Orange Margarita – The Perfect Summer Cocktail Recipe

If you’re looking for a refreshing spin on the classic margarita, an Orange Margarita could be your new go-to cocktail. Made with fresh-squeezed orange juice, tequila, and a hint of lime, it’s a deliciously tangy and citrusy drink.


To make an Orange Margarita, you need a few essential tools.

  • Cocktail shaker: This is important for mixing your ingredients well.
  • Measuring tools: Use a jigger to measure your liquids accurately.
  • Juicer: A manual citrus juicer or electric juicer helps extract fresh orange and lime juice.
  • Strainer: A fine strainer ensures a smooth drink, free of pulp or ice shards.

Other Helpful Items

  • Ice: Use fresh ice for shaking and serving.
  • Knife: Perfect for cutting oranges and limes.
  • Glassware: Margaritas are best enjoyed in margarita glasses.

Optional Tools

  • Blender: For a frozen version, blend all ingredients with ice.
  • Cocktail picks: Use these for garnish or decoration.
  • Salt rimmer: To easily salt the rim of your glasses.


To make a delicious Orange Margarita, you will need a few simple ingredients.

  • 2 oz silver tequila
  • 1.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 oz triple sec (or Cointreau)
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • Simple Syrup: Optional, ¼ to ½ ounce depending on your taste preference.
  • Salt or Sugar: Optional. For rimming the glass. Use a wedge of lime to moisten the rim before dipping it in salt or sugar.


To make a perfect Orange Margarita, start by preparing the glass. Rub a lime wedge around the rim and dip it in salt. This creates a classic salted edge.

Add ice to the shaker and shake thoroughly until the mixture is chilled. Strain the mixture into the prepared glass.

Fill the glass with ice if desired. Garnish with a slice of lime or orange for an extra touch. Serve immediately.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, add 0.25 to 0.5 oz of simple syrup or agave syrup to the mixture before shaking. Adjust to your taste preferences.

Tasting Notes

An Orange Margarita bursts with vibrant citrus flavors. The cocktail features Cara Cara orange juice or another orange variety. This juice provides a sweet, fruity base.

The tequila adds a smooth, bold character. Higher-quality tequila enhances the drink’s overall profile. Look for a 100% agave tequila for the best experience.

The Cointreau or triple sec delivers an additional layer of citrus. It enhances the orange notes without overwhelming the palate.

You’ll also notice fresh lime juice. This ingredient balances the sweetness with its tangy acidity.

A touch of simple syrup can be added based on your sweetness preference. It rounds out the flavors perfectly.

When garnished with a salt rim, the Orange Margarita achieves a wonderful contrast. The salt offsets the citrus and adds a savory touch.

Similar Cocktails

There are many cocktails similar to the Orange Margarita. Each has its unique twist, often involving citrus flavors and various liqueurs.

One well-known option is the Cosmopolitan. It combines vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice. This drink offers a sweet-tart flavor profile that is both refreshing and sophisticated.

Another popular choice is the Mexican Mule, which is a twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Replace the vodka with tequila, add fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and ginger beer. It’s a spicy and citrusy drink perfect for any occasion.

The Sidecar is a timeless cocktail with a balance of sweet and sour notes. It includes cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. This elegant drink is often served in a sugar-rimmed glass.

Ward 8 is another versatile cocktail. It consists of rye whiskey, fresh lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine. This combination makes it suitable for any season.

If you enjoy the Orange Margarita, these cocktails provide similar experiences. Each brings a unique blend of flavors but shares a common citrusy delight.


The Orange Margarita has a rich history, tracing back to the classic margarita. The margarita itself has various origin stories. One popular tale links it to Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, created by barman Don Carlos Orozco in 1941.

The standard margarita became famous in the mid-20th century. It traditionally used tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur like triple sec.

In 1971, Mariano Martinez invented the first frozen margarita machine. This machine was later acquired by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It contributed to the cocktail’s popularity.

Adding orange juice or puréed fruits to the classic margarita created the Orange Margarita. This version often enhances or reduces the amount of orange liqueur according to taste.

Variations of the margarita grew over time, incorporating flavors such as blood orange, mango, and pomegranate. These variations highlight the versatility and enduring appeal of the drink.

When to Serve

Orange Margaritas are perfect for various occasions year-round.

Summer Gatherings

Serve Orange Margaritas at barbecues, pool parties, or casual backyard gatherings. The citrus flavor pairs well with grilled foods.

Holiday Celebrations

During holiday seasons, an Orange Margarita provides a refreshing alternative to traditional cocktails. Ideal for Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, or New Year’s Eve.

Brunch Events

These cocktails are a hit at brunches and daytime gatherings. The fresh citrus notes complement breakfast and brunch dishes.

Happy Hours

Serve Orange Margaritas during happy hour at home. They make a fun and festive drink to unwind with.

Special Occasions

Orange Margaritas are perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations. They add a unique touch to any special event.

You can also enjoy Orange Margaritas any time you want a refreshing and vibrant cocktail.

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