Turn everyone’s favorite tequila cocktail into the perfect holiday sipper with this gingerbread margarita! A homemade gingerbread simple syrup gives this Christmas margarita a burst of warm seasonal spices while the fresh lime juice and orange liqueur add just the right brightness. You’ll want to serve this signature Christmas cocktail at every holiday party.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Puts everyone in a fun and festive mood.
- Uses a homemade gingerbread syrup made from fresh ginger for the best flavor.
- Calls for fresh lime juice and no fake margarita mix.
- Batches easily to serve a crowd and make holiday hosting super simple.
Tequila: I highly recommend reposado tequila. Reposado tequila rests in oak barrels for two to 12 months while blanco tequila isn’t aged. The barrel aging gives tequila a smoother finish with vanilla and caramel notes that beautifully complement the gingerbread spice.
Gingerbread simple syrup: For this, we need water, dark brown sugar, molasses, fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice, orange zest and vanilla extract.
Lime juice: We want freshly squeezed lime juice instead of bottled lime juice. The flavor of the two doesn’t even compare.
Cinnamon and sugar: This is for a fancy cinnamon and sugar rim. While it’s optional, the sugared rim makes for such a fun presentation for the holidays.
Prepare the Gingerbread Simple Syrup
Step 1: We first need to make our gingerbread syrup. For this component, we bring the syrup ingredients except for the vanilla extract to a boil in a small saucepan (photo 1).
Step 2: Once it boils, we turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and let the mixture steep (photo 2).
Step 3: After steeping, we strain the solids from the liquid in a fine-mesh sieve, and we have our gingerbread syrup (photo 3).
Shake the Gingerbread Margarita
Step 1: For a pretty holiday touch, we start by making a cinnamon-sugar rim. We first run a lime slice along the rim of the glass to moisten and then swirl it in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on a small plate (photo 4).
Step 2: Now we grab our cocktail shaker and add the tequila, gingerbread simple syrup, lime juice, orange liqueur and ice (photo 5).
Step 3: From here, we secure the cocktail shaker top and shake vigorously (photo 6).
Step 4: After mixing, we remove the top and strain the drink into the rimmed glass (photo 7). For a fun garnish, a cinnamon stick, candied rosemary sprig or lime wedge is perfect.
Let’s now take a sip and enjoy an extra burst of holiday cheer. And if you’d like more festive options, check out my guide to holiday cocktails.
How to Make a Pitcher of Gingerbread Margaritas
Hosting a holiday party? Here’s how you can turn this into a pitcher margarita recipe for easy entertaining.
- Stir together the margarita ingredients in a large pitcher.
- Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Stir well and then pour the margarita into a cocktail shaker and shake as originally directed with ice.
I still recommend shaking the drink to get the proper aeration and dilution, but pre-measuring everything in the pitcher makes mixing so much faster. You can find the exact proportions in the notes section of the recipe card.
Absolutely, you can substitute the tequila for a zero-proof tequila and the orange liqueur for orange juice to make a tasty gingerbread mocktail. Another option is to substitute the tequila for cranberry juice.
I highly recommend using this homemade gingerbread simple syrup. A cocktail is only as good as its ingredients, and this syrup is simply much richer with more prominent spices than a store-bought syrup.
If you keep the gingerbread syrup in a sterile, airtight container, it should last for two to three weeks.
Use juicy limes: Skip any rock-hard limes — those are dried out. We want limes that have some give when pressing into them.
Firmly roll the limes before juicing: This helps get the juice flowing.
Shake the gingerbread syrup before using: This is a thicker syrup, so it helps bring the mixture back together.
Blend with crushed ice to make a frozen gingerbread margarita: I like using crushed ice for frozen drinks because it blends easier. You can blend ½ cup crushed ice per drink.
Add a sparkling finish: If you'd like to get extra fancy, top with a splash of ginger ale or ginger beer.
Of course, we need some gingerbread-flavored treats to go with this festive margarita, and I have some tasty options for you. These are some of my favorites.
Beyond these sweet treats, this margarita would also be lovely with my Christmas roast duck. This duck is coated with a spiced cranberry glaze that’s perfect with the gingerbread’s warming notes, and you’ll love how the lime juice perks up the rich meat.
Let’s get merry this holiday season and shake up this gingerbread margarita. This jolly cocktail always adds a special touch to any celebration.
Celebrate With More Christmas Cocktails
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- Small saucepan
- Fine-mesh sieve
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Cocktail shaker
- Handheld lime juicer
Gingerbread Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh ginger peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- ⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup unsulphured molasses not the blackstrap variety
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon for garnish, optional
- White sugar for garnish, optional
- Lime slice slit cut in the center
- 2 ounces reposado tequila
- 1 ounce gingerbread simple syrup
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- Cinnamon stick or lime wedge for garnish, optional
Gingerbread Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, dark brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Stir every so often to help dissolve the sugar.
- When the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
- Strain the syrup to separate the solids. Allow the mixture to cool and store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator.
- On a small shallow plate, mix together the ground cinnamon and sugar. Run the lime along the side of the margarita glass to moisten and then swirl the rim in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
- Add the tequila, gingerbread simple syrup, lime juice, orange liqueur and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker.
- Secure the cocktail shaker top and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
- Remove the cocktail shaker top and strain the drink into the rimmed glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or lime wedge if desired. Enjoy!
- You can store leftover gingerbread syrup in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
- Look for limes that have some give when you press your fingers into them to ensure they're ripe and juicy. Roll them firmly on the countertop before juicing. This helps get the juice flowing.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.