Let's give your next party a lively touch with a big batch of this bright, citrusy Texas margarita recipe! Made with a delicious duo of freshly squeezed orange and lime juices with just the right kick of tequila, this refreshing margarita is always a crowd favorite. Don't be surprised if this becomes your new tried and true way to make margaritas. So let's start mixing — we have margaritas to sip.
What Is a Texas Margarita?
A classic margarita gets a fun twist by adding fresh orange juice to the ingredient list. The orange juice brings just a touch of sweetness that nicely balances the more tart lime juice.
Traditionally, a margarita is made with tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur and an optional sweetener. This combination certainly makes for a delicious drink. After all, there’s a reason a margarita is a beloved classic cocktail, but we get an extra dose of citrus with this Texas version.
As a Texan who now lives in Denver, I’ve had my fair share of margaritas during many happy hour nights enjoying some Tex-Mex. I promise you that this is one seriously tasty margarita.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
That burst of sweet, fresh orange juice: Hey, this is what makes the Texas margarita so special.
Real, simple ingredients: Ditch the sweet and sour mix, which results in a cloying, lackluster margarita. We use fresh juices to give this orange margarita the perfect pop of bright flavor.
Great for any occasion: Is there ever a bad time to serve a margarita? Nope! A well-made margarita is great for a casual backyard party on hot summer nights, but it equally makes the perfect welcome cocktail for a nice dinner party.
Serve as single drinks or pitcher style: Shake up a couple drinks at a time or serve in a pitcher to make entertaining a breeze.
Tequila: I almost always recommend reposado tequila over blanco tequila for my margaritas. Reposado tequila ages in oak barrels for two months to a year, which imparts a richer flavor and makes for a smoother finish. Of course, you’re welcome to use your favorite tequila, but reposado adds a more complex, sophisticated flavor. Reposado truly makes for one company-worthy drink.
Lime juice: Grab your citrus juicer because we absolutely want to use fresh lime juice. Bottled juice seriously lacks the same brightness and will give you a lesser-quality margarita.
Orange juice: Like the lime juice, go with freshly squeezed orange juice.
Orange liqueur: For a top-shelf Texas margarita, I recommend using Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Triple sec works for a more economical option.
Simple syrup: We just use a smidge. I’ve tested this recipe with and without simple syrup, and it truly rounds out the flavor.
Step 1: We begin by preparing our glass with a salted rim. To really play up the citrus duo, I like to also include some fresh lime and orange zest, though this is optional.
For this step, we pour some water onto a small plate and dip the glass into the water to moisten. Alternatively, we can cut a slit in the middle of a lime wedge and rub the lime along the rim. We then swirl the rim of the glass into the salt and zest mixture (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we add our tequila, lime juice, orange juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup and a handful of ice cubes to a cocktail shaker (photo 2).
Step 3: We put on the top and shake well (photo 3). A good 15-30 seconds works well.
Step 4: All that’s left is to strain our margarita into the salt-rimmed glass with ice (photo 4). For a fun touch, feel free to garnish with a lime wheel or orange slice.
Take one sip and fall in love with that Texas twist on a traditional margarita. Refreshing, isn’t it? Serve with some chorizo tacos or salmon tacos with a side of pineapple pico de gallo, and you have yourself the perfect meal.
Bonus: For more Texas recipes, you’ll love my authentic Texas chili.
Absolutely, agave syrup works well and is a popular alternative to simple syrup. In fact, tequila is made from agave, making for a nice pairing. I happen to like the flavor of simple syrup, so I tend to use that. You’re welcome to use either of the two in the same quantity.
The process is super easy — add the ingredients to a pitcher and stir. When you're ready to serve, shake as directed to get the proper dilution and aeration for the best texture. Plan on shaking 5 ounces per drink.
If you want guests to serve themselves, add a handful of ice to the pitcher and stir for about 15-30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the remaining ice. While you won't get the aeration, this adds some dilution that we would get with shaking.
If you pre-make a pitcher of this Texas margarita recipe, you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. After that, the lime juice will start to lose its brightness.
Use the proper shaking technique: Hold the cocktail shaker at a 90-degree angle and use both hands to ensure you get enough force.
Find juicy limes: Don’t just pick any lime at the grocery store. Buy bright green limes that have a bit of give when you squeeze them. This means the lime is nice and ripe.
Opt for cubed ice: Crushed ice is great for strong tiki drinks, but it melts too quickly for our margarita. We want cubed ice for both shaking and serving.
Make it spicy: For a fun variation, muddle some fresh jalapeño or habanero slices with simple syrup first. We Texans love a margarita with a little heat, after all.
Obviously, this calls for some Tex-Mex, and you can’t go wrong with these roasted poblano enchiladas with a verde sour cream sauce. A big dish of enchiladas is a Tex-Mex classic, and you’ll love how the punch of citrus brightens up those smoky peppers. The acidic juices also cut through the rich cheese filling and sour cream sauce nicely.
And, of course, you won't mind having a salty snack on hand. Try this seasoned pretzel recipe on the side.
When you need a fun take on your standard margarita, I hope you try these favorite Texas margaritas. Every sip is as refreshing as it gets.
Sip on More Margaritas
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- Cocktail shaker
- Handheld citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Water or lime wedge cut in center for salted rim, optional
- Coarse sea salt for salted rim, optional
- Freshly grated lime and orange zest for salted rim, optional
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 ounce orange liqueur preferably Cointreau or Grand Marnier for top shelf
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- For an optional salted rim, pour some water onto a small plate and mix together the coarse sea salt and zests on a separate small plate. Dip the rim of the glass in the water to moisten. Alternatively, you can run a lime slice along the glass. Swirl the moisten rim into the salt mixture. Set aside.
- Add the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker.
- Put on the top and shake vigorously, about 15-30 seconds.
- Strain into the serving glass filled with ice. If desired, garnish with a lime wheel or orange slice. Enjoy!
- Use limes that have some give when you press into them. Hard limes are dried out.
- Agave nectar can be substituted for simple syrup in the same quantity.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.