12 easy ways to make your margaritas better using things you already have in your kitchen

·7 min read
Friends toasting, saying cheers holding tropical blended fruit margaritas. Watermelon and passionfruit drinks. - Image
Adding fresh fruits can take margaritas to the next level. Shutterstock
  • Today is National Margarita Day, and there are plenty of ways to jazz up your typical recipe.

  • Many margarita recipes call for ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

  • You can easily make a spicy version of a classic margarita using commonly found kitchen ingredients.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

On National Margarita Day, you might be wondering how to make a delicious drink from the comfort of home.

Despite what you may think, making a bar- or restaurant-quality margarita doesn't require a ton of experience in mixology.

"The best cocktail right now is the one you can make with the ingredients you have at hand," David Alan, the director of mixology and trade at PATRÓN Tequila, told Insider. "The advantage at-home celebrations have given us is the chance to tap into our creativity. Usually, even the 'mistakes' taste good, and your new discovery may taste better than the original."

With a few simple tricks and ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, fridge, or freezer, anyone can take a classic margarita to the next level.

Here are 12 hacks to make your margaritas even better - with things you already have in your kitchen.

Stick your margarita glasses in the freezer for a few minutes.

Margarita. Iralin Irala/Getty Images

Freezing your margarita glass ensures your drinks remain chilled as long as possible.

"Chilling a glass allows the drink to maintain the ideal, chilled temperature for a longer period of time," David Alan told Insider. "It will slow down the dilution of the ice into your drink and keep the drink at its optimal drinking temperature for longer. The frost on the glass also adds a nice aesthetic to the final presentation."

Freezing the glass before serving is also an underrated trick for rimming the glass with salt. While wetting the glass rim with a lime wedge is one surefire method, the condensation on the rim of a chilled margarita glass makes for a perfectly even salted rim every time.

Use a cocktail shaker to combine your ingredients, instead of mixing directly in the glass. If you don't have one, use a travel mug instead.

cocktail shaker
A shaker ensures every sip is perfect. Shutterstock

Margaritas are intended to be shaken, not stirred. Rather than mixing all the ingredients in the glass itself, mix everything in a cocktail shaker before pouring. This will guarantee all the ingredients are perfectly combined.

If you don't have a cocktail shaker on hand, using a to-go travel mug (with the lid completely covered) or two glasses fit together also works in a pinch.

Adding fruits like mango can add a lot more flavor to your margaritas.

mango margarita
Mango margarita. Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

While a classic margarita with lime is certainly tasty, adding other fruits can kick your drinks up a notch.

Simply blend diced mango chunks along with the rest of your margarita ingredients, then pour into a glass of ice.

Other frozen or fresh fruits like pomegranate, strawberries, and pineapple can also take your margaritas to the next level.

strawberry margarita
Strawberry margarita. yagmradam/Getty Images

You can do the same method with other fresh fruits — watermelon, pineapple, pomegranate, strawberries, and blueberries all make great additions to margaritas.

Using fresh fruit will give margaritas a smoother and more juice-like texture, while frozen fruit will give your margaritas a more slushy consistency.

Juice, such as grapefruit juice, can also freshen up your drink.

Grapefruit slices. parasolia/Shutterstock

A splash of fruit juice can also add some more flavor to your margaritas. Grapefruit juice will give a tart, slightly sour flavor, while pineapple juice creates a more tropical-tasting drink.

"Citrus-based juices are essential for balancing out the sweetness of a margarita," David Alan told Insider. "While lime juice is classic, lemon makes a great substitute. Pineapple juice gives a luscious tropical feel to a margarita, or even just make tequila and pineapple juice on the rocks!"

Using Cointreau instead of Triple Sec can make your margaritas pack more of a punch.

Cointreau. monticello/Getty Images

While Triple Sec is the ingredient most commonly used in margaritas, Cointreau can also be substituted in for a slightly boozier beverage, especially if that's all you have at home.

While both liqueurs have a bright orange flavor, Triple Sec has an alcohol content of between 15% and 30%, while Cointreau is slightly stronger, at 40% alcohol.

Spicy margaritas with jalapeños and chili salt rims are one of the most common - and delicious - ways to enjoy a margarita.

spicy margarita
Spicy mango margaritas with jalapeños and chili salt rims. IriGri/Shutterstock

One of the most popular twists on a classic margarita is a spicy margarita. Often topped with jalapeños and served in a glass rimmed with chili salt, these cocktails pack slightly more heat than traditional margaritas.

"Making salt rims is relatively easy and my best advice is to just have fun with it — similar to throwing spices into a pot of soup," Alan said. "For chili salt, you combine 4 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne on a flat plate, mix it all together, then rim your glass with a lime and then dip the glass in the mixture."

You can also spice things up by infusing your tequila with jalapeño at home.

margarita lime salt rim
Margarita with salt. Shutterstock

Making homemade jalapeño tequila is extremely easy. To make it, simply slice up around three peppers, place in a large jar, and pour in a bottle of tequila — this recipe from the Greatist recommends a 750 ml bottle.

Be sure to include the seeds, as that's where much of the spiciness comes from, and allow the tequila to infuse with the jalapeños for at least 24 hours. Leave the mixture to infuse even longer if you want your tequila to be extra spicy.

Strain out the seeds and peppers, and you've got homemade jalapeño tequila.

Coconut milk is another great addition to any margarita.

coconut margarita
Coconut margarita. eyecrave/Getty Images

This tropical take on a margarita is perfect for any celebration or night at home. The coconut cream found at the top of canned coconut milk makes margaritas creamy and rich in flavor.

To further elevate your coconut margarita, rim the glass with coconut shavings instead of salt.

Adding ice and blending your margaritas can turn them into a delicious frozen treat.

Agave margaritas
Frozen margaritas. Agave NYC

"Frozen drinks sometimes have a bad reputation because there are so many bad ones out there — cheap spirits, artificial mixers, etc. These should be avoided. Just like with anything, if you put in good ingredients, you'll get good results," David Alan told Insider. "A frozen margarita made with PATRÓN Silver, PATRÓN Citrónge Orange, and fresh lime juice will be absolutely delicious."

Using either ice cubes or frozen fruit, blend your margarita ingredients together on high until you reach your desired consistency.

"An important thing to consider is the balance of the drink — if you just throw a rocks margarita into a blender, the result will be too watery because of the extra dilution from the blended ice. You need to ramp up the spirits, the lime juice, and add a little simple syrup to balance it out," Alan said. "When it's done right, a frozen drink is like air conditioning for your mouth."

Try adding a beer upside down into your drink for a different taste.

corona beer
Corona. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Also called a "Mexican bulldog," a "CoronaRita" is a classic margarita topped with an overturned beer bottle inside the glass. The pressure of the margarita stops the beer from mixing together immediately.

However, as you drink it, the beer and margarita combine, creating a delicious combination of the two beverages.

Adding a frozen popsicle to your margarita is a fun way to elevate your cocktails.

popsicle margarita
Spicy margaritas with mango popsicles. sveta_zarzamora/Getty Images

This fun hack will make any at-home cocktail night feel like a true celebration. Simply make a classic margarita, and then add in your favorite flavored popsicles.

Not only will the popsicles act as ice cubes, keeping your drink nice and cold, but the flavors will seep into the drink creating a delicious twist on the classic cocktail.

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