To make a traditional margarita, mix 3 tablespoons of tequila with 1 1/2 tablespoons each of triple sec and lime juice. Pour over ice, and add salt to the rim or a lime wedge as a garnish.
The exact amounts of various ingredients can be changed to suit the drinker's preferences. Some traditional recipes call for slightly more triple sec than lime juice for a sweeter cocktail, while using equal amounts or slightly more lime juice gives a bit more of a sour bite to the drink.
Salting the rim of the glass is optional, but many people consider it a traditional part of the recipe. It works best with coarse salt, such as kosher salt. Before filling the glass, take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass, then roll the rim in the salt. The lime juice makes the salt stick.
The brands of tequila and triple sec are determined by personal preference. Since traditional margaritas have so few ingredients, it is important to choose quality brands for best results. The tequila should be 100-percent agave to get a traditional taste. Less expensive tequilas are often made from a mix of agave and cane sugar. Although there are bottled varieties of lime juice on the market, most recipes call for fresh-squeezed juice for a better taste.