Texas Margarita

This cocktail is made for easy drinking.

glasses of texas margarita with orange half moons and salt
Photo: Will Dickey
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
Servings:
1

Refreshing, sweet, and citrusy, the Texas Margarita includes fresh orange juice and agave nectar for a more balanced version of the classic cocktail. Orange juice pairs perfectly with Triple Sec, tequila, and lime juice, lightening the bevy and making it an ideal match for summer evenings or pool parties. Whenever you enjoy a Texas margarita, it's an easy-drinking cocktail that's a snap to shake up.

What Is a Texas Margarita?

While the origin story for Texas Margarita is unclear, we are sure that the inclusion of orange juice into the traditional version will be a new favorite. The orange compliments and balances the lime and tequila, making this a refreshing summer drink.

Ingredients in a Texas Margarita

For this alcohol-focused drink, reach for your best quality booze, as the flavor will impact the drink.

ingredients for Texas margarita
Will Dickey

Blanco Tequila
Tequila is available in three main types: blanco, reposado, and añejo. For this recipe, choose a blanco tequila, the lightest, unaged tequila, which is typically best for margaritas and other light cocktails.

Orange Liqueur
A sweetened distilled liqueur made with dried orange peels or essential oil, this spirit also comes in various styles and types. For this recipe, use Triple Sec or Cointreau, a drier, slightly spicy alcohol.

Fresh Fruit Juice
Lime and orange juice are refreshing additions to this otherwise heavy drink, providing some sweet and light dilution. While bottled or carton fruit juice is convenient in a pinch, try juicing the fruit fresh, especially if you make this margarita in the summer. With its pure concentrated flavor, fresh juice tastes more like the produce, while bottled or carton juice can sometimes taste a little muddied or have added sweeteners that will throw off the flavor of the whole drink.

Agave Nectar
Made from the agave plant (the same plant that is distilled to make tequila), the sap is boiled down into a syrup and used as a sweetener.

Margarita Salt
While you could grab a store-bought version, margarita salt is super simple to make at home: Mix coarse salt (kosher, sea salt, pink Himalayan) and some lime zest for added flavor. Store any extra in an airtight container in the cupboard.

How to Make a Texas Margarita

It's a quick mix and shake from ingredients to final drink, so follow this step-by-step guide to make a Texas Margarita.

Step 1. Rim the glasses

This is an optional step, but what's a good margarita without a salt rim. The best way to get a salt rim on a cocktail is to dip the rim in fresh lime juice, or use lime wedges to wet the rim. Then, turn the glass upside down, dipping the rim into a plate filled with margarita salt. Repeat with all the glasses you'll need.

rimming margarita glasses with salt
Will Dickey

Step 2. Shake things up

Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and agave to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Cover the shaker with the lid. Shake until mixed and well chilled. This should take about 15 seconds.

adding ingredients for a texas margarita to a cocktail shaker
Will Dickey

This recipe makes a Texas margarita for one. If you need to make a drink for several folks, don't overfill the shaker with extra ingredients. Mix each margarita one by one so you don't have any accidents.

Step 3. Strain and sip

Fill the salt-rimmed margarita glasses with ice, then strain the shaken cocktail into them. Garnish with an orange wedge.

overhead shot of pouring margarita into a salt-rimmed glass
Will Dickey

What Does a Texas Margarita Taste Like?

Sweet and citrusy, the Texas Margarita tastes lighter and more refreshing than the classic cocktail. This easy-drinking version is ideal for summer sipping, either poolside or at an evening party. The orange juice and agave syrup add a slight sweetness and balance, complimenting the tequila and orange liqueur.

How Is It Different Than a Classic Margarita?

Unlike the Texas Margarita, the classic margarita is tart and a little acidic, with only lime juice to balance the heaviness of tequila and orange liqueur. The heat and flavor of the alcohol should shine through more clearly, with some floral or citrus from the orange liqueur and a slight sweetness from the tequila.

What to Serve with a Texas Margarita

Pair the Texas Margarita with other classic Texas dishes like Texas Caviar, this hearty Texas-Style Beef Enchilada Casserole, or an ooey-gooey Texas Skillet Cake.

Editorial Contributions by Alexandra Emanuelli.

Ingredients

  • Fresh lime wedge (optional)

  • Margarita salt (optional)

  • 3 Tbsp. (1 1/2 oz.) blanco tequila  

  • 2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or Cointreau)

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)

  • ½ Tbsp. light agave nectar (or syrup)

  • Orange slice

Directions

  1. If desired, rub rim of a chilled margarita glass with lime wedge, and dip glass rim in salt.

  2. Place tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and agave in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice; cover with lid, and shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into glass, and garnish with an orange slice.

To keep your margarita extra chilly, place the glass in the freezer for 15 minutes before mixing the margarita.

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