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Want a lemony spin on the classic cocktail? This simple lemon margarita uses just 4 ingredients and is ready in mere minutes!

Lemon margarita

Want a little spin on the classic cocktail! Our Classic Margarita is just about perfect, but sometimes we like to mix it up a bit. Enter: the lemon margarita! This drink captures everything that’s great about a margarita, but swaps the lime for a lemon-y citrus vibe. It’s refreshing and a unique take on the standard! Using lemon also makes this margarita pair well with foods outside the traditional margarita fare. Keep reading for how to make it!

What’s in a lemon margarita?

Classic margaritas feature tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and often a little agave or simple syrup to sweeten the mixture. This lemon margarita recipe is basically the same idea, but with lemon instead! It actually doesn’t even need any sweetener: it’s perfectly crisp and tart. Here’s what you’ll need for this lemon margarita:

  • Tequila
  • Lemon juice
  • Cointreau
  • Salt for the rim
Lemon margarita

How to make a lemon margarita

Because it only has a few ingredients, it’s so fast to make this tangy cocktail! Here’s how to make this lemon margarita:

  1. Rim the glass with salt. The salt enhances the sweet and sour flavors in the drink! To make the perfect salt rim, see below.
  2. Shake in a cocktail shakerMix the lemon juice, Cointreau and tequila in a cocktail shaker until it’s cold.
  3. Strain into a glass and add ice. Strain the margarita into a glass and add ice. That’s it! A simple lemon margarita in 5 minutes.

Variations on the margarita

If you’d like to shake things up a bit more, you could try using an entirely different citrus juice in place of the lemon juice in this margarita recipe! Grapefruit juice might work well here, and orange juice would give this margarita recipe serious tequila sunrise vibes.

Now if you really want to try a new spin, here are a few more ways to make a margarita you might enjoy:

Margarita salt

How to make a salt rim

How to make the best salt rim for a margarita? Use either kosher salt or flaky sea salt: they have a nice chunky texture. Or try our Best Margarita Salt — the orange and lime zest makes the glass look perfectly look festive! Here are a few tips to making the perfect rim:

  1. Spread the salt on a plate in an even layer.
  2. Take a lemon wedge and cut a notch in the middle: then slide it around the rim of the glass.
  3. To rim the glass, you’ll want the salt on the outside of the glass only, not the inside where it can fall into the drink. To do this, tilt the glass and gently rotate it so the outside edge goes into the salt.
  4. Shake off any loose salt into the sink.
Lemon margarita

Dress it up with clear ice!

As you can see above, we didn’t use normal ice cubes with this lemon margarita: we made it with glittering clear ice! Clear ice is artisanal ice used in cocktails because of its crystal clear look and beautiful organic shapes. You can make clear ice at home and it’s so easy! All you need is a small cooler and 24 hours, and your cocktails will look extra stunning. Here’s How to Make Clear Ice.

What to pair with a lemon margarita

For the full experience, pair your lemon margarita with some tasty food! Mexican food is often paired alongside: our Shrimp Tacos, Easy Vegan Tacos or a Mexican Pizza would pair nicely, as would these Sheet Pan Nachos. Because the lemon vibe makes it more of a fusion drink, you could also pair with food that has less of a strong Latin vibe: try our Grilled Shrimp or Baked Salmon with Chimichurri.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Lemon margarita

Simple Lemon Margarita

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


Want a lemony spin on the classic cocktail? This simple lemon margarita uses just 4 ingredients and is ready in mere minutes!


  • 3 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) tequila
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Cointreau
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (¾ ounce) fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim
  • For the garnish: lemon wedge


  1. Cut a notch in a lemon wedge, then run the lemon 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 and serve.
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Lemon Margarita

Looking for more easy cocktail recipes?

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 for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Delicious! Love the lemon variation. I tried it as published and also with a 2:1 tequila to Cointreau ratio because I like it a bit less sweet. Also used spicy margarita salt that I had mixed up a while back for the rim and I liked that with the lemon better than with the classic lime.

    1. There’s lots of sugar in the Cointreau! But if you like it sweeter you can certainly add simple syrup or agave syrup, of course

  2. Try this twist…. 2 oz. Tequila, 1 oz fresh lemon juice, .5 oz simple syrup… rim your glass with sugar…