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This orange margarita recipe is full of big citrus flavor! Mix up this refreshing cocktail as a single drink or a pitcher.

Orange margarita
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Here’s a refreshing, citrus-forward spin that we like almost even better than the original: try the Orange Margarita! Add fresh squeezed orange juice to this classic cocktail and you get a zingy, sweetly perfumed drink that’s absolutely irresistible. You might think the margarita is all about lime and tequila: which is true. But the flavor for from the orange liqueur is essential to this famous flavor pairing. Accentuate it by adding even more orange, and it’s over the top delicious. In fact, it’s one of our new favorite margarita recipes (and we’ve made a lot of variations).

Looking for blood orange instead? Go to Blood Orange Margarita.

Ingredients in an orange margarita

The margarita is one of the most popular of all classic cocktails. Invented in Mexico in the 1930’s, it’s just as popular today (or even more so!). Every bar and restaurant makes a margarita differently, but we’re huge fans of the classic definition. We take it from the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, which defines a margarita in just 3 simple ingredients. For the orange margarita, just add orange juice. Here’s what you’ll need:

Orange margarita recipe

Triple Sec vs Cointreau: which orange liqueur is best?

It’s easy to think of a margarita as just lime and tequila. But orange liqueur is a defining flavor! We’ve tried it without the orange liqueur, and it tastes a little flat. What’s the best Triple Sec for a margarita? Keep in mind: the term Triple Sec refers to both a category of orange liqueurs (including Cointreau), and a specific product. Here, we’re using the word Triple Sec to mean a bottle labeled with the words “Triple Sec.” Here’s what to use in an orange margarita:

  • Triple Sec has a crisp, citrus-forward flavor that works well in the orange 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.

Fresh squeezed orange juice vs bottled

You can use any type of orange juice in this orange margarita: but our mantra is Fresh is best! Fresh squeezed citrus juice always tastes better than bottled. This is especially true for lemon and lime juices. You can find some decent bottled orange juice: so you can use it here as well. Just opt for the highest quality orange juice you can find, and make sure there are no added sweeteners. You can squeeze juice from any type of orange, from blood oranges to satsumas.

Orange margaritas

Make the orange margarita as a single drink, or a pitcher!

The orange margarita recipe below makes a single drink. But 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:

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

Add them together and stir. Then pour into glasses and serve! And that’s it: how to make an orange margarita! Let us know what you think of this drink in the comments below. And make sure to check out our other margarita recipes…keep reading!

Orange margarita

More margarita recipes

Do you love the margarita as much as we do? Try each one of our margarita recipes:

When to serve an orange margarita

The orange margarita is refreshing 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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Orange margarita

Perfect Orange Margarita

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.5 from 4 reviews

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


This orange margarita recipe is full of big citrus flavor! Mix up this refreshing cocktail as a single drink or a pitcher. 


  • 1 ½ ounces* tequila blanco or reposado
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ounce triple sec (or Cointreau)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim (optional)
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)


  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, use Margarita Salt).
  2. Single drink: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
  3. Pitcher: Place 1 ½ cups tequila, 1 ½ cups orange juice, 1 cup triple sec, and 1 cup lime juice in a pitcher. Add 3 handfuls ice and stir until cold. 


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons. 

  • 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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  1. Anelo Pérez says:

    Loved. But added simple syrup. Perfect with my orange rim salt and dehydrated orange slice

  2. Stephen says:

    I like the ability to double and triple the recipe but there needs to be a 25x option for those rough days at work.
    Also, I liked it but added simple syrup to cut the alcohol a bit.

  3. Lana says:

    I make these margaritas all the time!

    1. John B says:

      Agree, James D! I found the same issue—good cocktail but not quite balanced—too much citrus. I will try some simple or other mixes like you attempted, especially with sweeteners.

  4. James D says:

    Tried this and the result wasn’t as balanced as I liked. A little too tart. Added a 1/4 oz simple and a bar spoon of homemade grenadine before topping with club soda and made a delicious, refreshing citrus highball. Highly recommend.

  5. Linda Benavidez says:

    Can’t wait to try orange Margarita