Bright and refreshing, this Citrus Margarita recipe is the perfect tequila cocktail to sip with your favorite happy hour snack, on Taco Tuesdays, or to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
There are many margarita recipes on this website, but this citrus margarita recipe ranks as my favorite. It’s the one I make whenever I’m asked to bring margaritas for family taco night or simply want good margaritas for happy hour.
A step beyond the classic margarita, we’re combining fresh citrus juices for a triple citrus drink that will be the best homemade margarita you’ve ever made.
Skip the margarita mix (forever!) and make a delicious round of these citrus margaritas. Made with lots of fresh-squeezed juice from fresh citrus, the flavor in this delicious cocktail is bright and refreshing.
- Fresh grapefruit, lime and orange - Squeeze a fresh citrus fruit for this recipe. Using fresh juice instead of bottle juice is the biggest difference between a good margarita and a great one. Make fresh citrus a priority in your drinks!
- Silver tequila or blanco tequila - I prefer the flavor of silver (clear) tequila in this recipe, but if gold tequila is your preference, then go for it!
- Orange liqueur or triple sec - This adds a sweet orange flavor. If you want to reduce the liquor content in your margarita, you can swap the orange liqueur out for my orange simple syrup.
- Simple syrup - You can make your simple syrup days before you're planning to have these citrus margaritas. Get the recipe on my simple syrup recipe page - you only need white sugar and water!
- Coarse salt (for garnish) - I love a salted rim, but it you don't - skip it!
How to Make a Citrus Margarita
Run a lime wedge - cut side down - around the rim of the glass. Pour salt into a shallow dish and gently run the rim of your glass through the salt.
Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well and strain into your prepared glass.
Sip and enjoy!
How to Serve Citrus Margaritas
- Garnish: While the salt rim - or sugar rim, if you prefer - definitely counts as garnish, feel free to add on one or two citrus wedges, orange slices, or lime wheels to up your garnish game.
- These citrus margaritas are designed to be served “on the rocks” over lots and lots of ice cubes (or one giant ice cube). If you absolutely MUST have a frozen cocktail, make this drink as instructed - including pouring it over ice - then dump the whole thing into the blender and blend until smooth.
Tips on Using Citrus in Your Cocktails
I prefer Cointreau over Grand Marnier for the orange liqueur in my margaritas. You can use triple sec if that’s better for your budget or what you have on hand. If you don't want to use liqueur, you can swap it out for my orange simple syrup.
You make it! Combine ½ cup hot water with ½ cup white sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then let the mixture cool completely in the refrigerator before using it. Simple syrup will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge, so feel free to make it ahead of time.
This is completely up to you. I use red/pink grapefruit in my citrus margaritas, so that’s what the recipe is written with. If you can’t find any or prefer a more tart drink, use white grapefruit.
There are so many different types of orange available, especially during winter citrus season, so feel free to experiment. As written, the recipe is made with navel oranges. Cara cara oranges are sweeter, have amazing flavor, and would be a delicious swap in this recipe.