Tired of a Standard Margarita Recipe? Try These 5 Easy Upgrades

Here's how to take a traditional margarita up a notch.

High angle view of drinks on table
Photo: Madagabureanu/Getty Images

There are many ways to make a classic margarita—whether frozen or on the rocks—the combination of tequila, sweet orange liqueur, and tart lime juice can't be beat. But the beautiful thing about margaritas is that it's easy to get creative and blend different flavors to create an outstanding margarita recipe that yields a delicious cocktail. For example, most restaurants offer various types of margaritas that consist of sweet fruit juice or a spicy kick of jalapeño. And while there's nothing more fun than enjoying countless cocktails with friends, it's incredibly easy to craft an artisanal margarita right from your kitchen (plus, they won't cost you $15 a pop).

Keep reading for five simple tips to level up a traditional margarita recipe.

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Infuse your own tequila

Most liquor stores sell flavor-infused alcohol, but depending on the brand, the price tag may be a bit steep. The good news is, infusing tequila and other liquors at home is a simple and affordable option. You can also customize the flavors based on your preference and what ingredients you have on-hand.

Margaritas made with infused tequila add a subtle yet enhanced flavor, and the flavor combinations are endless. If you're whipping up a batch of spicy margs, infusing your tequila with jalapeños is a no-brainer. Looking to make a refreshing and tangy citrus cocktail? Try combinations like pineapple-orange tequila or cucumber, mint, and lime. If you prefer a sweeter margarita, try combinations like strawberry-rose or watermelon-basil.

A good rule of thumb when infusing liquor at home is to add your sliced ingredients into the bottle and store it in a cool, dark place for a minimum for 24 hours. To get the best results, steep your ingredients for three to five days so the flavors get heavily saturated.

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Get creative with the salted rim

Who says you have to stick to a standard salted rim on your marg? If you want to add a kick to your spicy margarita, add chili powder to kosher salt for the perfect smoky, spicy rim. Another way to enhance your cocktail rim is by adding some citrus zest to your salt mixture. And if you want the perfect pairing of spicy and tangy, a Tajin rim is as good as it gets. It's a versatile Mexican spice mix consisting of chili peppers, lime, and salt, and it tastes good with any type of margarita.

RELATED: 6 Irresistible Cocktails for Cinco de Mayo

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Make it refreshingly frozen

Frozen margaritas will always be a fan-favorite because they instantly transport you to vacation mode. Even if you're not kickin' it poolside, you can craft an irresistibly tasty frozen margarita within minutes at home. Grab your blender and fill it with tequila, lime juice, and some frozen fruit instead of ice. Feeling tropical? Pineapple-mango tastes like sunshine in a glass. If you're looking for more of a daiquiri vibe, strawberry-raspberry or watermelon are also great choices.

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Use fancy fruit purees

If you've never added fruit purees to your cocktails, you're seriously missing out. It's one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to trick your friends into thinking you're a mixologist with serious skills. Most supermarkets carry various types of jarred fruit purees, but you can also make your own by blending your favorite fruits. Make an exotic margarita with tangy passionfruit, or something simple like mixed berry.

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Craft a lighter alternative

The tricky thing about margaritas is you can never just have one. And while enjoying multiple margs may seem like a great idea in the moment, all that sugar will likely lead to a gnarly hangover the next day. Luckily, there are some lightened-up recipes that are just as tasty. Ranch water, a refreshing cocktail that originated in the 1960s, calls for a sparkling water and omits the orange liqueur, which makes it crisp and satisfying. There's also this hydrating margarita recipe that's made with healthy coconut water and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

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