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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Alessandra Bulow

Are you ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

If you're planning a party, try whipping up the crowd-pleasing cocktail that's perfect for warm-weather get togethers: the margarita. This refreshing drink is a classic, go-to order that's actually perfect any time of the year — and it's incredibly easy to make without a sugary mixer.

Here are our top tips for how to make a perfect margarita every time, plus our favorite margarita recipes.

1. Use fresh lime juice

Resist the temptation to use a sour mix or store-bought bottled lime juice. A true margarita has very few ingredients, which means that the quality of each one is very important. To get the most juice out of your limes, microwave them for about 15 seconds, then roll them on the counter a few times before juicing.

2. Choose 100 percent agave tequila

Check out the label on the tequila bottle. If it says "100 percent agave," you're good to go. If the label doesn't have this, "then up to 49 percent of your tequila is actually fermented cane sugar," according to Bon Appétit. There are many good quality silver and blanco tequilas under $20, and, unless you prefer them, there's no need to pay extra for aged versions like reposado and añejo tequilas — their flavors will be masked by the citrus anyway.

RELATED: 4 tequilas under $20

3. Stick to a 2:1:1 ratio

Whether you're making a single margarita or a big batch for a party, you'll have a perfect pour every time if you stick to the ratio of two parts tequila, one part lime juice and one part triple sec or orange liqueur.

Now that you've got that down, it's time to shake things up with our recipe for the perfect margarita:

The Perfect Margarita

The Perfect Margarita

Maureen C. Petrosky

Want to get creative? Try these delicious ideas:

To make a salted rim: Run a wedge of lime along the lip of your glass and lightly dip into coarse salt.

To make it spicy: Add 4 thin slices of jalapeño, seeds removed.

To make it fruity: Muddle one hulled, ripe, sliced strawberry in the glass before adding the ice.

To make it fizzy: Add a splash of club soda.

To make it fizzy and spicy: Top with a splash of ginger beer.

Love margaritas? Try more of our favorite recipes:

Coconut Lime Margarita
Smollett Siblings' Ginger Ale Margarita
Ina Garten's Jalapeño Margarita

This article was originally published May 4, 2017.