Orange Margarita Recipe

Sweeten your Mexican cocktail to make an Orange Margarita—tequila, lime, and agave are joined with an orange liqueur for one powerful citrus blast.

Orange Margarita Recipe

The Margarita is Mexico’s most well-known cocktail, even if it isn’t our south neighbor’s official adult beverage (that honor goes to the Paloma). Despite this fame, its origins are shrouded in mystery. And by “mystery”, I mean, no one can quite agree on who exactly first concocted it. There are some who credit Carlos “Danny” Herrera, a bartender in Tijuana, Mexico, in the late 1930s/early 1940s. Danny had a customer named Marjorie King whom Danny obviously must have had a soft spot for. Such was Danny’s affections that he honored King by naming a drink after her. The other popular theory credits Margaret “Margarita” Sames, who supposedly served it to guests while on vacation in Acapulco.

Was it love or hosting duties that brough the Margarita into the world? We will probably never know for sure. In any case, at some point since that monumental moment, someone added orange and thus, the Orange Margarita was born. The staples are still there—tequila, lime juice, agave syrup—but included is an orange liqueur that boosts the flavors and makes this one citrus-powered and sweet cocktail.

Which Orange Liqueur Should I Use?

You’ve got four options: triple sec, Cointreau, Southern Comfort, and Grand Marnier. All bear an orange taste that—surprise, surprise—would mix well as part of an Orange Margarita. It’s up to you whether you stick to just one or combine two or more of these options to make something more unique. The basic is triple sec. It’s clear and low in alcohol. Cointreau is a premium brand of triple sec. It has a higher alcohol percentage and a more complex flavor profile than most triple secs. Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored Cognac brandy. It is similar to Cointreau, complex and strong. Southern Comfort has a mix of fruits and spices, and while it isn’t usually suggested when making an Orange Margarita, I’ve found its broad flavor palate a nice addition.

What is the Best Tequila to Use to Make an Orange Margarita?

Tequila comes from the fermented juices of the blue agave plant, which you will find in copious amounts in the Jalisco region of Mexico. This is where the town of Tequila lies. We have its citizens to thank for distilling the spirit which gets its name from its home. Of course, there is more than one type of tequila available, with age and color helping to differentiate one from another:

  • Blanco (silver) is light in color and taste. Because it is so mild, relatively speaking, I usually use it when I want a hint of agave flavor and would prefer the other ingredients to shine.
  • Reposado is an amber tequila. It takes on that color once it has spent two months to a year aging in oak casks.
  • Añejo and Extra Añejo (aged and extra aged, respectively) are the oldest kinds of tequila. Añejo is one to three years of age while Extra Añejo is older than three.
Orange Margarita Recipe
Servings 1
5 minutes

Ingredients

  • oz. silver tequila
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur like Cointreau or triple sec
  • 2 oz. lime Juice about 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp organic agave syrup
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • salt for the rim
  • ice cubes
  • lime wheel (optional garnish)

Instructions

  • Take a lime wedge and slide it around the rim of your glass to moisten it. Spread a pinch of salt on a flat plate. Dip your glass rim into the salt.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, agave syrup, and grenadine.
  • Shake vigorously for 20–30 seconds.
  • Fill your prepped glass with fresh ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass. Garnish and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.1mg

FAQs & Tips

Other Margarita Variations To Try

Virgin Orange Margarita: Drop the tequila and orange liqueur and replace with orange juice:

  • Blood Orange Margarita: A bolder version of the Orange Margarita, with the “bloody” versions of the fruit being used.
  • Frozen Orange Margarita: The current recipe made in a blender with crushed ice. A tasty way to cool off while out in the sun.
  • Blue Margarita: Surf’s up with this Tiki-influenced cocktail that is meant to be slurped on the beach.

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