These easy blood orange margaritas get their stunning color from fresh squeezed blood orange juice. Full of flavor and perfect for entertaining! Cocktail recipe for 21+; please drink responsibly.
I'm a sucker for a good tequila cocktail. And while classic margaritas are great, a simple addition of freshly squeezed blood orange juice really makes them shine!
All you need: A few fresh blood oranges, your favorite tequila, fresh lime juice, and some simple syrup or orange liqueur - no margarita mix required!
The blood orange juice mellows out the tequila taste here, which makes these cocktails super smooth. It also gives them their signature bright pink color!
What are blood oranges?
Blood oranges are slightly sweeter than navel oranges, with a bright, deep red interior (hence the name!) They're in season in winter and early spring, which makes them perfect for holiday cocktails.
Our Basic Order of Operations
- Add salt (or sugar!) to the rim of a few cocktail glasses, then fill the glasses with ice.
- Add blood orange juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and tequila to a cocktail shaker, fill it with ice, and give it a good shake to chill the margaritas and let the flavors all meld.
- Strain margaritas evenly into glasses and serve immediately! Garnish with an extra lime wedge or orange slice if you like.
Pro tip: Be sure to use a cocktail strainer when you pour these margaritas into glasses, as fresh citrus juice can have quite a bit of pulp in it!
How to add a salt rim to cocktail glasses
You don't need fancy tools to add a salt rim to your cocktails at home! Just grab a lime wedge and a bit of kosher salt (or granulated sugar if you prefer!) and you're good to go. Here's how to do it:
- Run a lime wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass. You don't need much pressure: You just want to moisten the very edge of the glass so the salt will stick!
- Dust a small plate with a thin layer of kosher salt (if you aren't a fan of salted rims, you can also use sugar for this step).
- Dip the moistened edge of your glass into the salt on the plate. Lightly tap the glass a few times to evenly coat the entire rim.
Tips & Variations
This margarita recipe is easy to adapt - here are a few of our favorite swaps and substitutions!
- If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, shake the drinks over ice in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, and pour them through a small mesh strainer to remove any pulp.
- Add some spice by putting a few slices of fresh jalapeño in the shaker with the other ingredients.
- Swap the blood orange juice for grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, regular orange juice, or muddled berries! (For other fruit-forward drinks, try our raspberry margaritas or strawberry thyme cocktails).
- Swap the liquor. This basic recipe is great with just about any liquor (vodka, rum, and gin are all good in this drink) if tequila isn't your thing! You can also swap the alcohol for a nonalcoholic gin, nonalcoholic tequila, or a splash of club soda.
- Make your own simple syrup by heating 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar together in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. You can also use triple sec, agave nectar/agave syrup, or orange liqueur (we love Cointreau!) here instead of simple syrup.
- Stretch these drinks farther by topping them off with a bit of sparkling water, club soda, or prosecco!
A few FAQs
The short (and yes, maybe less-than-helpful) answer: The best tequila is the tequila you like to drink! We tend to use Espolòn Blanco, Familia Camarena, Milagro, or Casamigos. But this drink is also good with gin, vodka, or a nonalcoholic spirit!
We recommend mixing the cocktails just before serving, but you can absolutely juice the oranges and limes ahead of time! Fresh citrus juice will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also use store-bought bottled lime juice to save time (but we love the bright, fresh flavor you get when you juice the limes yourself!)
Yes! Stir all margarita ingredients (without ice) together in a large pitcher and keep it in the fridge. When someone needs a cocktail, pour some of the margarita mixture straight from the pitcher into a glass filled with ice. Tip: To double or triple this recipe, use the handy 2x and 3x buttons in the recipe card below!
These easy blood orange margaritas are full of flavor - perfect for holidays or winter entertaining!
For the margaritas:
- 3 ounces (about ⅓ cup) fresh squeezed blood orange juice (1-2 large blood oranges)
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) simple syrup or orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) fresh squeezed lime juice (2-4 large limes)
- 4 ounces (½ cup) tequila
- 2-3 cups ice, divided
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt or granulated sugar, for the glass rims
- Fresh lime wedges
- Fresh blood orange slices (or an orange twist)
- Optional: Add salt rims to glasses. Spread a light layer of kosher salt (or sugar, if you prefer) on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of two cocktail glasses, then gently tap the glass rims into the salt to form a salt rim.
- Fill each cocktail glass with a handful of ice.
- In a large cocktail shaker, combine blood orange juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and tequila. Fill the shaker with ice, cover with a lid, and shake vigorously to chill.
- Strain margaritas into your prepared cocktail glasses. Garnish with extra lime wedges, orange slices, or an orange twist (optional) and serve immediately.
Fresh squeezed juice can have quite a bit of pulp: For a smooth cocktail, be sure to strain it through the top strainer piece of a cocktail shaker or with a small mesh strainer.
Adjust the flavors to suit your tastes. For a sweeter cocktail, use additional simple syrup. For a more tart flavor, use extra lime or blood orange juice. This is a forgiving recipe - adjust the ratios to suit your palate!
Additions and Substitutions. Use grapefruit juice or navel orange juice in place of blood orange juice. Add a few slices of fresh jalapeño to the cocktail shaker for a hint of spice. For a blended margarita, place all ingredients in a powerful blender with 2-3 cups of ice and blend until smooth. Stretch these drinks by topping them off with a bit of club soda, tonic water, or prosecco.
What kind of tequila should I use? Use a tequila you love to drink! We like Espolòn Blanco, Familia Camarena, Milagro, and Casamigos. But this drink is also good with gin, vodka, or a nonalcoholic spirit!
Make your own simple syrup by simmering 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar together in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. You can also use triple sec or orange liqueur (we love Cointreau; Grand Marnier also works here) in place of the simple syrup if you like.
Store extra blood orange juice or lime juice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 margarita
- Calories: 98
- Sugar: 19 g
- Sodium: 0.7 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: cocktails, spirits, drinks