The Best Homemade Margarita with Homemade Sweet and Sour

Happy Hour

I honestly cannot believe I have deprived you of the best homemade margarita recipe!

We’ve been making this for years. If you’ve been to my home, you have definitely been served these margaritas. So many of my friends request them when they come to visit!

My favorite part of this margarita is that it has fresh, real ingredients. No store-bought sweet-and-sour mix.

A really delicious, high-quality margarita takes just a few simple ingredients.

First, let’s talk tequila. The tequila definitely matters. A good-quality tequila is smooth and you can actually pick up notes of agave and vanilla (cheaper tequilas just taste like burning, and that will not do).

Is a high-quality tequila a little more expensive? Yes. But it will last you a very long time (unless you drink these every night – and then I cannot help you).

Our tequila of choice is Patron Silver or Don Julio Blanco. You can find these in all liquor stores. They are high-quality, but not so top-shelf that you’re forgoing lunch money for the next month.

The Best Homemade Margarita

We use fresh lime juice and honey simple syrup instead of sweet and sour mix. (Recipe for honey simple syrup below.)

Having fresh limes on hand is also great to rim the edge of the glass so you can add salt! Just take a lime wedge and run it across the top of the glass. Turn it upside down on a small plate with salt!

Boom! Salt rim!

You can also use this delicious Chile and Lime seasoning from Trader Joe’s for a little spiciness on the rim of your glass!

After you salt the rim, add ice to your glass. We love using these ice molds for large round ice cubes. They melt slower so your drinks do not get watered down as fast.

Shake all ingredients, expect the Grand Marnier, in a shaker. Pour.

Next, the float. Oh my gosh, we learned this from our favorite Mexican restaurant when we lived in South Carolina. This is not necessary but it elevates the whole experience!! Trust.

The float is Grand Marnier! This is an orange liqueur. After you pour your margarita, top with 1 ounce Grand Marnier.

It not only makes the drink so very pretty, but it adds such a great hint of orange to the drink!

By the way, because I get asked all the time, these are the glasses we use!

Listen, this drink is BOOZY. We generally only have one each when we make them! So, you’ve been warned. You can of course play with the proportions of the alcohol if you want something a little more tame.

If you want something sweeter, try adding some peach purée or blend this in the blender with ice and your fruit of choice!

If you want a smoky, spicy margarita, try mezcal! It’s like a smoky tequila. Shake with a few slices of fresh jalapeño and you will have the smoky, spicy homemade margarita of your dreams (full recipe below).

For those of you that want a fun, friendly drink for the people in your home that are not of drinking age or do not drink, try my coconut lime spritzer! Non-alcoholic but limey and creamy!



  • 2 ounces tequila (our preference is Patron Silver or Don Julio Blanco)
  • 1 ounce honey simple syrup (see below for method)
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice (juice from half a lime)
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier 
  • Salt

Honey Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water


Honey Simple Syrup:

  1. Add honey and water to a small sauce pot. Simmer until the honey and water are fully incorporated. About 3-5 minutes. 
  2. Pour honey simple syrup into a jar with a lid. Refrigerate (this will keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator).


  1. Salt rim of glass (optional) by taking a lime wedge and moving it across the top of the glass. Turn glass upside down into a plate of salt. Move around to salt glass. Add ice to the glass. 
  2. In a shaker filled with ice, add tequila, lime juice and honey simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. 
  3. Pour mixture into cup (using a strainer to keep the ice cubes in the shaker from going into the cup).
  4. Pour Grand Marnier over top of margarita! 


This makes one drink.

For a smoky, spicy margarita, use Mezcal in place of the tequila. Add a few slices of jalapeño to the shaker before shaking (or muddle jalapeño in the shaker for extra spice). Add the additional ingredients and follow all the above instructions! 


Clementine Margarita

This margarita recipe is perfect if you find yourself without limes (the horror!). Bonus, you do not need to do a Grand Mariner float in this because there is fresh orange!

  • Author: Bri McKoy
  • Yield: 1 1x


  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce honey simple syrup
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Juice from 2 small clementines (or one mandarin or 1/2 an orange)
  • Kosher salt (optional)


  1. Salt rim of glass (optional) by taking the half lemon and moving it across the top of the glass. Turn glass upside down into a plate of salt. Move around to salt glass. Add ice to the glass.
  2. In a shaker filled with ice, add tequila, lemon and clementine juice, and honey simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Pour mixture into cup (using a strainer to keep the ice cubes in the shaker from going into the cup).
  4. Enjoy!

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  1. Alli says:

    This is the perfect margarita recipe for relaxing on the porch after a long day at work or working from home.  The recipe is easy to follow, with minimal prep in the early afternoon we were ready for after dinner drinks that evening. 

  2. Amy says:

    Love these glasses!! Where did you purchase them??

  3. Amy M. says:

    I made these margaritas last night to go with take out from our favorite Mexican spot!! They were amazing. Like….the best. I have since texted my grown children that if they do not buy me these glasses (I even gave them the link) for Mother’s Day they must hate me. Absolutely a perfect recipe. Thanks for sharing!! 

    • Bri McKoy says:

      This brought me so much joy! Thank you for trying my margarita recipe and for this comment! Here’s to getting these glasses for Mother’s Day <3

  4. Eric says:

    My wife told me about this recipe and I am not ashamed to say over the past week we finished off our tequila making these awesome drinks. Thanks! 

  5. Rachael says:

    Could I substitute Triple Sec for the Grand Mariner?

  6. Danielle B says:

    These margaritas are absolute perfection!! My local store had run out of Grand Marnier, so I subbed Cointreau and it still fantastic! 🙂 

  7. Heidi says:

    Best. Margarita. Ever. So good!! 

  8. Jess says:

    This looks amazing! I live in SC. Do you mind sharing your favorite Mexican restaurant from when you lived here (mentioned in the blog post)? 

  9. Melinda says:

    I thought I didn’t like margaritas. It turns out I just had never had a good margaritas. I made mine with clementines and it was so good. Ridiculously good.

  10. Kylie W. says:

    I’ll never need another margarita recipe. THANK YOU, BRI ❤️

  11. Emily Gardner says:

    This is the ONLY margarita recipe you need. The honey simple syrup. The Grand Marnier float. (I accidentally bought Contreau for this but it was still excellent). It was all chefs kiss and now I desperately wish we had all the things to make this right now. 

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