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What is Hornitos margarita?

Hornitos margarita is a classic tequila cocktail made with Hornitos Plata Tequila. It’s a delicious and refreshing drink perfect for parties, gatherings with friends, or just enjoying at home. The sweet and tart flavors of the margarita pair perfectly with 100% agave Hornitos Tequila. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this cocktail so special.

History of the Hornitos Margarita

Hornitos Tequila has been making premium tequilas since 1950 in the heart of Mexico’s tequila country. The distillery was founded by Don Francisco Javier Sauza, who came from a long line of tequila makers. He named the distillery “Hornitos” which means “little oven” due to the copper pot stills used for distilling the tequila.

The margarita cocktail itself dates back to the 1930s or 1940s and there are a few origin stories around who created the first one. One legend credits a Dallas socialite named Margarita Sames, who mixed up tequila, orange liqueur, and lime at her Acapulco vacation home one night in 1948. Others say the margarita was first created by a Tijuana bartender for actress Marjorie King in the 1930s.

Whatever the exact origin, the margarita became popular in Mexico and the western U.S. in the 1940s and 50s. Over the years, it evolved into the classic cocktail we know today, made with quality tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice. Hornitos joined the margarita craze in the 1950s and 60s, marketing their Plata tequila as the perfect spirit for margarita cocktails.

Ingredients in the Hornitos Margarita

The Hornitos margarita keeps it classic with just 3 main ingredients:

  • Hornitos Plata Tequila – The base spirit providing the core flavor. Hornitos Plata is a crisp, pure tequila made from 100% blue weber agave.
  • Orange Liqueur – Also called triple sec, it provides sweetness and orange flavor. Popular brands are Cointreau, Patron Citronge, or Grand Marnier.
  • Fresh Lime Juice – Adds tartness and acidity to balance the sweetness of the liqueur.

In addition to these core ingredients, Hornitos margaritas often include:

  • Salt or sugar to rim the glass
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel or slice garnish

The basic ratio is 2 parts tequila, 1 part orange liqueur, and 1 part lime juice. The tart lime, sweet liqueur, and smooth Plata tequila create a well-balanced cocktail with the perfect margarita flavor.

Making a Hornitos Margarita

Ready to shake up this delicious classic? Here is a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather ingredients – Hornitos Plata tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, salt or sugar for rimming, and ice.
  2. Prepare margarita or cocktail glass. Rim the edge with salt or sugar if desired – simply run a lime wedge around the edge and dip into a saucer of salt or sugar.
  3. Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Use a 2:1:1 ratio of tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice. Add ice.
  4. Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds until well chilled.
  5. Strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice, if desired.
  6. Garnish with a lime wheel or slice. Serve and enjoy!

For a single margarita, the standard recipe is:

  • 2 oz Hornitos Plata Tequila
  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice

Adjust ingredient amounts accordingly if making a pitcher or batch of margaritas. The key is maintaining that 2:1:1 ratio of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.

Margarita Serving Tips

To take your Hornitos margarita to the next level, consider these serving tips:

  • Shaken or Frozen: A standard margarita is shaken with ice and served straight up in a cocktail glass. For a slushy frozen version, blend ingredients with ice in a blender.
  • Salt and Sugar: For both versions, you can salt or sugar the rim of the glass. Use coarse salt or try flavored salts. For sugar, use granulated or try cinnamon-sugar.
  • Fresh vs Bottled Juice: Always opt for fresh-squeezed lime juice if possible. Bottled juices lack freshness and acidity.
  • Type of Orange Liqueur: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Patron Citronge, or Combier all work well. Experiment to find your favorite.
  • Garnishes: Lime wedge, lime wheel, or lime slice. You can also skewer fruit like orange slices or brandied cherries.

Hornitos Margarita Variations

The classic Hornitos margarita is delicious on its own, but tequila lovers have created many variations over the years. Some twists on the classic to try:

Margarita Variation Ingredients
Fruit Margarita Add pureed fruits like mango, strawberry, peach, or pineapple
Skinny Margarita Use agave nectar instead of orange liqueur, reduced sugar
Spicy Margarita Add jalapeño slices, hot sauce, or chili-lime salt rim
Mezcal Margarita Substitute mezcal for some of the tequila

Feel free to get creative and add your own twists on the Hornitos margarita! Just maintain the basic 2:1:1 ratio of tequila, sweetener, and citrus as you experiment.

Where to Enjoy a Hornitos Margarita

A Frozen Hornitos margarita on the beach is perfect. This cocktail is also great at Mexican restaurants, tequila bars, and cocktail lounges. Here are some specific spots across the U.S. famous for their margaritas:

  • Chichen Itza – Multiple locations in Texas including Dallas, El Paso, and Houston
  • Rosa Mexicano – Upscale Mexican chain in cities like New York, Miami, and Washington D.C.
  • El Torito – California chain known for tableside guacamole and margaritas
  • Superica – Cool Mexican eateries in Atlanta and Houston
  • Casa Noble Tequila Lounge – Swanky tequila bar in San Diego

You could also visit the Hornitos distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. Take a tour and enjoy margaritas and Mexican fare at the on-site Gran Salón restaurant!

Why Choose Hornitos Tequila for Margaritas

Here’s why Hornitos Plata makes the perfect margarita tequila:

  • 100% pure agave tequila from one of Mexico’s most iconic tequila producers
  • Aged in American oak barrels for a smooth taste
  • Crisp agave flavor with hints of spice, vanilla, and oak
  • Naturally clear plata (silver) tequila provides pure agave flavor
  • Well-balanced and mixable, playing nicely with citrus and sweetener
  • Affordable price point compared to premium brands

While Hornitos offers reposado, añejo, and flavored tequilas, most margarita traditionalists will use the plata. The purity of the plata allows the natural agave flavor to shine through when mixed into a cocktail.

Pro Tips for Making Excellent Margaritas

Here are some top tips from the pros for taking your margarita game to the highest level:

  1. Use freshly squeezed lime juice. Bottled lime juice can’t compare.
  2. Always shake or blend with ice to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  3. Wet the rim of the glass before dipping into salt or sugar so it sticks.
  4. When juicing citrus, roll the fruit firmly before cutting to maximize juice.
  5. For fruit margaritas, use fresh purees instead of artificial mixes.
  6. Try different premium orange liqueurs to find your favorite – Grand Marnier, Patrón Citrónge, Cointreau, etc.
  7. Add a splash of agave syrup to balance sweetness and tartness.
  8. Play with different garnishes like limes, orange slices, olives, chili powder, and fresh herbs.
  9. Always measure ingredients carefully using proper measuring tools.
  10. Sample the mix before pouring the finished margaritas to adjust flavor.

It takes attention to detail and some practice, but with these tips you’ll be whipping up bar-quality Hornitos margaritas in no time!


The Hornitos margarita is a delicious classic – an iconic blend of tart lime, sweet orange, and smooth tequila. This cocktail was made for celebrating with friends and family. The pure plata tequila and balance of flavors really allow the agave and citrus to shine through. While the recipe is simple with just three ingredients, take your time in preparation and use high-quality fresh ingredients. With a salted rim, a squeeze of lime, and a Hornitos Plata margarita in hand, you’ll be reminded why this has been a beloved cocktail for generations. ¡Salud!