Tropical and sweet, a Coconut Margarita is the best way to chill out this summer and pretend you’re on a beach vacation. Made with homemade coconut syrup, cream of coconut, fresh lime juice, blanco tequila and a toasted coconut rim, this drink is sure to bring the tropical vibes to margarita night.
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Simple Coconut Margarita recipe
Put the passport away — this Coconut Margarita is your ticket to a tropical getaway without leaving your house. It’s a fabulous twist on the classic cocktail.
Made with homemade coconut syrup, cream of coconut, fresh lime juice, triple sec and your favorite silver tequila, this drink will make you feel like you’re in a warm, tropical locale. (It might do a better job than a pina colada — hard to say, you should perhaps try both to see!)
Let’s get started making this delicious summer cocktail with heaps of tropical flavor!
Why you’ll love this recipe
You’ll love this beachy cocktail recipe for a few reasons:
- The Coconut Margarita is a delicious, flavorful and refreshing summer cocktail.
- Coconut syrup and cream of coconut make this a delightful, tropical twist on the classic margarita recipe.
- The drink is not overly coconutty, so you can tweak this cocktail to your liking if you’re on the fence about coconut. I’ll show you how!
- This rich, creamy margarita is easy for beginner home bartenders to assemble.
This drink is ideal for a pool day, backyard barbecue, taco night, girls’ night, poker night, bachelorette parties and more.
You could even make these as a White Christmas margarita for the holidays with sugared cranberries and rosemary for a garnish.
Tools & glassware
You’ll also want to grab a few plates for preparing the glasses with salt and sugar rims.
To make this creamy Coconut Mojito recipe, here’s what you will need to stock up on:
Blanco tequila: Margaritas traditionally call for tequila, which is a spirit made from the Blue Weber Agave plant in Mexico. Clear and colorless, blanco tequila (or silver tequila) works really well in this coconut margarita recipe.
Triple sec: Orange liqueur gives any margarita a hint of orange flavor and another layer of depth and complexity. The sweet orange flavor balances out sour lime. Triple sec and Cointreau are both clear in color so they won’t change the drink’s pure white look. Grand Marnier is delicious but it has a golden brown color so it will change the look of this cocktail.
Lime juice: Fresh tastes the best, but high-quality lime juice concentrate from the store is fine. Keep in mind it can be more tart than fresh limes.
Coconut syrup: Traditional mojitos are sweetened with sugar or plain simple syrup, but this one uses coconut syrup. You can buy it online, but it’s easy and more cost-effective to make your own coconut simple syrup at home with sugar, water and coconut extract. It’s best to use white sugar, since it won’t change the color of the drink like brown sugar will.
Cream of coconut: This adds a touch of natural coconut flavor to your drink. It’s optional, as you will get plenty of coconut flavor from the syrup, but recommended. Coco Lopez is the brand most tiki bartenders love to use; there’s also Coco Real Gourmet or you can make cream of coconut from coconut milk at home. Bear in mind that cream of coconut is different from coconut cream. Another substitute is coconut water.
Garnishes: Margaritas are usually garnished with a rim of margarita salt and lime wedges or lime wheels. You can also garnish your glass with toasted coconut.
Ice cubes: You’ll also need fresh ice to serve with each cocktail.
Variations & substitutions
Try one of these variations on this recipe:
Adjusted coconut flavor: If you like coconut but not that much and still want to enjoy one of these, there are a couple of things you can do to limit the taste of coconut. One is to use regular simple syrup instead of coconut flavored. The other way is to skip the splash of coconut cream (instead of skipping the coconut simple syrup). This will make your cocktail transparent rather than opaque.
Coconut margarita with coconut tequila: You can use coconut tequila, but it can be a bit cloying in flavor, which is why coconut syrup gets my vote as the perfect way to add coconut flavor to a drink. If you use coconut tequila, use plain simple syrup instead — or not at all, depending on how sweet the tequila is.
Non-alcoholic coconut margarita: You can make a virgin margarita by eliminating the alcohol or substituting a zero-proof spirit such as Ritual tequila alternative.
Frozen coconut margarita: Throw all the ingredients into the blender with 1-2 cups of ice to make a frozen version of this refreshing drink. Blend in more ice as needed to give it a slushy consistency.
How to make a Coconut Margarita
You can make this Coconut Margarita recipe in a few simple steps:
Place honey, agave nectar or coconut cream on a small plate and toasted coconut on another plate.
Lightly dip the edge of the glass in the cream of coconut and let any excess drip off. Roll the rim of the glass in the toasted coconut to coat the rim. (More on this in the next section.
Add ice to the glass.
In an ice-filled shaker, add tequila, triple sec, lime juice, coconut simple syrup and coconut cream.
Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
How to rim a glass with coconut
Your coconut margarita will look extra gorgeous with coconut on the rim of your glass. You can use shredded coconut or toasted coconut.
If you want to use toasted coconut, you’ll need to do that first and then let it cool. Toasting is optional but adds pretty color and texture to the presentation. (Here’s a great tutorial on how to toast coconut, by the way.)
Rimming a glass with coconut is a little different than rimming a glass with salt or sugar.
For starters, you simply can’t use lime juice. It is too thin and not sticky enough for the coconut mixture to stick, so you will need to use something sticky like agave nectar, honey or cream of coconut.
Here’s what to do:
- Pour a little bit of agave syrup or cream of coconut on a small plate and some toasted coconut on another plate.
- Lightly dip the edge of the glass in the sticky substance and let any excess drip off. You may want to spread the agave around with a brush or your finger — the coconut will only stick to the glass where it is sticky.
- Then roll the rim of the glass in the toasted coconut to coat the rim. After that, you can add ice and begin to make the cocktail. (Always rim the glass first, then shake the cocktail. If you do the cocktail first, the ice in the shaker will melt and dilute the drink.)
For more on rimming glasses and techniques, check out my tutorial on how to rim a glass.
Tips & tricks
Here are some tips and tricks for making this tropical margarita recipe:
- Quality ingredients matter in a cocktail. For great-tasting cocktails, a good bottle can make a big difference. For best results, go for a mid-price or top-shelf tequila and a top-shelf orange liqueur like Cointreau.
- You can use nice salt or sugar for the rim, but toasted coconut takes this to the next level. Use agave nectar or cream of coconut to get the flakes to stick.
- Add a garnish of a lime wedge or a lime slice on the rim.
What to serve with a Coconut Margarita
They will also go well with your favorite Mexican foods, like chips and guacamole.
There are a few ways to make a coconut margarita. One way is to use coconut-flavored tequila. Another is to use coconut simple syrup to make the drink. You can also add a splash of cream of coconut.
A splash of sweet orange liqueur in a margarita helps to balance out the bite of tequila and the tartness of sour lime.
More margarita recipes
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- 1 ½ ounce silver tequila
- ½ ounce clear orange liqueur such as triple sec Cointreau
- 1 ounce lime juice fresh
- 1 ounce cream of coconut such as Coco Lopez, plus more for the rim
- ½ ounce coconut simple syrup
- toasted coconut flakes for the rim
- lime wedge/wheel for garnish
- Place cream of coconut on a plate and toasted coconut on another plate.
- Lightly dip the rim of a margarita or rocks glass in the cream of coconut and let any excess drip off. (You may want to spread the agave around with a brush or your finger — the coconut will only stick to that.)
- Roll the rim of the glass in the toasted coconut to coat. Add ice to the prepared glass.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add tequila, triple sec, lime juice, cream of coconut and coconut simple syrup.
- Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared glass.
- Garnish with a piece of lime.
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