Tommy’s Scratch Margarita (Tested)

Serves     Varies


Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, located in the Richmond district of San Francisco, has been an institution and a fixture for 50 years! It is one of the places I regularly visit whenever I am in that town visiting friends and relatives. The food is good, don’t get me wrong – but the margaritas! That’s why we go, to sit at the bar and chat with Julio Bermejo, Tommy’s son, (sadly, Tommy passed away a few years ago) and learn about all things tequila.

When we ordered our usual “Cadillac Margaritas,” Julio gladly made them for us. But when we were ready for another round, he took a chance on us and asked if we’d like him to make us his special “Tommy’s” margarita. We were game!

Julio developed this margarita more than 20 years ago. He thinks all you really need for a terrific margarita is great tequila, fresh lime juice, and a touch of agave syrup/nectar for sweetener. Triple Sec and Cointreau are often used, but he feels that it’s too overpowering and masks the taste of the tequila. If you can, splurge on a good quality tequila; he recommends 100 percent agave tequila. Julio also says that salt on the rim is a “no-no,” and that it’s basically used to mask the taste of cheap tequila. I was sorry to hear that since I love salt on the rim, but take Julio’s advice and skip the salt, or if you must, just salt half the rim.

Julio gladly shared his recipe with us, to tide us over until we can get back to visit him again.


For one:

2 oz. or ¼ cup 100 percent agave tequila

1 oz. or 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/2 oz. or 1 tbsp. agave nectar

lime wedges for garnish


Place ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Pour over fresh ice into a rocks glass, garnish with lime wedge.


For a pitcher:

2 cups tequila

1 cup fresh lime juice

½ cup agave syrup

lime wedges for garnish

Place ingredients into a pitcher filled with ice. Stir well until very cold. Divide between 6 – 8 glasses, garnish with lime wedges.

If you’d like salt on the rim, rub half the rim of the glass with a wedge of lime and roll in kosher salt.


Recipe credit: Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant

Photo credit: Neil Conway – originally posted to Flickr, titled Margarita. Used under Creative Commons Attribution- 2.0 Generic.


Notes and Instructions