Tommy's Margarita

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 20, 2023

The Tommy's Margarita is a variation of the traditional Mexican Margarita recipe. The cocktail recipe is a modern classic recognized by the IBA as a New Era Drink.
Tommy's Margarita cocktail on wooden table

For making a classic Margarita, you'll need Tequila, orange liqueur (e.g., Cointreau), lime juice, and optionally a splash of syrup to sweeten the drink. The Tommy's Margarita follows a slightly different approach: 

The cocktail relies on only three ingredients: Tequila, lime, and syrup. Omitting the orange liqueur first sparked a debate about whether or not the drink deserves the name Margarita. Yet, as soon as the IBA recognized and classified it as a New Era Drink, most discussions calmed down. 

Read who invented this simplified version of the classic Mexican drink, and learn how to make it at home and to perfection. 

Ingredients for Tommy's Variation

Pretty similar to the original, it's about the details when making this cocktail:

  • Agave Syrup: this version is made with agave syrup instead of regular simple syrup. The original recipe uses syrup made of Blue Weber Agave only. That's the same type used for making Tequila and further enhances the spirit's taste.
  • Tequila: the key ingredient for every Margarita, also in a Tommy's. Usually, a silver type of Tequila, also called Plata, is used. Although, I prefer a slightly aged Tequila Reposado in this case. Either way, make sure it's 100% agave.
  • Lime juice is an essential component. As opposed to the classic Marg, I prefer aged lime juice for this version. 
  • Salt for the rim: preferably fleur de sel or sea salt

How to make it

A Tommy's Margarita has a much more pronounced agave taste than the citrus-forward classic version. It is lighter and fresher than the traditional recipe and super easy to make:

  • Step 1: Moisten the rim of your glass with a lime wedge and apply fleur de sel, then set it aside for a moment. 
  • Step 2: Put all ingredients into your cocktail shaker together with a generous portion of ice cubes. Shake for 10 seconds - the shaker tins should feel icy.
  • Step 3: Use a Hawthorne strainer to pour the drink over ice into your previously prepared glass.
Tommy's Margarita with salt rim - top view

History of Tommy's Margarita

Although the name suggests that the drink got invented by a "Tommy", it was, in fact, not. The inventor of the cocktail is Julio Bermejo. He created the simplified version of a Margarita in the 1990s while working at his parents' restaurant Tommy's

The restaurant is located in San Francisco and is famous for its enormous selection of agave spirits. So if you happen to be in the area and are into Tequila or Mezcal, this place is an absolute must.

When Julio Bermejo discovered agave nectar, he was intrigued as the ingredient was not very common in those days. He experimented a bit and came up with a Margarita recipe that solely works with the sweetness of agave nectar. No additional sugar, no orange liqueur.

Agave syrup was way more expensive than combining syrup and orange liqueur, but Bermejo loved the result, and so do we.

Tommy's Margarita cocktail on wooden table

Tommy's Margarita

A simplified version of the classic Margarita recipe using only three ingredients.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: agave, Tequila
Servings: 1
Calories: 198kcal
Cost: $2.50


  • 2 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 0.5 oz Agave nectar


  • Salt rim a chilled glass and set it aside.
  • Add all ingredients into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
    2 oz Reposado Tequila, 1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice, 0.5 oz Agave nectar
  • Shake until the drink is well chilled and strain over ice into your cocktail glass.


Serving: 3.75oz | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.2g | Protein: 0.15g | Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 0.65mg | Potassium: 39mg | Sugar: 15.7g | Vitamin C: 13.5mg | Calcium: 4.8mg | Iron: 0.05mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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