Margarita vs Daiquiri: Everything you should know 

Margaritas and daiquiris are two of the most popular mixed drinks in the United States. They both originated in Latin culture and can be traced back to Mexico and Cuba respectively. One is made with tequila and the other with rum, but other than that they have a very similar ingredient list, usually involving lime juice and simple syrup.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about both margaritas and daiquiris. This includes their histories, the most popular recipes, and which drink is stronger.

Overall, daiquiris and margaritas are very similar drinks. Both of these drinks are lime-based drinks that have the same general formula: 1 part sweet, 1 part sour, and 2 parts strong. However, the alcoholic base that they use is different which can give them very different flavors and makes each drink appeal to a different person.

Margaritas are made using 2 parts blanco tequila, 1 part simple syrup or triple sec (or a combination of the two), and 1 part lime juice. It can be served by the glass or made in larger quantities and served from a pitcher. A margarita is also typically served with ice.

Daiquiris are made using 2 parts white rum, 1 part simple syrup, and 1 part lime juice. Just like the margarita, it can be served by the glass or prepared in large quantities as it often is at parties and events. One difference between the two drinks is that daiquiris are not served over ice.

Both drinks can be made “frozen” which means that they have been blended with ice. Frozen drinks typically have slightly more alcohol since the ice tends to water down the flavors of the ingredients.

A Little History Of These Cocktail Recipes

The margarita and the daiquiri have a complicated history, as do most cocktails. It is not known exactly when they were invented or when they first became commercially available. However, there are some interesting stories behind both drinks that are worth learning about.

The History Of The Margarita

The margarita first came onto the scene in the 1930s when it was known as the daisy. Over time, the name evolved and the drink was first referred to as a margarita in 1953 in a magazine. 

Nobody is exactly sure where the drink came from and there are several different stories regarding its origins. Some stories claim that it originated in a bar in Baja California whereas others say that it was invented in honor of a showgirl.

Regardless, the margarita has been one of the most popular tequila based drinks and from the looks of things, it isn’t going anywhere and will remain a favorite drink for years to come.

The History Of The Daiquiri

Unlike the margarita, the history of the daiquiri is a bit clearer and is believed to be traceable to a man called Jennings Cox. He was working in mines in Daiquiri, Cuba as an engineer. 

One night when spending time with some of the other miners he ran out of gin and was forced to come up with a new cocktail mixture. All that he had was dry rum so to improve the flavor he decided to mix in some other ingredients and the daiquiri was created. 

The drink became popular in Cuba but didn’t make its way to the United States until the time of prohibition. During that time Americans were traveling to Cuba more frequently to access the hard liquor that was available there. In Cuba, they tried the daiquiri and it was eventually brought back to the United States. 

Since then its popularity continued to grow and it is now one of the most popular cocktails in the United States.


Although both cocktails are extremely popular, they have very different recipes and are based on different alcohols.

Margaritas are traditionally made with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and a sweetener. In contrast, daiquiris are made with a mixture of rum, lime juice, and a sweetener. Each drink does have a citrus flavor due to the lime juice, but the flavors of the alcohol give each drink a different feel.

Margarita Recipes


Here you will find some of the most popular margarita recipes and instructions on how to make each one. 

The Modern Margarita

The modern margarita is what you will most likely receive if you go and order a margarita from any bar in the world. It is a simple drink that can be served regularly or frozen.

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The ingredients:

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • ¾ oz Triple Sec Orange-Flavored Liqueur
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • ¼ oz Agave Nectar
  • Sea Salt (optional)

You will mix all of the ingredients together and shake them with ice. You should have prepared a glass and rimmed the glass using sea salt and lime. Once the drink has been chilled you will pour it into the prepared glass. 

If you decide to make a frozen margarita you will blend the ingredients with ice to create a slush-like consistency. With frozen margaritas, you may want to add a slightly stronger concentration of the ingredients as the ice will water the drink down and could reduce the flavor.

The Original Margarita – Daisy Style

The daisy-style margarita is only slightly different from the modern margarita. The main difference between the two is that the daisy-style margarita does not have any additional sweetener mixed into it. This means that the natural flavors of the other ingredients will be more prominent in the flavor profile of the drink.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • Sea Salt (optional)

Just like with the previous drink, you will rim a glass using lime and salt. You will then pour all of the ingredients into a shaker together with some ice. Once the drink has been chilled and thoroughly mixed you will pour it into the glass.

As you can see from the ingredients list, this drink contains slightly more triple sec. That along with the lack of sweetener means that this drink is stronger and will have a more prominent alcoholic flavor. 

To learn about some substitutes that you can use in place of triple sec, click here.

The Spicy Margarita

Another popular variation of the classic margarita is the spicy margarita. This margarita has the same base as the modern margarita, but it includes the addition of jalapenos. This gives the drink some spice and added depth to the flavor.

The ingredients:

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • ¾ oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • ¼ oz Agave Nectar
  • 3 Slices of Jalapeño – about a ⅛ – ¼ inch in width
  • Sea Salt (optional)

The first step in the spicy margarita making process is to muddle your jalapenos. This is what will release the flavor from the pepper and give the drink its distinctive spicy taste. You will want to muddle your peppers in your shaking tin until they are broken down into chunks and some juice has been released.

Once your jalapenos have been muddled you will add ice along with the rest of your ingredients. At this point, you will shake the drink until it is thoroughly mixed and the drink is chilled. Then you will pour the drink into your glass and garnish it with additional jalapeno slices.

Island Margarita

The island margarita is a fun, tropical take on the modern margarita. It has a deeper flavor than the modern margarita because it uses aged tequila as opposed to the blanco tequila that is found in most other margarita recipes.

The ingredients:

  • 2 oz Pineapple-Infused Reposado Tequila
  • ¾ oz Giffard Passionfruit Liqueur
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Pineapple Agave Syrup
  • Black Lava Salt

To prepare this margarita the process is very similar to that of the modern and original margarita. All that you need to do is add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice and combine them. Then you will pour the drink into a glass that has been lined with black lava salt. If you cannot find black lava salt, you can also use regular sea salt to line the glass. 

Optionally, you can garnish the drink with slices of pineapple and mint leaves. 

Daiquiri Recipes

Here you will find the instructions on how to prepare a classic daiquiri as well as some of the most popular variations of the drink.

The Classic Daiquiri

The classic daiquiri is a very simple drink that requires only three ingredients and a shaker to prepare. This makes it a great option if you are just getting into cocktail making and want a simple drink that will impress all of your friends.

The ingredients:

  • 2 oz White Rum
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
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To prepare this drink you will add ice to your shaker and pour all of the ingredients over the ice. You will then shake the drink for 10-15 seconds to thoroughly mix all of the ingredients and chill the drink. Once that is done you can pour your drink into a glass and it is ready to serve. 

The Hemingway Daiquiri

One popular variation of the classic daiquiri is the Hemingway daiquiri. This drink has the addition of maraschino liquor and grapefruit juice to add depth of flavor and additional sweetness.

The ingredients:

  • 2 oz White Rum
  • ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¾ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Grapefruit Juice
  • ¼ oz Simple Syrup

Just like with the other daiquiris, you will simply add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice and combine them for 10-15 seconds. Once that is done you can pour the drink into a glass and garnish it with grapefruit. 

The Santiago Daiquiri – Elevated

This daiquiri completely switches things up and uses lemon instead of lime juice. This helps to give the drink a slightly sweeter flavor. This drink also uses egg whites which gives the drink a beautiful foaming layer that rests on top of the drink. If you are allergic to eggs or simply don’t want to drink raw egg whites, you can always omit that ingredient.

The ingredients:

  • 2 oz Aged Rum
  • ½ oz Creole Shrubb
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Demerara Syrup
  • 2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • ¾ oz Egg White

To make this drink you will combine all of the ingredients in a shaker without ice, then you will shake it for 10 seconds. This will help to combine the ingredients and make a foam with the egg whites. After 10 seconds you will add in ice and shake for another 10 seconds to chill the drink.

Once the drink has been shaken you will want to double strain it to ensure that any chunks from the egg whites are strained out. Then you will pour it into a glass and it is ready to serve. 

The Proper Pineapple Daiquiri – Never Frozen

Although this drink sounds like it could be great frozen, it is best drank in its liquid form. This will allow all the flavors of the different alcohols and juices to shine through.

The ingredients:

  • 1 oz Aged Rum
  • 1 oz White Rum
  • ½ oz Pineapple Liqueur
  • ¾ oz Pineapple Juice
  • ½ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Pineapple Syrup
  • 2 Drops of Tiki Bitters

To make this drink you will combine all of your ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Once you have shaken the drink you will pour it into a glass where you can garnish it with pineapple and lime slices.

Is Daiquiri stronger than Margarita?

Whether or not your daiquiri is stronger than your margarita will completely depend on the specific rum that you use. 

The main alcohol that margaritas use is tequila which has a pretty standard alcohol content of 40%. This is a strong drink which means that you should not consume them in excess. However, since the alcohol content is standard, it is easy to know exactly how much alcohol you’re consuming.

On the other hand, rum does not have a standard alcohol content. Rum’s alcohol content can range from 5% to 80% depending on the maker. If the rum used in your daiquiri is of the weaker variety and has only 20-30% alcohol, then your drink will be weaker than a margarita. However, if your drink has extremely strong rum with over 40% alcohol, your daiquiri will be stronger than a margarita.

When you are drinking a daiquiri you should make sure to ask what type of rum is being used. That way you know exactly how much alcohol you are consuming and can pace yourself accordingly.

Final thoughts

Both of these drinks are incredibly popular and their popularity doesn’t look like it is going anywhere. Both drinks have very similar ingredients list being made from hard liquor, lime juice, and a sweetener.

No matter which drink you choose make sure to consume it responsibly. Both of these drinks contain strong alcohol and can easily be overdrank due to the added sweetener which can hide some of the flavors of the alcohol.