law in St. Louis and all they drink are margaritas so I will make this version for them! Perfect timing Abbe – thank you and Happy Hanukkah!!!

  • Liz Berg
    December 23, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I'm with you. Margaritas are my favorite and I love your easy-peasy recipe!! Happy Hanukkah, Abbe!!! xoxo

  • DeniseL
    December 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    and I follow on pinterest as deniseleb.

  • DeniseL
    December 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I'm a subscriber.

  • DeniseL
    December 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    My favorite cocktail is a concoction my cousin's boyfriend invented. He calls it a bourbon daisy. They are dangerous!
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    December 23, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    What a beautiful cocktail, Abbe! Even though my favorite beverage is Chardonnay, we enjoy margaritas occasionally too. Your recipe sounds so much more tasty than the average marg! I love Mineral Fusion lipsitck!

  • Angie Schneider
    December 23, 2016 at 10:00 am

    How tempting! Cheers 🙂
    Happy Holidays, Abbe!