Tommy’s Margarita is the most straight-forward margarita recipes you can make. It’s incredibly clean in flavor thanks to it’s simple, unfussy ingredient list. This margarita recipe without triple sec allows the tequila to shine through and makes for a refreshing, tart drink. All you need is three ingredients—tequila, lime juice and agave.

About Tommy’s Margarita

Tommy’s Margarita was created by Julio Bermejo for his family’s San Francisco restaurant, Tommy’s, in the late 1980s. Julio is widely known in the cocktail and tequila communities for his vast knowledge of tequila and the creation of Tommy’s Margarita (which now can be found on menus all around the world).

At the family restaurant, Tommy’s Margarita is made with just tequila, fresh squeezed Persian limes and agave instead of triple sec.


  • Tequila: we like to use tequila blanco to make Tommy’s Margarita. It’s clean and smooth in flavor—perfect for a stripped down variation on the margarita. As we always say, the “best” liquor to use in cocktails is one you enjoy. Our go-to tequila is either Cazadores or Don Julio.
  • Lime Juice: fresh citrus juice is key to a good margarita! To get the most out of your limes, look for limes that have a smooth skin and are slightly soft when squeezed.
  • Agave Syrup: use light agave or blue agave syrup. Avoid dark agave syrup as it will add too deep of a flavor.
someone holding a margarita in a tall glass with a lime wedge on the rim with a lake in the background

A Margarita Without Triple Sec

Is it possible to make a margarita without orange liqueur? This recipe for Tommy’s Margarita proves that it’s possible!

Orange liqueur such as triple sec, cointreau, or grand marnier, add orange flavor and more importantly, sweetness. Swapping orange liqueur out for agave syrup adds sweetness without muddying the flavor of the lime and tequila. Agave is also thin enough that is mixes seamlessly into the cocktail.

More Margarita Recipes to Try

One of our favorite margaritas is this Italian Margarita. It’s made with a trio of citrus juices and a splash of amaretto. It’s deliciously addictive for sure!

For a cozy-weather margarita, try our popular Spiced Pear Margarita. She’s and absolute show-stopper. We also love this Apple Cider Margarita.

In the summer, whip up our Maíz Tierno or Sweet Corn Margarita.

And in the spring, Carrot Margaritas are on the docket! Or use late-spring rhubarb to make our Rhubarb Margaritas!

Tommy’s Margarita

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Category Drinks / Cocktails
Cuisine Mexican Inspired


The main difference between Tommy’s Marg and a traditional marg is the use of agave syrup in place of orange liqueur. The simple ingredient swap makes for a bright, citrusy and very drinkable cocktail.


  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave syrup/nectar
  • Kosher or flaky sea salt


  • Add 2 ounces tequila, 1 ½ ounces lime juice, and ½ ounce agave to a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice, secure lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds.
  • Strain into a rocks glass rimmed with salt and filled with ice.


If you prefer your cocktails to be less-sweet and more tart, start with ¼ ounce agave. 


Serving: 1 cocktailCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 14gSodium: 2mgSugar: 10g
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someone holding a margarita in a tall glass with a lime wedge on the rim with a lake in the background

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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