A classic margarita can be enjoyed any day of the year, but on those hot and sticky summer days, a frozen twist on the bright, tart cocktail is most welcome.
There are some drinks that you just wouldn’t want to turn into a frozen drink. Frozen Martini? No thanks. But some cocktails translate wonderfully from on the rocks, into an icy, blended drink.
A Frozen Margarita may not be novel, but with solid ingredients, it can be your delicious, go-to summer drink. And sure, it requires you take out your blender, but at least you can blend up a bunch to have on hand when the fancy strikes!
If you’re in the need for a new blender to whiz up all of your summertime cocktails, here are our favorite picks!
What's in a Frozen Classic Margarita?
A frozen margarita is a frosty twist on the classic on the rocks recipe blended with ice and lime zest. The classic cocktail includes smooth blanco tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup. Even frozen, those flavors still shine.
For the tequila in this recipe, use a Blanco, or unaged, style, and try to find one made with 100% blue agave instead of a blend. Save your aged tequilas for sipping, as all of the subtle nuanced flavors they contain will be dulled by the ice when you blend it.
If you need more information on the best tequilas to buy and need a deeper dive into the differences between tequila anejo or blanco, read our guide on how to find the right tequila for you.
Tips and Tricks for Making a Margarita
You’ve got your ingredients, now let’s talk about how to make the best frozen margarita with these tips and tricks.
- Bottled lime juice versus fresh lime juice: If you’re batching a large amount of Frozen Margaritas, you may want to save some time by buying a high quality bottled lime juice instead of juicing a bunch of limes. I found that Whole Foods has a bottled lime juice that works well as a replacement for fresh. Both are very similar and when frozen, both mellow in flavor. However, using fresh squeezed lime juice will result in a flavor that is more floral and zestier.
- You can portion out lime juice and simple syrup into ice cube trays and freeze them. This makes for a more concentrated drink. I do this in 1/2 ounce portions, which allow me to mix and match for different recipes too.
- The consistency here is very slush-like. Instead of loading your cocktail up with ice that will water the whole thing down, give it a quick(ish) trip to the freezer after you’ve blended it. After 30 minutes, it’s less slushy and more smooth. Let it chill even longer for a thicker frozen drink.
- For larger batches, mix up all the ingredients and transfer to a freezer-safe container to freeze ahead of time (it will not fully freeze but get very cold, resulting in less ice melting when you blend it). When ready to serve, blitz it with ice in the blender and serve.
Margarita Garnish Options
Even though it’s a frozen margarita, I still love a little salt on the rim of my glass, and I suggest you do the same if you enjoy salt with your traditional margarita on the rocks.
To rim a glass with salt simply pour some salt onto a plate, take a lime slice and rub the flesh on the rim of the glass. Press the freshly rimmed glass into the salt on the plate, turn it upright, and add your margarita. Decorate with a lime slice or not, it’s your call.
Best Glassware for a Frozen Margarita
This recipe yields about 8 ounces, or one cup, per serving, so a double rocks glass will work best for this drink, but if you have a fancy margarita glass on your shelf, the kind that resembles a bulbous coupe that is only meant to serve frozen margaritas, you can go ahead and use that too.
Straws here are optional, but I do enjoy my short, reusable straws with a frozen cocktail for taking sips.
Make Ahead Margaritas
Planning ahead? Blend up the entire recipe, pour into your serving glasses, and store in the freezer (if your freezer is prone to freezer burn, wrap the tops in plastic wrap, otherwise store as is).
When ready to serve, remove the glasses from the freezer and let them sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Give them a stir to break up the ice a bit (I like to use a chopstick). Even if they have frozen up quite a bit, they will soon start to liquify due to the alcohol and will take on a ‘slushy’ consistency.
Drinks can stay in the freezer for up to one month. After that the flavors start to become compromised.
Why Stop with Only One Kind of Margarita!?
Why stop at only one kind of margarita when there are so many great options. If you’re throwing a party, pitcher margaritas are great idea and an easy way to quench the thirst of a crowd.
Blueberry Pitcher Margaritas and Watermelon Pitcher Margaritas are both quintessential summer drink selections worth trying (and then trying again), and if you like it spicy try our Pineapple Jalapeño Pitcher Margaritas.
Pitcher Frozen Margaritas
If you have the time to plan, for a smoother, less watery consistency, combine all of the ingredients, minus the ice, and freeze the day before serving. When ready to serve add the ice and your premade mixture. Blend and serve.
Alternatively, you can individually portion out and freeze the lime juice and simple syrup in ice cube trays, then blend the cocktail.
- 8 ounces Blanco tequila
- 4 ounces simple syrup
- 3 ounces Cointreau
- 4 ounce lime juice
- Zest of one lime
- 4 cups ice
- Flake salt, for glass (optional)
Combine ingredients in blender:
Combine Blanco tequila, simple syrup, Cointreau, lime juice, lime zest, and ice in a blender or food processor.
Blend the cocktail:
Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Rim glasses and serve:
Pour salt onto a plate that is slightly larger than your cocktail glass.
Take a piece of lime and generously rub it around the rim of your glass. Dip the outside rim of your glass into the salt. Repeat with other glass.
Pour frozen margaritas into glasses and serve.