Fresh, juicy, summer peaches star in this rendition of a classic margarita cocktail.
Aged tequila adds a caramel and toffee background to complement the fruit. Peach schnapps in place of the traditional triple sec amplifies the stone fruit even more. Lime zest brightens up the salt rim for a burst of citrus with each sip.
Whether you’re by the pool, at a backyard BBQ, or running the grill, this summertime sipper will beat the heat no matter where you are.
What's a Margarita?
A margarita is a cocktail made from tequila, triple sec, and lime juice and sipped from a salt-rimmed glass.
Over time, this basic formula has seen many variations from the ingredients used to how it’s served. Fruits such as mango, strawberry, melons, and peaches as I use here add a sweet fruity flavor.
The drink can also veer savory and spicy with the addition of cucumbers or jalapeno chiles. Fresh herbs like basil or cilantro can also amp up the experience. Then there is the always popular frozen margarita where the chosen ingredients are blended with ice into a slushy. Quite refreshing!
An Ode to Peaches
Though Georgia is known as the Peach State and boasts the peach as its official state fruit, New Jersey, where I live, grows some pretty darn good peaches too, and a lot of them as well. Some reports put the Garden State in third place for production.
If you get carried away and find yourself with more ripe peaches than you can put into pies this is the perfect way to use them up. Here are a few things to note about the stone fruit to make an outstanding peach margarita:
- The peaches get muddled in the drink so you can use a peach that has a small bruise.
- The cocktail is strained so leave the skin on.
- I muddle a little more aggressively here because I want the fruit to really break down and exude all its juice.
- Some of the pulp will find its way into the drink, but if you’ve mashed the peach pretty well, it should be no more pulpy than orange juice.
All About Tequila
You can’t have a margarita without tequila, a distilled spirit of the agave plant that hails mainly from Jalisco, Mexico (there are a few other Mexican states that produce it). There are three main types: Blanco (or silver), reposado, and añejo tequila.
The differences lie in their aging. Blanco is unaged, reposado is aged in oak barrels for at least 2 months and up to 1 year, and añejo must be aged in the barrels for at least 1 year and up to three.
You can also find joven tequila, which is Blanco blended with a little aged tequila, and extra añejo that’s aged for at least 3 years. If you’re interested in learning more about tequila here is a guide that will turn you into an expert!
A Note About Peach Schnapps
The classic margarita recipe uses triple sec, a generic term for orange liqueur. I use peach schnapps instead to boost the stone fruit notes throughout the cocktail while adding sweetness.
Schnapps can mean different things to different people. The schnapps you’ll find in Europe is a brandy distilled from fermented fruit juices and bottled without aging to preserve the peak flavors and aromas. No additional sweeteners are added.
It’s mostly enjoyed lightly chilled as a digestive. What we have stateside is a product where fruit is steeped in alcohol, strained, and then sweetened, which makes it use better for mixing cocktails.
Margarita Garnish Options
I’ve salted only part of the rim because I don’t want a salt hit with every sip. I also think it looks nice. But there’s no rules here, and if you want salt all the way around the rim, go for it! And if you prefer to leave the lime zest out of the salt, that’s perfectly acceptable too.
You’ll still get citrus flavor from the fresh lime juice in the cocktail. Many bars will rim the top of the glass, which is easy to do. I use a trick I learned that keeps the salt out of the drink itself which is to wet the outside of the glass just below the rim and then press into the salt.
How to Make a Peach Margarita
Peach margaritas are pretty easy to make.
- Muddle a peach in a cocktail shaker
- Add the tequila, lime juice, schnapps, and ice
- Rim the glass with salt and fill with ice
- Pour the drink through a strainer over the ice
How to Scale the Cocktail
The muddled peaches take up quite a bit of room in the shaker, so you’ll have to build this drink one at a time (if you’re making it for you and one or two additional friends).
If you plan on making this cocktail for a crowd, you can scale up the recipe as needed and combine everything in the blender to save time. Pour it into a pitcher if you’re feeling fancy or simply pour into glasses over ice and get the cocktails out faster to your thirsty friends.
More Margarita Recipes
- Frozen Strawberry Margarita
- Frozen Cucumber Margarita
- Watermelon Pitcher Margarita
- Pitcher Frozen Margaritas
- Classic Margaritas
- 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium ripe to slightly over-ripe peach
- 2 ounces añjeo tequila
- 2 ounces peach schnapps
Zest and juice the lime:
Use a microplane to zest the lime onto a small plate. Halve and juice the lime into a pourable container. A Pyrex measuring cup would work just fine.
Make the lime zest salt:
Combine 1/4 teaspoon lime zest and salt. Mix it together with your fingers.
Rim the rocks glass:
Dip your finger into the lime juice and rub it just under the rim of the rocks glass around the glass. Press the rim into the lime salt until it sticks to the glass.
Muddle the peach:
Halve the peach and remove the pit. Slice the peach into about 8 (1-inch) slices. Add the peach slices into a cocktail shaker. Using a cocktail muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash the peach slices until smooth.
Add the spirits and lime juice to the shaker:
Add the tequila, peach schnapps, and 1 ounce of lime juice to the cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, and shake to chill, about 20 seconds.
Serve the cocktail:
Carefully fill the rimmed rocks glass with a handful of ice. Strain the cocktail into the glass, swirling the shaker back and forth a couple of times to make sure all the liquid gets strained through the peach pulp and the strainer doesn’t get clogged. Serve.