Blue Margaritas

Blue Margaritas put a colorful spin on the classic cocktail. Made with blue curaçao, this sapphire-hued cocktail tastes just like a classic margarita.

a blue margarita on a wooden coaster

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Blue Margarita recipe

A classic margarita is wonderful and all, but the beauty of most classic cocktails is that they are a blank canvas for tons of variations.

The margarita can take on a spectrum of different colors, like these ruby-red strawberry margaritas or these purple blackberry margaritas.

They can even be blue, thanks to the addition of blue curaçao, which is an orange-flavored liqueur.

Also called a Moonlight Margarita or an Electric Margarita, these blue margs are perfect for girls’ night, taco night or any time you want a colorful cocktail.

Why you’ll love this recipe

There is a lot to love about the blue margarita:

  • The blue margarita is super easy to make. It’s as easy as the classic margarita with just one ingredient that’s different.
  • Blue is an unusual color for drinks, so this drink feels elevated and fun thanks to the gorgeous blue color.
  • It’s a great opportunity to use up blue curaçao that might be hanging out in the back of your liquor cabinet!
aerial view of two blue margaritas with a gold-colored strainer and jigger

When to serve Blue Margaritas

You can make these margaritas any time, but especially when blue is an important color in your celebration. A blue drink can make the event feel even more special.

Birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers, graduation parties for schools with blue as a team color and sporting events where the team’s color is blue (hello, my Carolina Panthers!) would all be great fits for the blue margarita.

For birth months with a blue birthstone (March

What is blue curaçao?

Blue curaçao, surprisingly, is an orange-flavored liqueur that is tinted with blue food coloring. It can be used as a substitute in margaritas.

Named for the island of Curaçao and its clear, azure waters, it is made from the dried peels of Curaçao oranges (also known as lahara fruit) and tastes similar to triple sec.

Blue curaçao is available at any liquor store. Clear, uncolored curaçao is also available, but you’ll want the blue one for this blue drink!

After you’ve made these margs this summer, use it to make a batch of Grinch mimosas at the holidays.

a dehydrated lime garnish on a blue margarita

Ingredients for Blue Margaritas

You only need a few ingredients to make a Blue Margarita cocktail. Here’s what to grab at your local liquor store and grocery store:

Sweetener

A traditional margarita typically calls for agave nectar because it comes from the same plant as tequila, so they work well together.

However, I recommend using simple syrup made with granulated sugar (not brown sugar) because it is clear in color. Because agave nectar is brown, it will mix with the blue color of the curaçao and can dull the color.

Plain simple syrup is very easy to make with just water and sugar, but you can also infuse other flavors.

Try this cocktail with jalapeño simple syrup for a spicy spin or use a syrup infused with herbs like basil simple syrup or rosemary simple syrup for an elevated twist.

Lime Juice

It is tempting to use store-bought lime juice for an easier cocktail, and I usually will tell you it’s okay to do so. However, I really don’t recommend it for this cocktail. You should use fresh lime juice instead.

Why? The store-bought lime concentrate is more yellow than fresh lime juice, and sometimes has food color added.

Don’t you remember art class? Yellow plus blue equals green! Unless you’d like to make a green margarita, you should skip the bottled concentrate this time to yield a pure blue cocktail.

Here are some of my favorite juicers:

Tequila

There are a few types of tequila that I detail in my Tequila 101 crash course, but you will want to stick to a clear-colored tequila. Again, the color of the tequila matters because you’re mixing it with blue curaçao.

In order to keep it the truest blue, you will want to use a blanco tequila for this cocktail because it is clear and colorless.

Gold, reposado and añejo tequila all have a yellowish, gold color and — like bottled concentrate and agave — will mix with the blue curaçao to give off a green hue instead.

Both reposado and añejo tequilas are aged in oak barrels and gold tequila has added caramel color to make it seem aged.

If you like, you can use an infused tequila, like pineapple or jalapeño tequila, as long as it’s clear in color.

My favorite tequila brands right now are El Jimador, Lunazul, Espolon, Patron and Casamigos.

a bottle of blue curaçao

Blue curaçao

Look in the liqueurs section of your liquor store for blue curaçao. It will be near the orange liqueurs and triple secs, like Cointreau and Grand Marnier.

The bottle is clear and the liquid inside is blue in color — you can’t miss it!

You can also use triple sec or clear-colored, regular curaçao in this recipe but you will want to add several drops of blue food coloring.

Garnishes

Don’t forget the cocktail garnishes!

A margarita is nothing without its salty rim and a lime wedge! I used these dehydrated lime slices for a more sophisticated look.

Use kosher salt or sea salt for a salt rim, but skip the table salt as it tastes too salty and will also dissolve too quickly when it meets liquid.

If you prefer a sugar rim, you can absolutely use granulated sugar instead of salt.

You could also use a flavored salt, like chili lime seasoning or this orange salt, for added flavor.

blue margaritas on the rocks on a white background

How to make Blue Margaritas

Let’s shake things up! Here’s how to make this drink recipe.

First, juice your limes to get fresh juice. You can do this in advance. I like to use an electric juicer when I plan to make a lot of margaritas for a party.

Then rim your glasses. Use a lime wedge to moisten the edge of a cocktail glass. Then roll or dip the edge of the glass into salt on a plate. Add ice to the glasses.

Next, make the cocktails! Combine lime juice, simple syrup, tequila and blue curaçao in a cocktail shaker. Add the lid and shake well.

Then pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime wedges.

a blue drink on a wood coaster

Variations and substitutions

Make it frozen. These frozen blue margaritas are made with all the same ingredients, plus about 3 cups of ice, and mixed up in a blender.

Use sour mix. You can use sour mix in this recipe if you plan to make a bunch. When making sour mix, make sure to use all lime juice instead of a mixture of lime and lemon juices. And remember that fresh is best for blue cocktails. Then, simply replace the lime juice and agave nectar in the cocktail with sour mix.

Make it non-alcoholic. Use Ritual tequila alternative (affiliate link) or a similar zero-proof spirit to make a virgin blue margarita.

Make it spicy. Use jalapeño tequila or spicy simple syrup to make a spicy blue margarita.

Cocktails with blue curaçao

Blue curaçao is a fun liqueur for tropical drinks. Try one of these colorful cocktails with a blue or green hue:

a blue margarita on a wooden coaster

Blue Margaritas

Yield: 2 cocktails
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Also known as the Electric Margarita or the Moonlight Margarita, the Blue Margarita is a blue-hued beauty to add to your next taco night menu.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce blue curaçao
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup or agave nectar
  • salt, for rim
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  1. First, rim your glasses. Use a lime wedge to moisten the edge of a cocktail glass. Then roll or dip the edge of the glass into salt on a plate. Add ice to the glasses.
  2. Combine lime juice, simple syrup, tequila and blue curaçao in a cocktail shaker. Add the lid and shake well.
  3. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime wedges.

Notes

About simple syrup: Clear simple syrup is preferred in this cocktail so the blue of the curaçao isn't dulled by the brown agave nectar.

About fresh lime juice: Bottled lime juice concentrate has a more yellow color (sometimes with food coloring added) than fresh lime juice. When mixed with blue curaçao, the bottled stuff can add more of a green color to your margaritas. Therefore, fresh is best.

Prefer sour mix? You can use sour mix in this recipe if you plan to make a bunch. When making sour mix, make sure to use all lime juice instead of a mixture of lime and lemon juices. And remember that fresh is best for blue cocktails. Then, simply replace the lime juice and agave nectar in the cocktail with sour mix.

Make it frozen: To make frozen blue margaritas, add all ingredients plus about 3 cups of ice to a blender and mix it up.

To make it non-alcoholic: Use Ritual tequila alternative or a similar zero-proof spirit to make a virgin blue margarita.

To make it spicy: Use jalapeño tequila or spicy simple syrup to make a spicy blue margarita.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g

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