When Old Man Winter strikes, nothing gets you through the cold night like a seasonal cocktail by the fire. Made with sweet and savory rosemary simple syrup and bright white coconut milk, this Winter Wonderland Margarita is your perfect sipper for the occasion. Serve with a candied rosemary sprig for a sparkly, wintry touch.
Why You Need to Make This Recipe
Coconut is getting a makeover for this winter cocktail, and I have no doubt you’ll love the new vibes. Usually, I reserve coconut for my summer cocktails, like this tropical coconut-watermelon mojito, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Coconut cocktails were made for sandy beaches and turquoise water.
But why stop there? That pretty white coconut milk is also the perfect nod to snowy winters. Let's expand coconut's horizons, shall we?
Along with our snow-white look, I wanted this margarita to show off a wintry flavor. Enter our homemade rosemary simple syrup, which gives this margarita a savory, complex touch for a delicious yet unexpected twist that's sure to impress.
And this seasonal margarita will impress. Trust me. I made just one Winter Wonderland Margarita for my father-in-law on Christmas Eve, and after his rave review, I went into busy bartender mode, mixing up this cocktail left and right for the rest of the family.
Honestly, my only regret was not making this margarita pitcher style for easier entertaining, but at least I know better for next year. Live and learn, right?
Let’s chat ingredients. Here’s everything we need to make this winter margarita.
- Coconut milk
- Fresh lime juice
- Rosemary simple syrup
- Orange liqueur
- Sea salt for glass rimming
- Candied rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional but oh-so pretty)
For the coconut milk, make sure you get the unsweetened canned variety. This gives us pure, unadulterated coconut goodness as opposed to the kind in a carton. Coconut milk in a carton works great in smoothies, but canned coconut milk gives us a much richer flavor for our cocktail.
As I’ve discussed in my other margarita recipes, reposado tequila is my favorite type for margaritas. Reposado spends time aging in oak barrels for a more complex taste. To me, reposado tequila makes for a tastier drink.
That said, if you prefer blanco tequila, feel free to use that. We all have our different preferences.
And then there’s the orange liqueur. I usually reach for Grand Marnier or Cointreau, but your basic triple sec also works.
How to Make Rosemary Simple Syrup
Now let's start with our rosemary simple syrup. The rosemary simple syrup gives this margarita a savory quality to counter the sweetness.
While the rosemary flavor is subtle, it makes all the difference and adds the perfect complex touch, so please don't skip this step. Otherwise, you'll just have a coconut margarita, which is still delicious but not quite what we're going for with this winter cocktail recipe.
To make the rosemary simple syrup, we cook water, sugar and fresh rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan until the mixture comes to a low boil. Give it a stir to help dissolve the sugar, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep.
Bonus: You don't have to just use this rosemary simple syrup in this margarita recipe. If you're looking for more ways to use this rosemary simple syrup, give my blood orange-rosemary gin and tonic or rosemary Kentucky mule a try.
With our rosemary simple syrup prepared, we’re ready to start mixing.
Step 1: We grab a cocktail shaker and add our simple syrup, fresh lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, coconut milk and ice.
Step 2: Now we pop on the top and give it a good shake again. Who knew your arm would get such a workout just from making one margarita?
Step 3: For an extra pretty serving touch, I love to rim the glasses with coarse sea salt and garnish with a candied rosemary sprig.
And just like that, our Winter Wonderland Margarita is now ready for serving and sipping!
You sure can! Simply stir together the ingredients in a pitcher and store in the refrigerator. If you take a look at the notes section of the recipe card, I included proportions for an eight-serving pitcher.
If you need a different serving number than eight, the calculation is simple. Cocktails are measured in ounces, so multiple the number of ounces by the number of servings you need. Then, divide that number by eight. That will give you the cups measurement, which is easier to use when you're dealing with a large batch.
(Ounces of ingredient x number of servings) / 8 = cups measurement
I recommend making the pitcher of margaritas within 24 hours of serving. If you make margaritas too far ahead of time, the lime juice will start to lose its brightness.
- Before using the coconut milk, make sure you shake the can well. As it sits, the solids and liquid tend to separate. If the two are still separated when you open the can, a good stir will take care of the job.
- When shaking the cocktail shaker, use two hands for proper technique. This ensures you get enough force to chill and incorporate the ingredients.
- Before juicing the lime, firmly roll it on the counter to get the juice flowing.
- Make sure you pick limes that have a slight give when you press into them.
This winter margarita is perfect with dessert. To keep the wintry vibes going, I recommend pairing this margarita with a delicate angel food cake topped with sweet cranberry sauce.
You can make your own angel food cake or pick one up from the bakery and then use my spiced-brandied cranberry sauce for the topping. The coconut and savory rosemary work beautifully with the fresh orange zest and spices from the cranberry sauce. And they’ll look so festive together, which is just plain fun.
If you need an escape from these chilly months, I hope you try this Winter Wonderland Margarita. With that pretty white shade and glistening candied rosemary sprigs, this festive margarita is just what you need to get through the winter until spring arrives.
And, hey, even if you serve this margarita in the middle of July, it's still tasty. I certainly wouldn't judge.
Need More Winter Cocktails?
Winter Wonderland Margarita
- Cocktail shaker
- Citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Small saucepan
Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- Several fresh rosemary sprigs
Candied Rosemary Garnish
- Rosemary simple syrup
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- White sugar
Winter Wonderland Margarita
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 2 ounces coconut milk from a can, not a carton
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice about 1 lime
- 1 ounce orange liqueur preferably Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 1 ounce rosemary simple syrup
- Course sea salt for garnish, optional
- To make the rosemary simple syrup, bring the water, sugar and rosemary sprigs to a low boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Once it comes to a low boil and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can make this a couple weeks in advance.
- For the candied rosemary garnish, lightly dip a pastry brush into the rosemary simple syrup and coat the rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle with sugar. Set on a wire rack to dry for about an hour.
- Add the tequila, coconut milk, lime juice, orange liqueur, rosemary simple syrup and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. Pop on the top and shake vigorously for about 15 to 30 seconds.
- If desired, sprinkle course sea salt onto a small plate. Run a lime slice along the rim of the serving glass. Place the rim into the salt and swirl a few times to coat.
- Add ice to the serving glass. Strain the margarita into the glass. Garnish with the candied rosemary for an extra festive touch. Enjoy!
- To make drinks for a crowd, use eight limes, 2 cups tequila, 2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup orange liqueur and 1 cup rosemary simple syrup. That will give you eight servings. You can make it a few hours in advance and store in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind that coconut milk eventually settles so give it a stir before serving to make it all pretty and fun again.
- For the coconut milk, make sure you get the unsweetened kind that comes in a can and shake it well before using. Also, check to make sure it's straight coconut milk, not coconut cream or cream of coconut.
- Shake the coconut milk can well before using to ensure the solids and liquid incorporate. If they're still separated after opening, just give it a stir until it becomes one cohesive liquid.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.