As we happily prepare for BBQs, picnics, and other welcomed celebrations, one thing is certain: a delicious cocktail in hand is a must. But with a crowd of people, playing bartender could become tiresome quickly.
While one might stray towards the pre-mixed drinks aisle when prepping drinks for a crowd, I’d like to offer up an alternative to those preservative-laden, electric-hued mixes: make your own Homemade Margarita Mix.
Cocktails are not one-size-fits-all when it comes to alcohol content. Here, I’ve created a classic margarita mix: sweet, tart, and flavorful, without the addition of the tequila.
The mix, however, does contain some alcohol from the orange liqueur (although I’m offering an alternative for that below), so please remember to designate this classic mix as “adults only” even before the addition of tequila.
When your guests are ready for a drink, a well-planned flow to move everyone through the line is not only thoughtful for your guests but makes it less likely to bottleneck everyone trying to get a drink.
Cups, ice, mix, tequila, and garnishes clearly laid out on a table will get a drink in your guest’s hand and your guest back out to the party ASAP.
What's in Margarita Mix?
Homemade Margarita Mix is a blend of lime juice, sugar, salt, Cointreau, and, optionally, citric acid. The syrup base is similar to a lime cordial, as the lime and sugar are heated with no additional water, making for a concentrated lime flavor.
How Many Margaritas Does the Mix Make?
You can make 8 margaritas with this mix.
To make a margarita with the mix, combine: 2 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of margarita mix, and a cup of ice, and stir together.
Tips and Tricks to Make Homemade Margarita Mix
Looking for a way to make this mix NA? How about the right way to zest those limes? Find the answers with these tips and tricks.
- Zesting limes: A fine microplane gets just the right amount of zest off the lime and none of the white pith underneath. Also, don’t feel like you have to strain this with a fine strainer. Some lime zest floating around let’s your guests know, Hey! There’s real lime in there!
- Non-alcoholic mix: Swap out the Cointreau with orange juice and zest. You may need to adjust the sweetness up or down depending on the type of orange you choose, so taste as you go! Offer your guests this nonalcoholic alternative margarita mix with sparkling water or tonic for a bubbly alternative to tequila.
- If you’re looking for something other than tonic water as an alcohol substitute in your NA cocktails we have a whole list of our favorites in this article on The Best Non-Alcoholic Spirits for Building a Sober Bar.
Homemade Margarita Mix Glassware
As this mix makes plenty for a small party, a large swing top bottle is ideal for storing. You can double or even triple the mix, then transfer it to a pitcher when serving at your party for easy pouring.
Alternatively, the margarita mix can be bottled into smaller swing tops and given out as gifts. (I have a neighbor with one headed her way as a thank you for letting me raid her lemon tree.)
How Long Can You Store Homemade Margarita Mix?
Want to save yourself the hassle of squeezing a bunch of limes the morning of your party? Homemade Margarita Mix can be made and stored in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator. You can store it for up to one additional week, however the flavors will begin to dull at that point.
When you are ready to serve the mix, give it a good shake or stir, because the lime zest will have settled to the bottom, and some separation may have occurred with the syrup.
Homemade Margarita Mix
If your limes are very sweet and you’d like an exceptionally tart mix, you can add in 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid. Citric acid can be found at your local grocery store in the canning section, in restaurant or beer supply stores, and at online retailers like Amazon.
- 1 cup lime juice from 10-12 medium limes
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Cointreau or orange juice and zest
- Zest from half a lime
- 1/4 teaspoon citric acid, optional
Juice the limes:
Juice the limes through a mesh strainer into a small bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lime juice, granulated sugar, and salt. At a gentle simmer (small bubbles only!), whisk occasionally to dissolve all the sugar, 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved and let cool to room temperature.
Finish homemade margarita mix:
Once the lime sugar mixture has cooled, stir in the Cointreau (or orange juice for the non-alcoholic version), lime zest, and citric acid, if using.
How to store:
Store the margarita mix in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to serve the mix, give it a good shake or stir because the lime zest will have settled to the bottom, and some separation may have occurred with the syrup.
Make a Margarita:
To make a margarita with this mix combine, 2 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of margarita mix, pour over ice and stir, or combine it in shaker, shake, and strain into a glass filled with ice.