Make the Perfect Copycat Chili’s Presidente Margarita

Chili’s Presidente Margarita is truly a special drink made with anejo tequila, brandy, orange liqueur, and sour mix. Chili’s margaritas are some of the best you will find; now, you can recreate their signature margarita at home.

homemade Chili's Presidente Margarita on top of coasters


Make Chili’s Presidente Margarita at Home

Chili’s makes one of the best margaritas ever. You don’t have to decide who will be the designated driver. The signature presidente margarita is made with top-self ingredients; this is an elevated classic cocktail with a smooth finish you will love. You will want to use this copycat recipe if you have an occasion worth celebrating. 

Chili’s Bar and Grill serves a wide range of popular American fare and Tex-Mex cuisine, but the list of Chili’s drink recipes goes beyond the ordinary. Chili’s is one chain that prides itself on serving some of the best Margaritas. But perhaps the most loved of Chili’s Margarita recipes is the Presidente.

Chili’s Margarita Presidente is a premium cocktail that uses only top-shelf ingredients to re-imagine what a great Margarita can be by creating a smooth drink with a lot of kick. You will want to sip this one slowly to savor it. The complexity of the special ingredients make it so much better than a classic margarita.

Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Anejo tequila, Suaza Commemorativo recommended
  • Presidente brandy or your favorite brandy like (E&J Brandy)
  • Orange liqueur (Patrón Citrónge, Cointreau, or triple sec)
  • Sour mix
  • Lime juice – fresh lime juice is best
  • Margarita salt
Chili's Presidente Margarita ingredients

Notes on the Ingredients of Chili’s Presidente Margarita

Suaza Commemorativo Tequila

Although most Margaritas are made with a blanco tequila, meaning a clear and unaged tequila, the Presidente Margarita requires a much older one. Suaza Commemorativo rests for years in oak casks to smooth the rough edges common in younger tequila and develop a distinctive taste. If you cannot find this premium spirit, use any añejo tequila.

Presidente Brandy

Presidente Brandy is the spirit that not only lends its name to the cocktail but also makes it truly specialPresidente Brandy is the best-selling liquor in Mexico, and for a good reason: it is impressive stuff. Smooth, with just a bit of bite, it pairs surprisingly well with an older tequila. But Presidente Brandy does come at a premium price. Therefore, you may wish to substitute a less expensive brand like E&J.

Patrón Citrónge Orange

Patrón Citrónge Orange replaces ordinary Triple Sec in this Margarita recipe. Distilled in Mexico, this pure and 100 percent natural orange-flavored liqueur has a wonderfully bold flavor that can stand out in this cocktail. If you cannot find Patron Citronge Orange, you can use Cointreau or Triple Sec in its place.

Something This Good Deserves a Fair Shake

Chili’s takes great care in crafting extraordinary cocktails, even going as far as advertising that they give each one of their Presidente Margaritas 25 shakes by hand. Whether 25 is the optimum number of shakes is still debatable; the need for severe shaking is not.

Shaking not only mixes and cools the cocktail but also slightly dilutes it while incorporating air that helps to bring out the complex flavors of the drink.

How to Make Chili’s Presidente Margarita

  1. Cut the lime into wedges.
  2. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a margarita glass.
  3. To get that salted rim, dip the wet glass rim into margarita salt
rubbing a lime wedge on the rim of a margarita glass
rimming a margarita glass with salt
  1. Fill the glass with ice. 
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add tequila, brandy, orange liquor, and sour mix.
Pouring sour mix into a glass to make a Chili's Presidente margarita.
Pouring tequila into a glass to make Chili's Presidente margarita.
  1. Add ice to the shaker.
  2. Shake until blended.
homemade Chili's Presidente Margarita and ice in a cocktail shaker
homemade Chilis Presidente Margarita in a cocktail shaker
  1. Strain and pour over the ice in the margarita glass.
  2. Garnish with a lime slice, wedge, or twist and serve.
two homemade Chili's Presidente Margaritas

Tips for Making and Serving Chili’s Presidente Margarita

  • Use a Margarita glass. You can use any glass you want to serve this cocktail, but this premium drink deserves a proper Margarita glass. The stem allows you to hold the glass without warming it, and the extra-wide rim also allows for plenty of salt. Grab a blue-rimmed glass and a plastic blue shaker if you want to enjoy it, just like at Chilis. In a pinch, you could use a martini glass.
  • Rim the glass with salt. Sometimes salt on the rim is overkill, but not for this recipe. Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of the glass and then dip it onto a plate full of Margarita salt.
  • Make your own Margarita salt. Combine the zest of one lime and half of an orange with two tablespoons of kosher salt. Use a rolling pin to crush together.

Check out more of our Chili’s recipes on YouTube!

homemade Chili's Presidente with a lime twist

Love Chili’s? Try these copycat recipes!

For lots of great drinks, try reading The Bartender’s Companion: A Complete Drink Recipe Guide by Robert Plotkin.

Check out more of my copycat restaurant recipes and the best cocktail recipes here on CopyKat!

homemade Chili's Presidente Margarita on top of coasters

Chili’s Presidente Margarita

You can make Chili's famous presidente margarita at home.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chilis Recipes, Presidente Margarita
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 195kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 ounce Sauza Commemorativo Anejo Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Presidente Brandy
  • 1/2 ounce Patron Citronge
  • 3 ounces sour mix
  • splash lime juice

Instructions

  • Cut lime into wedges.
  • Rim glass with 1 wedge of lime.
  • Dip wet margarita glass rim into margarita salt.
  • In a boston shaker add tequila, brandy, orange liquor, fill with ice.
  • Shake. Pour over fresh ice in the salt rimmed margarita glass.

Equipment

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 16mg | Sugar: 14g

A fellow viewer graciously submitted this recipe!

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Joan L.

    5 stars
    This sounds great. Under the ingredients you have Cointreau listed. Going further down in the description of the different ingredients you have Patron Citronge Orange. Grand Marnier is also a higher end orange liqueur that could replace either of those. Also, you list sour mix under the ingredients but, in the directions you do not state when you add it. I am guessing to the cocktail shaker along with the other ingredients????

  2. Cheri

    You go into great detail for all the steps and ingredients except the 3 oz. of sour mix. What is in it? Can it be made at home if so what is the recipe? If not what is your recommended brand?

    • Stephanie Manley

      I usually use Master of Mixes for most cocktails when I make them. Because I think this would represent a normal every day bar. When making cocktails for friends on a cocktail night, I will make it from scratch. When I make it from scratch I combine 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup lime juice, 1 cup water, and 1 cup demerara sugar. You need to store this in the fridge, the shelf life on this is about a week.

5 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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