Celebrate winter citrus season with a stunning blood orange margarita! Made with freshly squeezed blood orange and lime juices and a healthy dose of your favorite tequila, this vibrant blood orange margarita is perfectly zesty with a touch of natural citrus sweetness. You can make this citrusy drink as single servings or in a large pitcher for easy entertaining — everyone will love sipping on this delicious blood orange cocktail.
What Is a Blood Orange?
This is one of the most popular winter citrus fruits. While it looks similar to a navel orange, the inside features a jewel-tone flesh that gives this fruit its famous deeply colored juice.
But it's not just appearances that set apart blood oranges from regular oranges. This variety is also a bit sweeter with a more subtle acidity. After one sip of this winter margarita, you'll just love the right amount of sweetness that comes with its perfect citrusy kick — it truly makes for an ultra smooth taste and a welcome addition to any cocktail.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Celebrates winter citrus season: Blood orange season is here in all its glory, but it won't last for long. Those beautiful blood oranges only stick around for a portion of the year. Don't let the season pass you by without putting this blood orange margarita recipe to good use.
Only real ingredients: True margaritas don't use mixes. We only use fresh, simple ingredients to give you the best margarita.
Makes for the most beautiful cocktail: Just look at that color! That vibrant red hue is sure to turn heads with its pretty presentation. This is one impressive cocktail that will have your guests swooning.
Prepare a large batch for parties: If you want to make a single drink at a time, you certainly can, but I also included a pitcher recipe to make your hosting duties as simple as can be.
Now let's chat about a few ingredients notes to successfully make this delicious blood orange cocktail.
Tequila: I love a reposado tequila with my margaritas and truly believe it's the best tequila for this type of cocktail. Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels from anywhere from a couple months to a year. This gives the liquor a more nuanced flavor with a smoother finish than blanco tequila, or silver tequila, which generally goes straight into stainless steel barrels for fewer than 60 days for a cleaner, more agave-forward taste.
That said, it comes down to personal preference. Both tequilas make delicious margaritas, so you will have a tasty drink whether you use reposado or blanco, though I'm definitely partial to that oak barrel aging goodness.
Orange liqueur: Looking to make a top-shelf blood orange margarita? Grab the Grand Marnier or Cointreau. However, if you're perfectly fine with a house margarita, triple sec takes care of the job nicely.
Simple syrup: This gives us just a touch of sweetness to balance all that citrus. You can substitute agave nectar if you'd like.
Lime juice: We want fresh lime juice. Bottled lime juice lacks the brightness you get from fresh limes. A great cocktail calls for the best ingredients.
Blood orange juice: Like above, we want to use fresh blood orange juice.
OK, with our ingredients in hand, let’s get to it.
Step 1: We grab a cocktail shaker and add the blood orange juice, lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur (photo 1).
Step 2: To ensure our drink is perfectly chilled, we throw in some ice (photo 2). About a handful of ice will do.
Step 3: Now we pop on the top and give it a good shake (photo 3). I like to vigorously shake for about 15-30 seconds, which gives it enough time to develop condensation on the outside and perfectly chill the margarita.
Step 4: From here, we strain our blood orange margarita mix into our glass (photo 4). For a fun garnish, you can add a beautiful blood orange to the rim, or you can get extra fancy and serve it with some candied orange slices.
Now all that's left is to sip, smile and repeat. Don't you just love that sweet flavor of the blood orange?
How to Make a Pitcher
Now let's discuss how you can easily turn a single margarita into a pitcher recipe. In fact, I made a pitcher of blood orange margaritas for New Year's Eve, and not only was it a huge hit but it made entertaining a breeze. Here's what to do.
- Instead of using a cocktail shaker, we simply add the tequila, lime juice, blood orange juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup and a handful or two of ice to a margarita pitcher.
- We stir the margarita for about 20-30 seconds. This accounts for the dilution we'd get from shaking the margarita.
- Using a slotted spoon, we remove the leftover ice.
- Now we cover the pitcher and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. After that, the citrus starts to lose its brightness.
- Pour and enjoy!
You can find the proportions in the notes section of the recipe card.
Blood oranges are only in season from December through May. The only thing I don’t love about blood oranges is their short season, so let's try to consume as many blood oranges as possible these days. And if that means we have to drink a few more blood orange margaritas between now and May, so be it.
Fortunately, blood orange juice freezes well. I suggest buying a few extra, so you can enjoy this blood orange cocktails all year long. And trust me. Once you taste this cocktail, you’ll want to treat yourself to a blood orange margarita any time of year, so clear some freezer space. I promise you’ll be happy you did.
To do this, we cut a slit in the middle of a lime wedge and run it around the rim of your glass. Sprinkle some sea salt on a small plate and turn the glass rim upside-down in the salt.
Give it a few twists to really cling on that salt. Go ahead and garnish with fresh blood orange slices and some additional lime to jazz up that salted rim if you’re inclined.
While this blood orange margarita is plenty delicious, sometimes it’s fun to put a unique spin on cocktails. Here are a few ideas to make this blood orange margarita with a twist.
- Muddle with jalapeños for a spicy kick.
- Make an herb-infused simple syrup, like my ginger cocktail syrup.
- Mix in fresh strawberry purée.
- Add a splash of fresh cucumber juice for a refreshing twist.
- Top with club soda or ginger ale to make a sparkling blood orange margarita.
And these are just a few ideas. Margaritas are endlessly customizable, so feel free to get creative.
Pick limes that have some give when you lightly squeeze them: That means they’re nice and juicy. If you find one hard as a rock, keep looking.
Get the juice flowing: Before squeezing the lime juice, roll it firmly under the palm of your hand a few times. This releases the juices.
Use a handheld juicer: You’ll maximize the juice output this way.
No cocktail shaker, no problem: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a mason jar with a lid can take care of the job.
Take care when juicing: Blood orange juice can stain. If your countertops are susceptible to stains, I recommend setting out paper towels, juicing slowly and wiping up any spots immediately.
Opt for large ice cubes: Crushed ice is great for extra strong tiki drinks, but they melt too quickly here. Large ice cubes are the classic choice for margaritas.
There isn't a more perfect pairing than this blood orange salmon! We slow roast the salmon and then top it with a ginger-infused blood orange glaze. You'll just love the touch of spice the ginger adds and how the citrus cuts through the rich, buttery texture of the salmon perfectly.
And, of course, some Mexican food is never a bad idea when margaritas are involved. From snacks to main courses, here are a few ideas to make a complete party spread.
- Smoked queso dip
- Mango-habanero salsa
- Chorizo tacos
- Poblano enchiladas
- Salmon tacos
- Mexican shredded beef
- Spiced orange tres leches cake
I hope you welcome citrus season with a batch of these gorgeous blood orange margaritas. And don't forget to freeze some blood orange juice, so you can enjoy these margaritas all year long.
Love Your Margaritas?
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Blood Orange Margarita
- Cocktail shaker
- Citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- 1 lime slice cut in the middle
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt for garnish, optional
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice about 1 orange
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice about 1 lime
- 1 ounce orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau or triple sec
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 1 blood orange slice for garnish, optional
- For an optional salted rim, rub the lime along the rim of the glass to moisten. Pour the sea salt on a small plate or shallow bowl and swirl the glass in the salt. Set aside.
- Pour blood orange juice, tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.
- Put the top on the shaker and shake for about 15-30 seconds.
- Add ice to the margarita glass and strain the shaken margarita into the glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice if desired. Enjoy!
- Pick limes that have some give when lightly squeeze them. That means they’re nice and juicy. If you find one hard as a rock, keep looking.
- Before squeezing the lime juice, roll it firmly under the palm of your hand a few times. This releases the juices.
- Use a handheld juicer. You’ll maximize the juice output this way.
- If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a mason jar with a lid can take care of the job.
- Blood orange juice can stain. If your countertops are susceptible to stains, I recommend setting out paper towels, juicing slowly and wiping up any spots immediately.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.