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This grapefruit margarita is a citrusy spin on the classic! Tangy and refreshing, it’s—dare we say—almost tastier than the original.

Grapefruit margarita
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Here’s a tasty citrus spin on the margarita that might even be more fun to drink than the original. Try this Grapefruit Margarita! The sweet citrusy grapefruit flavor is perfectly balanced with tequila and lime, and the juice adds a lovely delicate pink color. It’s reminiscent of the Paloma, and in fact: it has many of the same ingredients. But the grapefruit marg is uniquely its own! Here’s how to make this favorite variation.

Ingredients in a grapefruit margarita

The margarita is one of the best loved classic cocktails of all time. It was invented in Mexico in the 1930’s and has stood the test of time. It seems that everyone makes a margarita differently: but there’s an official definition from the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. A margarita is just 3 simple ingredients. For the grapefruit margarita, just add grapefruit juice! Here’s what you’ll need:

Grapefruit margarita

Triple Sec vs Cointreau: which is best?

The defining ingredient in a margarita is the orange liqueur. There’s lots written about whether Triple Sec or Cointreau makes the best margarita: and we’ve got a variation with each: try our Cointreau margarita and Triple Sec margarita. We used to say only Cointreau for a margarita, but we’ve found a great brand of Triple Sec that works well. Here’s what to know about the grapefruit margarita:

  • Triple Sec has a citrus-forward flavor that works well in the grapefruit margarita. Find a quality triple sec brand, not the cheapest on the block. We like Drillauds.
  • Cointreau works too! It’s usually our favorite in a margarita, and it has a smoother flavor with warm spices and nuance. Read more at Cointreau vs Triple Sec.
Cointreau vs triple sec

Best tequila for a grapefruit margarita

Typically we recommend a tequila reposado for a margarita. Reposado means “rested,” meaning that it’s been aged between 2 to 12 months. But in a grapefruit margarita? Surprise! We actually recommend tequila blanco here. Why this type of tequila?

Variation: spicy grapefruit margarita!

Want to make a spicy grapefruit margarita instead? Great idea. This variation uses fresh jalapeño peppers to add heat and a bright, almost tangy flavor. Here’s how to make a jalapeño grapefruit margarita:

  • Thinly slice a jalapeño pepper. Take care to wash your hands immediately and keep your hands away from your eyes. Leave the seeds for the spiciest variation; remove them for a subtle heat.
  • Add 3 to 4 slices to the cocktail shaker. Then shake and strain! If you want a super spicy drink, add a few more slices to the mix.
Grapefruit margarita

Make a grapefruit margarita pitcher (serves 8)

The grapefruit margarita recipe below makes a single drink. If you’re serving multiple people at once, we recommend making a pitcher version! This makes it easy to mix and make for a crowd. Make sure to use the exact amount of ice below to dilute the drink to the proper amount. Here’s what to add to a pitcher:

  • 2 cups tequila
  • ½ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 ½ cups grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 3 handfuls ice

Add them together and stir. Then pour into glasses and serve! And that’s it: how to make a grapefruit margarita! Scroll down to the recipe and let us know what you think.

Spicy grapefruit margarita recipe

More grapefruit cocktails

Grapefruit juice is a popular mixer for cocktails, both modern and classic cocktails! Here are some of our favorite grapefruit drinks:

When to serve a grapefruit margarita

The grapefruit margarita is zingy and citrusy! It works as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Cinco de Mayo drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Grapefruit Margarita

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


This grapefruit margarita is a citrusy spin on the classic! Tangy and refreshing, it’s—dare we say—almost tastier than the original. 


  • 2 ounces* tequila blanco
  • ½ ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 ½ ounces grapefruit juice**
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)
  • For the garnish: Grapefruit wedge


  1. Cut a notch in a grapefruit wedge, then run it around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, use our Margarita Salt).
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice, garnish (if desired), and serve.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. To make a margarita pitcher that serves 8, mix together in a pitcher: 2 cups tequila, ½ cup Triple Sec, 1 ½ cups grapefruit juice, and ½ cup lime juice. Add 3 handfuls of ice and stir until cold. Pour into glasses and serve!

**For a spicy grapefruit margarita, shake the drink with 3 to 4 jalapeño pepper slices. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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