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Applebee's Perfect Margarita

This isn't just the restaurant's popular drink, it's also a "perfect" margarita recipe. It has just the right proportions of tequila, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, sour mix and lime juice. Hint: use a homemade sour mix instead of the bottled kind.

ready in:
  under 30 minutes
Rating: 4/5

20 reviews


1 1/4 ounce Cuervo 1800 tequila
3/4 ounce cointreau
3/4 ounce grand marnier
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
4 ounces sweet and sour mix
1/2 ounce simple syrup


lime wedge


Chill glass well. Salt the rim if desired.

Mix all ingredients and pour into chilled glass. Garnish with lime wedge and olive.

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294 calories, 0 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein per serving. This recipe is low in sodium. This recipe is low in fat.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

  1. staff review

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    This margarita has a really good balance of flavors. Definitely use a good brand of tequila, that makes all the difference!

  2. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    This tastes exactly like it (when they make it right.) I made my own simple syrup (1:1 sugar and water) and my own sweet and sour mix (3 parts simple syrup 1 part lemon 1 part lime) and mixed it all together. At first it tasted kinda thick and a little different but then I noticed that as some of the ice melted and mixed in with the drink, the better it got. this is for sure the recipe.

  3. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    Cant seem to get it to taste like applebee's. Did anyone figure it out yet?

  4. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    Actually, for those if you posting that this recipe is incorrect, our incomplete, you are mistaken. I am currently an Applebee's bartender, and this is our EXACT recipe.

  5. Guest at

    REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating

    I think it's very close, but I made my own sweet and sour mix from scratch and it's a little too sweet, my fault! Added a little more regular lime juice (I did use Rose's in the drink but didn't want to sweeten it more) and a splash of olive juice to tone down the sweet. I think next time I'll check my sweet and sour mix and it will be perfect!

  6. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    Yep! This is the one from Applebee's. It really is the perfect margarita! Thanks, I've been trying different concoctions for some time now, and couldn't quite get it. (Had fun trying though)

  7. Guest at
    Guest Foodie

    I was a bartender at Applebee's and I agree that it's the sour mix that will throw this off. Make your own and you'll do better as the bottled stuff just doesn't cut it. Otherwise this recipe is quite close.

  8. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    Been rainy and cold here this week so we had a little "tropical" party one night and made margaritas with this recipe.

  9. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    My favorite margarita - both at Applebee's and now at home! I buy the bottle of simple syrup at the grocery store so I don't have to make it myself each time but if you can't buy it it's super simple to make just mix equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and let simmer until it gets a little syrupy. Don't let it crystalize.

  10. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    I've made this several times but will be making it in a big batch for the 4th of july fireworks tomorrow. It's perfect and everyone thinks I make the best margaritas!

  11. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    This is the PERFECT copy of the Perfect Margarita! I have a new favorite go to drink!

  12. Guest at

    Can anybody tell me how to make sweet & sour mix from scratch?

  13. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    Make sure you use fresh squeezed lime juice. The stuff you buy is NOT the same. Was a bartender at applebee's in college...

  14. Registered Member at
    Member since:
    Jul 18, 2011

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    I just made this and am drinking it now. It is so good and I think it tastes just like the one from Applebee's. I made sweet and sour mix and simple syrup from scratch, mixed it with Cointreau, Grand Marnier and 1800 Resposido Agave Tequila. I didn't have any extra limes from the sweet and sour mix so I used Rose's brand sweetened lime juice. I measured the amounts perfectly, added 3 olives and a tsp of olive juice. PERFECT!

  15. Guest at

    how do you make it a strawberry margarita?

  16. Guest at

    Can anyone tell me what "Simple Syrup" is?

    • Simple Syrup is one part sugar and one part water, boiled until "syrupy". I believe you can also buy pre-made simple syrup (some grocery stores and/or liquor stores may carry it)

  17. Guest at

    REVIEW: 3 star recipe rating

    only thing missing is .5 oz simple syrup

  18. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    This was absolutely PERFECT!!!!! Tastes just like Apple Bee's!

  19. Guest at

    REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating

    The liquor in this recipe is right, but the reason it doesn't taste the same as when made at the store is because Applebee's uses a signature sweet 'n sour mix that you can't get anywhere else. Unless you work at an Applebee's and your management allows you to buy a case of it. Really nothing compares to their sweet n sour, so no matter how hard you try with this maragarita it without it, it will never taste as good!

  20. Guest at

    REVIEW: 4 star recipe rating

    I worked at Applebee's for 5 years as a bartender. This recipe is close. To the reviewers that did not like this recipe I suspect you are using a bottled sweet and sour mix. Bottled sweet and sour is very strong and otherwise not good. Try making your own.

  21. Guest at

    REVIEW: 2 star recipe rating

    This recipe is nowhere near Applebee's Perfect Margarita. Not sweet, like Applebee's, and the alcohol:mixer ratio is ridiculous.

  22. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    this recipe works best frozen..... delicious!

  23. Guest at

    REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating

    I have tried Prefect Margaritas at every place in town and none can touch Applebee's. They sre absolutely delish!!!!

  24. Registered Member at
    Member since:
    Oct 30, 2005

    REVIEW: 2 star recipe rating

    This may tast close but I make them at home EXACTLY the way applebees makes them.there is a lot of things missing from this. I may add my recipe soon.

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