20 best Margaritas

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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The Margarita cocktail brilliantly lends itself to adaption with the sweet element (traditionally triple sec liqueur) and citrus swapped and added to. Even the tequila base spirit may be partially replaced with another spirit or substituted with mezcal. These 20 best Margaritas include examples of all these variations.

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Atracción Ahumado Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, mezcal, chili liqueur, orange curaçao, agave syrup, lime juice, and Margarita bitters, saline solution.
We say: A smoky chili mezcal margarita.

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Azalea Margarita
With:Blanco tequila, triple sec, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine syrup.
We say: A Pineapple Margarita kissed by pomegranate.

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Blood Orange Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, triple sec, Italian red bitter liqueur, blood orange juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: Citrusy with delicate bitter sweetness.

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Californian Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, falernum, and saline solution.
We say: A lemon rather than lime margarita with falernum adding a touch of spice.

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Devil Smoked Margarita
With: Mezcal, lime juice, sugar syrup, and red wine.
We say: A margarita smoked by mezcal and blooded by wine.

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Italian Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, amaretto, triple sec, and lime juice.
We say: Amaretto adds flavours of apricot and almond.

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Lucky Lily Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, honey syrup, and black pepper.
We say: A fruity margarita with a tingle of pepper.

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Margarita on-the-rocks (Difford's recipe)
With: Reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice, agave syrup, saline solution, and margarita bitters.
We say: How I like my margaritas to be served.

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Margarita Negra
With: Blanco tequila, coffee liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup.
We say: A coffee flavoured tequila sour.

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Maria Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, pomegranate juice, lime juice, agave syrup and Margarita bitters.
We say: A riff on Trader Vic's Maria Theresa Margarita.

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Matador Margarita (Tommy's Style)
With: Reposado tequila, lime juice, agave syrup, pineapple juice, and margarita bitters.
We say: A pineapple margarita with agave syrup in place of a sweet liqueur.

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Mezcal Margarita
With: Mezcal, triple sec, lime juice, agave syrup, saline solution, and Margarita bitters.
We say: A smokin' Margarita.

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Passion Fruit Margarita
With: Fresh passion fruit, reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and agave syrup.
We say: Passion fruit flavour and tartness influences rather than dominates this margarita.

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Pastry War Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, mezcal, Montenegro amaro, elderflower liqueur, lime juice and saline solution.
We say: Mezcal, amaro and elderflower liqueur all work together to set this Margarita apart.

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Pink Frozen Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, triple sec, Italian red bitter liqueur, lime juice and agave syrup.
We say:A bittersweet Frozen Margarita.

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Rosalia Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, Italian red bitter liqueur, lemon juice, and rose syrup.
We say: Delicately bittersweet with subtle floral rose.

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Smokestack Lightning
With: Reposado tequila, Islay single malt whisky, agave syrup, lime juice, and Margarita bitters.
We say: A margarita with wisps of Islay smoke.

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Strawberry Margarita (frozen)
With: Reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice, sugar syrup, and fresh strawberries.
We say: Slightly sweet but yummy.

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Tommy's Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, lime juice, agave syrup, and Margarita bitters.
We say: Agave flavour is king in this margarita without a liqueur.

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Spicy Smoky Margarita
With: Mezcal, triple sec, chili liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup.
We say: As it says on the tin, but delicately smoky ad subtly spicy.

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