This Orange Margarita recipe combines all the delicious flavors of a margarita that you love with fresh citrus juices to make the perfect warm weather drink!
It is no secret that my go to beverage is a margarita. And now that Spring is upon us and with Summer quickly approaching, there are all these delicious fruits out there ready to be apart of my favorite warm weather drink!
The first time I had an Orange Margarita, I was sitting in a lounge chair on the beach and a server brought it to me. Now, when I make these at home, I try to pick a warm day so that I can sit on my patio, close my eyes, take a sip, and almost be transported back to that beach. The fresh citrus flavors of this margarita truly make it taste tropical. So, if you are wanting a light and fresh margarita this recipe is for you!
How to Make an Orange Margarita
Assemble your ingredients. For exact amounts see the recipe card below.
Rim your favorite glass with sugar and add in ice.
Pour the tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, lime juice, and orange juice into a cocktail shaker over ice. If you do not have a cocktail shaker and are in need of one I recommend the Cocktail Shaker Bar Set from Amazon.
Shake it up.
Pour into your prepared glass, garnish with a lime and orange slice, and enjoy!
Use High Quality Ingredients
Tequila: The quality of your tequila will have a significant impact on the final taste of your margarita. Choose a high-quality silver tequila for a smoother flavor.
Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice will provide a brighter, more robust flavor compared to store-bought varieties.
Lime Juice: Always use fresh lime juice for the best flavor. Bottled lime juice often has a flat and dull flavor compared to fresh.
Cointreau: This orange liqueur adds depth and complexity to your margarita. It can be replaced with other orange liqueurs, but the distinct taste of Cointreau is hard to beat.
The type of tequila you use can greatly influence the flavor of your margarita. While we recommend Silver or Blanco Tequila, you could try Reposado as well.
Blanco Tequila (also known as Silver or Plata): This is a clear, unaged tequila that provides a pure, robust agave flavor. It’s often used in margaritas because of its assertive flavor which holds up well against the lime and orange juices. If you want your margarita to have a bold tequila taste, blanco tequila is the way to go.
Reposado Tequila: Reposado means “rested,” and these tequilas are aged in oak barrels for between 2 months to 1 year. This aging process mellows the agave flavor and imparts a subtle woody or caramel-like flavor. Reposado tequila can make your margarita more smooth and complex.
Remember, the quality of tequila matters, so choose a 100% agave tequila for the best flavor, whether you’re choosing blanco or reposado.
Selecting the ideal orange variety for your Orange Margarita can elevate your cocktail experience, accentuating the fresh, citrusy notes in a unique way. The type of orange used can influence the balance between sweetness and acidity, leading to a more nuanced flavor profile. From widely available and versatile options to those that add a distinctively rich twist, the choice ultimately depends on your personal preference. Explore these three possibilities and let the vibrant taste of your homemade Orange Margarita charm your senses:
Navel Oranges: These are the most common type of oranges and are readily available. They have a balanced flavor—neither too sweet nor too tart—and yield a good amount of juice, making them a solid choice for this recipe.
Valencia Oranges: Often referred to as summer oranges, they are juicier and sweeter than many other varieties. They can make your Orange Margarita taste sweeter and more robust.
Blood Oranges: These oranges have a distinct raspberry-like flavor in addition to their usual citrus notes. Using fresh blood oranges could give your margarita a unique and sophisticated twist.
The choice of orange type depends largely on your personal preference and the specific flavor profile you’re looking for in your Orange Margarita. If you prefer a more balanced drink, then choose the Naval oranges. If you like a sweeter drink, Valencia or blood oranges could be your favorite.
Sparkling Orange Margarita: For a bubbly twist on this classic, top off your Orange Margarita with a splash of club soda. Prepare your margarita as directed, but before garnishing, pour a bit of chilled club soda into the glass—about 1 to 2 oz. should do, depending on your preference. This will not only give your drink a delightful fizzy texture but also slightly dilute the cocktail, making it a bit lighter. It’s the perfect way to add a refreshing bubbles to your margarita!
Strawberry Orange Margarita: Add 1 oz. of strawberry puree to the shaker for a fruity twist.
Spicy Orange Margarita: Muddle a couple of jalapeno slices in the shaker before adding the other ingredients for a spicy kick.
Honey Sweetened: If you prefer to use a natural sweetener, honey can be a fantastic alternative to simple syrup. Its rich, floral notes can add depth to your margarita, creating a unique flavor profile. Replace the 1 oz. of simple syrup with about 1 to 1.5 oz. of honey, adjusting to taste. Remember, honey is denser and sweeter than simple syrup, so you might need less than you think. Start with a smaller amount and add more if desired.
To ensure the honey mixes well with the other ingredients, you can also consider making a honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and warm water, then stir until the honey is completely dissolved. This honey syrup can substitute for the simple syrup on a one-to-one basis.
Salted Rim Variation: If your preference leans toward a salty accent instead of a sweet one, then opt for a salt-rimmed glass. To achieve this, simply cut a wedge from a fresh lime and run the lime wedge along the rim of your glass, ensuring it’s thoroughly moistened. Then, overturn the glass and carefully dip the wetted rim into a plate of coarse salt, rotating until it’s uniformly coated. This will create an appealing contrast of flavors in your Orange Margarita, enhancing the overall tasting experience.
Chill your glass in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before preparing the margarita. This will keep your drink cooler for longer.
Adjust the amount of simple syrup based on your sweetness preference in case you are more of a fan of the tangy flavor or do not prefer your beverages to be sweet. Start with none or ½ oz. and add more if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can substitute Cointreau with another orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Triple Sec.
Yes, you can make a larger batch in a large pitcher and refrigerate it. Just leave out the ice until you’re ready to serve to avoid diluting the margarita.
You can substitute the tequila and Cointreau with more orange juice and a splash of lime soda for a refreshing mocktail.
Recipes to pair with an Orange Margarita
An Orange Margarita pairs wonderfully with Mexican cuisine. The citrusy notes of the margarita complement the spices used in dishes such as:
- Birria Tacos
- Asadero Cheese and Steak Tacos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Tequila and Lime “Margarita” Chicken Fajitas
- Creamy Enchilada Crockpot Vegetarian Chili
- Taco Zucchini Boats
- Vegan Sweet Potato Fajitas
Orange Margarita Recipe
- 3 oz fresh Orange Juice
- 2 oz Silver Tequila
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz fresh Lime Juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- Orange and Lime slices for garnish - optional
- Rim your favorite glass with sugar and add in ice
- Pour the tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, lime juice, and orange juice into a cocktail shaker over ice.
- Shake it up.
- Pour into your prepared glass, garnish with a lime and orange slice, and enjoy!