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This is the best margarita pitcher recipe! It’s fast and easy to make for a crowd, and has the perfect tangy flavor.

Margarita pitcher recipe
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Our Classic Margarita is the most popular cocktail recipe that we make for friends and family. But if you’re entertaining around a bowl of guacamole, you don’t want to have to stop every 5 minutes to squeeze and shake a new drink. (We know from experience.) The solution: a Margarita pitcher recipe. This one makes 8 drinks so you don’t have to stop the party. It’s based on our classic margarita, so it’s got no added sugar! Just citrus, Cointreau and tequila make the very best margarita pitcher recipe you’ll ever have.

What’s in this margarita pitcher recipe?

The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the margarita: tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. For our pitcher recipe, we added a little lemon to give it a little more zing. Here’s what’s in this margarita pitcher recipe:

  • Tequila
  • Cointreau
  • Lime juice
  • Lemon juice
Pitcher margarita recipe

Wait, there’s no added sugar?

What’s missing? There’s no added sugar. Nope, there’s no simple syrup in a classic margarita! So many bar cocktails and bottles of margarita mix are sickly sweet. But that’s not the classic definition of this popular drink! This margarita pitcher tastes perfectly tart with no need for simple syrup. There is a little sugar in the Cointreau, and that’s all that’s needed to balance the flavors.

Lemon adds just the right zing

Lemon juice is the only difference between this recipe and our Classic Margarita. It adds an extra nuance to the flavor. It gives you a bit of that lemon lime margarita mix vibe. Except it’s not sickly sweet, like the store-bought kind!

Margarita mix

Make it as margarita mix!

The first step to make this margarita pitcher recipe is to mix together the lemon juice, lime juice, and Cointreau. At this point, it’s basically margarita mix. You can refrigerate this until serving, and then just add the tequila when you serve. You can also just serve it immediately: dump it right into that pitcher!

No need for a cocktail shaker for pitcher margaritas

The best part about this margarita pitcher recipe: no need for a cocktail shaker! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with one. But if I don’t have to shake it a drink 8 times in favor of something simpler: I’m all for it! Shaking a drink against ice in a cocktail shaker does two things: it makes the drink cold, and it dilutes it a bit.

Simply place the margarita mix in a pitcher with the tequila. Then in lieu of a cocktail shaker: just throw a few handfuls of ice into the pitcher! Stir it a bit, and the ice will immediately start to melt. This dilutes the drink to the expected flavor.

Margarita recipe

Want to make 16? This recipe doubles easily

This margarita pitcher recipe makes 8 drinks, which fills about ½ of a large pitcher. When we’re having a cocktail night with another, that’s what we like to start with. (Two drinks for all!) But if you’re serving it for a bigger party, this doubles easily to make 16 drinks. The doubled quantity will easily fit in a large pitcher.

Best tequila for a margarita pitcher

This margarita pitcher is only as good as the alcohol you use! If you can, look for a mid-price range tequila. The price is typically an indicator of quality. The other thing to look for is tequila blanco vs. reposado. We like to use reposado because it’s aged and has a more interesting flavor! But either will work! Here’s the difference:

  • Tequila blanco (or “new” tequila) has been aged less than 2 months and has a strong, straightforward flavor.
  • Tequila reposado (“rested” in Spanish) is aged longer, from 2 to 12 months. It has a more nuanced flavor, with notes of oak and vanilla.
Margarita pitcher

More margarita variations

There are lots of spins on this classic cocktail! Here are some variations on how to make a margarita:

Pitcher margarita recipe

When to serve a margarita pitcher

Use this margarita pitcher when you’re entertaining! It’s perfect for a crowd, and even better with homemade chips (hot from the oven) and simple guacamole. Or a dinner party with shrimp tacos, Mexican corn, & bean dip. It works as a:

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Margarita pitcher recipe

Margarita Pitcher Recipe (8 or 16 Drinks!)

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4.5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 drinks 1x
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This is the best margarita pitcher recipe! It’s fast and easy to make for a crowd, and has the perfect tangy flavor.


  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)*
  • 1 cup Cointreau
  • 1 ½ cups tequila blanco or reposado


  1. Juice the limes and lemons. Mix them together with the Cointreau. Go to Step 2 or refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
  2. Pour the lemon lime mixture into a pitcher with the tequila. Add 3 handfuls of ice and stir until cold. Pour into glasses and serve. 


*The quantities are easily doubled for a larger crowd to make 16 drinks.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • 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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  1. Virginia C OMalley says:

    How long can you keep the mix in the refrigerator? And do you add the tequila with the lemon/lime mix? I have a big party in 3 weeks and I would like to make this as far ahead as possible. And can I freeze it? Thank you.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! If you are making it ahead, leave out the tequila until just before serving. I wouldn’t freeze, but it does last up to a week in the fridge. Ideally, I’d make it 24 hours ahead for the brightest flavor.

  2. Heidi says:

    Didn’t use as much tequila as canned for only 1.25 cups… But found it very “bitey” so I added just less than half a can of frozen concentrated limeade… This made it perfect still bitey but not over powering. And it might’ve made 2 servings… But I like a larger glass lol

    1. Firn says:


      I was wondering if you have any tips for using a potato vodka with this recipe instead of tequila?

      1. Alex Overhiser says:

        Would be more of a vodka sour but you should be able to just swap it in!

  3. Sandy Stevenson says:

    Why are you adding lemons to the pitcher margaritarecipe?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You are welcome to do all lime juice! We like the lemon lime taste and also it also reduces the total number of citrus you need.