Delicious Cointreau Margarita

The sophisticated orange liqueur adds a citrusy punch to the popular cocktail.

Delicious Cointreau Margarita

We all love Margaritas. Perfect in the summer, and just as good the rest of the year. With a drink as popular as this one, it’s no surprise that many mixologists, drinkers and bartenders throughout the years have laid claim to its creation. Since we’ll making the Cointreau Margarita today, we’ll be exploring a little bit of the popular “history” associated with it.

Legend has it the creation of the Cointreau Margarita is owed to wealthy Dallas socialite Margaret “Margarita” Sames. In 1948, while at her vacation home in Acapulco, Dame Sames was craving a perfect poolside cocktail to share with her influential friends. Combining her two favorite spirits, Cointreau and Tequila, with lime juice and a dash of salt on the rim, Sames stumbled upon the perfect party mixture. And with famous pals like actor John Wayne, word of mouth quickly spread about the delicious cocktail.

For years, it was known amongst her friends simply as “The Drink”. When her husband Bill gifted her a set of champagne goblets etched with her nickname, Margarita, the moniker stuck with the popular cocktail for more than seventy years.

With so many versions of the Margarita to choose from, this is a stronger recipe, as the Cointreau is little higher in its ABV% than the more traditional triple sec that is often used. For fun, you can make this version and try it side-by-side with Twist and Toast’s recipe for the classic Perfect Margarita.

Cointreau or Triple Sec?

Cointreau is a more expensive, complex and smoother orange-flavored liqueur when compared to triple sec. Technically, Cointreau is a triple sec, but over the years moved away from that description, as it became associated with being a lesser-quality spirit. Many Margarita variations are made with triple sec, and you can use any brand you like, but as Margarita Sames once famously said, “a Margarita without Cointreau is not worth its salt.”

What is the best tequila to use to make a Cointreau Margarita?

There are a few types of tequila you can go for when mixing up a Cointreau Margarita. The more traditional route to take is using a reposado, which is slightly aged and often has more flavors infused into it. This can give your Margarita a more complex and robust flavor profile. A Blanco is not aged and has a brighter, clearer taste and requires no extra ingredients apart from the agave. Using a Blanco tequila in your Margarita will give it a lighter balance. I’d say try them both if you can to find the flavor that suits you best.

Delicious Cointreau Margarita
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila reposado or blanco for a lighter taste
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt for the rim
  • Ice cubes preferably clear ice
  • For garnish: A slice of organic lime


  • Salt the Rim: Slice a notch in a lime wedge. Glide it around the rim to moisten, then dip the edge into a small plate of salt.
    Delicious Cointreau Margarita
  • Shake It Up: In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice over ice cubes. Seal it tight and give it a vigorous shake until the shaker feels frosty to the touch.
    Delicious Cointreau Margarita
  • Serve: Strain your perfectly chilled margarita into the prepared glass. Top it off with fresh ice cubes to keep it cool. Garnish with a lime slice.
    Delicious Cointreau Margarita


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Delicious Cointreau Margarita

FAQs & Tips

Delicious Cointreau Margarita

Cointreau Margarita Variations

Have you fallen in love with the Cointreau Margarita? Are you craving more, but also something a little different? Twist and Toast has a number of Margarita recipes that you’ll want to try:

  • Blood Orange Margarita – I write about this bright red and delicious version, which you’ll want more than one of.
  • Blue Margarita – This is one of the first cocktails I wrote about for Twist and Toast! Give it a try and tell us what you think.
  • Watermelon Margarita – It’s never too early to plan for summer, and this refreshing drink will help.
  • Frozen Margarita – Do you like your Margaritas on the chilly side? Check out our classic recipe for the ice-cold cocktail here.

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