A blood orange margarita is just a delicious classic margarita with extra blood orange! It’s plenty tart and sweet from the blood orange and lime, with a rush of tequila and orange liqueur. A perfect and easy cocktail for brunch, pool parties and of course – Cinco de Mayo! It is easy to make for a crowd, as it’s just a simple stirring situation.
This cocktail is America’s favorite cocktail to order at a bar, 18 % of all cocktail orders are in fact, margaritas. And I totally see why, that sweet and tangy drink sure is easy to like.
History of the classic margarita recipe
As with many stories about who invented what, we can’t tell for sure which story is right. However, the most widely common theory about the classic margarita cocktail is that of Texas socialite Margarita Sames. In the late 40s, Margarita lived a crazy party life with her husband. She supposedly got the idea when she was looking for a new, refreshing drink to serve her many guests on vacation in Acapulco, Mexico.
The main advantage of the drink, was that she could drink a lot of it without getting too drunk (wait whaat! I had to make it weaker…).
Another story is that of bartender/restaurant owner Carlos ‘Danny’ Herrera, in Tijuana, Mexico. He claims to have invented the margarita in 1938, when a restaurant goer, Marjorie King, declared she was allergic to all spirits apart from tequila, but didn’t like to drink it straight. He took the classic tequila shot with lime and salt, and created the margarita out of it.
Read more about the mystery behind who created the margarita, here.
The classic margarita recipe
Like all my other cocktail recipes, I like to always add the classic version so you know what to expect. I’ve done this with gin fizz in my Apricot Rosemary Gin Fizz, Whiskey Sour (although this is more of a classic itself, but added a version for ginger too because yum), and this Blackberry Martini is also a classic with just added blackberry syrup. I’m not really sure about the Penicillin Cocktail, but that is hella fantastic so you need to check it out anyway!
The classic margarita recipe calls for 1 part Cointreau (or Triple Sec), 1 part lime juice and 3 parts tequila. However, some also states the 3-2-1 ratio: 3 parts tequila, 2 parts Cointreau and 1 part lime juice. Honestly, neither of these ratios agree with my palate. I like my drinks sour and not so strong, and so this blood orange margarita has a 1-1-1 ratio.
Any ratio is ok, as long as you find it delicious! The most important thing to remember, if you want to call it a margarita, is to use tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur.
Please, please – do NOT – use any pre-mixed sour Margarita mixes. There really is zero reason to use the stuff, when you can just juice some fantastic tangy and mega fresh limes (and blood oranges, duh!).
What tequila do I use for a blood orange margarita?
Blanco tequila is best suited for margaritas. ‘Blanco’ or ‘silver’ means the tequila is clear. They don’t overwhelm the other components of the drink. Darker tequilas are bolder, and best suited on their own. Here are a few blanco tequilas that are suited for blood orange margaritas – or any margaritas.
And what about the Triple Sec?
Triple Sec is an orange liqueur. A margarita needs orange liqueur, but what brand you choose is up to you. Triple Sec and Cointreau are the most common.
I’m a huge fan of Cointreau – that is the orange liqueur of my choice. I put it in orange cranberry sauce, cranberry sangria and oh – even more cranberry – cranberry sauce breakfast muffins. Cointreau works so well with the tangy stuff, aka lime (and cranberries).
Blood orange is seasonal – freeze the juice for 18 months!
Isn’t it great?
We can have a blood orange margarita all year round! All you need to do, is to juice all the blood oranges you can get, once they are in season – which is January-March-ish. Fruit juices only stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days, but they can actually freeze for up to 18 months. The longer you freeze it, the less nutrition is retained, but the flavor will still be there.
The one thing you need to keep in mind when freezing fruit juices, is that frozen liquid expands. So you shouldn’t fill the container all the way up (half an inch should do the trick). Thaw the jar or container in the refrigerator overnight. Give it a good stir or a shake before drinking it as it can separate a little while thawing.
If you read this after blood orange season and didn’t get to freeze any blood orange juice, you can choose whatever citrus fruit you like, such as more lime (can never get enough lime!) or regular oranges.
Scroll down to find a printable recipe card. Enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here’s more Cinco de Mayo worthy recipes:
- Cheesy Beef and Beans Enchiladas
- Easy Tacos al Pastor
- Fresh and Spicy Guacamole (the best ever!!)
- Mexican Fried Rice with Chipotle and Turmeric
- Refreshing Hibiscus Tea
- Apricot Rosemary Gin Fizz
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year.
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Blood Orange Margarita Cocktail
- 3 blood oranges About 7/8 cup or 200 ml
- 2 lime, juice 4 tbsp (2 oz)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 oz blanco tequila 120 ml (8 tbsp)
- 4 oz Cointreau 120 ml (8 tbsp) Any orange liqueur will work
- course salt and/or sugar to rim glasses, optional
- Chill glasses: To chill the glasses, fill them with ice cubes.
- Make blood orange limeade: Mix blood orange juice, lime juice and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar, about 2 minutes.
- In a shaker: Add ice cubes, the blood orange limeade, tequila and Cointreau. Shake for 15 seconds to combine and cool. This drink can also just be stirred, but it won't get as cool.
- Rim glasses: Add course salt (or sugar, but salt is more common) to a plate. Discard the ice cubes from the glasses, and rim with a little blood orange limeade or just more lime. Hold the glass in a 45 degree angle on the plate and give it a little turn so the salt sticks to the limeade.
- Strain into glasses: Strain the blood orange margarita into the glasses. Garnish with slices of lime and blood orange, if desired.