Virgin Margarita

A Virgin Margarita lets you enjoy a margarita night without the alcohol. These sweet-tart lime mocktails are still a great time, and you won’t even miss the booze.

Two virgin margarita glasses with limes.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, Feast + West receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Easy Virgin Margarita recipe

The margarita is a staple of Cinco de Mayo in the spring, pool parties in the summer and Taco Tuesdays year-round.

But what if you (or one of your guests) don’t want any tequila for whatever reason? You’re not out of luck — this Virgin Margarita is the solution to this boozeless beverage problem.

You can still enjoy margarita night with a fun drink that still tastes great. There are two ways to make it: with a zero-proof spirit that tastes like tequila or without.

Try them both and pick your favorite! (I like them both but I love the punch of extra flavor you get from the zero-proof tequila.)

More non-alcoholic mocktail recipes: Virgin Moscow MuleVirgin Mint JulepVirgin Mojito

Two margarita glasses with limes and lime wedges.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Virgin cocktails are a great way to enjoy your favorites without the alcohol. You’ll love this easy margarita mocktail recipe, for a few reasons:

  • This is the BEST virgin margarita recipe that you’ll want to make again and again.
  • You’ll be amazed at how good these mocktails taste. They’re just like the real thing but with none of the alcohol!
  • They’re easy to make and easy to customize with flavors and a sugar or salted rim.

Serve this delicious virgin margarita recipe on Taco Tuesday, hot summer days, for any special occasion or when celebrating Dry January

A Virgin Margarita in a glass with lime and lime wedges.

What is a margarita?

The margarita is a classic cocktail from Mexico made from lime juice, tequila and a sweetener. Sometimes the lime juice and sweetener are combined into a cocktail mixer known as sour mix or margarita mix, sometimes with lemon juice as well, to make the drink more efficient to prepare.

Margaritas can be served on the rocks (AKA over ice) or as a frozen margarita, and with either salt or sugar on the rim.

Though lime is classic, margaritas are often served with a variety of different flavors, such as with strawberries or prickly pears.

Though the margarita is often thought to be the national drink of Mexico, that title actually belongs to the Paloma, a grapefruit tequila drink.

Tools & glassware

To make a virgin margarita, you’ll need a basic bartending set:

For glassware, you’ve got options. You can go fancy with a margarita glass or coupe glass, or keep things simple with a rocks glass.

A person pouring lemon juice into a bowl.

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:

Lime juice

Using fresh citrus juice in a cocktail brings the best, zestiest flavor. It will make a serious difference, trust me! These are my top tips for juicing limes at home.

If you have the bottled concentrate, that works too. But it can be a bit more tart than fresh lime juice, so keep that in mind. If you have the time to juice, you won’t regret it:

Tip: Room temperature citrus is easier to juice than cold, refrigerated fruit. Set your citrus fruits out on the counter for a couple hours to warm up before juicing them.

a bottle of ritual zero proof tequila alternative on a white countertop with a gold jigger and green and white tea towel.

Tequila-like zero-proof spirit

Zero-proof spirits offer another avenue for savoring drinks without the inclusion of alcohol. These are mixers engineered to replicate the flavors of alcoholic beverages but lack alcohol content.

Many non-alcoholic brands grace the shelves of grocery stores, specialty shops, and big-name stores like CVS and Wal-Mart. And because they don’t contain alcohol, zero-proof spirits can also be ordered and shipped to your door.

While this is optional, a tequila alternative helps to emulate the flavor of an alcoholic margarita. They bring the smoky, spicy flavor of mezcal and tequila but without the booze. These are my favorites for a virgin margarita:

Orange juice

Many margarita recipes contain orange liqueur or triple sec, which add an extra punch of booziness, a touch of sweetness and zesty orange flavor. To emulate this in the virgin margarita, a splash of orange juice works wonders. While you don’t need the orange flavor — margaritas are lime, after all — it’s a secret ingredient that makes this recipe shine. 

If you have the time and the tools, squeezing your own fresh orange juice will go a long way and provide the freshest flavor.

You can use navel oranges, but I like cara cara oranges for their sweet flavor. Most oranges produce a few ounces of juice, which is all you need for one virgin margarita. 

Sweetener

Lastly, you’ll need something to sweeten these sweet-and-sour cocktails! You have a couple of options here:

  • Agave nectar is classic for a margarita. That’s because tequila is made from the agave plant, so this pairing brings in some similar notes to tequila. This is my pick for the virgin margarita.
  • Simple syrup is another great option that you can make at home with sugar and water. It can also be flavored, such as blackberry syrup or jalapeño syrup (for a spicy margarita), to punch up your drinks.
  • And if you want a lighter option, you can use sugar-free simple syrup. It can be made with sugar substitutes like stevia or coconut sugar.
Agave In The Raw Organic Agave Nectar Sweetener
$5.18 ($0.28 / Ounce)
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 05:58 am GMT
A blue plate with a lime wedge on it, accompanied by a gold jigger.

Garnishes

To finish of the drink and make it feel like more a real cocktail and less like a mocktail, you’ll want to add either a sugar rim or a salt rim and a lime wedge or lime wheel.

Salt helps to cut the sweet sugar, tart lime and spicy and smoky tequila-like flavors in the zero-proof spirit. Sugar helps to enhance the sweetness. Use your favorite! I recommend a coarse salt or kosher salt or sanding sugar for the rim of the glass. 

This tutorial on rimming a glass is a great place to start if you’ve never rimmed a drink before. 

Two margarita glasses with limes and cactus, featuring virgin margaritas.

Variations and substitutions

Try one of these variations on this recipe:

  • Classic margarita mocktail: Below I’ve included instructions for making this drink with a zero-proof spirit like Ritual tequila alternative.
  • Simple virgin margarita: You can also skip the zero-proof spirit and make this drink with just lime juice, orange juice and a sweetener. Instructions for that are below as well.
  • Sugar-free virgin margarita: Skip the sweetener or use a sugar-free substitute.
  • Flavored virgin margarita: Instead of agave syrup, use a flavored syrup like coconut syrup or raspberry syrup.
  • Frozen virgin margarita: Throw the ingredients in the blender with 2 cups of ice and blend until smooth.

Bubbles: I also want to add that some people like to add sparkling water or club soda to their margaritas. You can do this if you like, but it’s not necessary. Bubbles are not a feature of the classic margarita recipe this is based on.

How to make Virgin Margaritas

Making these Virgin Margaritas is super simple! Here’s what you’ll need to do.

A green wine glass with a lime on it, perfect for enjoying a refreshing Virgin Margarita.
A lime slice on a blue plate with lime sugar.

First, rim your glasses. Place sugar or salt on a plate. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Dip or roll the rim of the glasses in the salt or sugar to coat the rim. Add ice to the glasses if you are serving them on the rocks.

A person pouring a Virgin Margarita into a glass.
Two margarita glasses with limes and cactus, featuring virgin margaritas.

Grab a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice cubes. Pour in the tequila alternative (if using), lime juice, orange juice and agave nectar.

Cover the shaker and shake it up well. Then, you can strain it into the glass.

Garnish your non-alcoholic margarita with a slice of lime or a lime wedge and enjoy!

Two margarita glasses with limes and lime wedges, perfect for enjoying a refreshing margarita.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this mocktail margarita recipe:

  • A tequila alternative will make this drink taste the most like the real deal.
  • Fresh juices are sweeter and less tart than bottled concentrate, making these margaritas nicer to sip.
  • Use a nice salt or sugar for the rim. I suggest making your own margarita salt or using sanding sugar.
  • Add a garnish of a lime wedge or a lime slice on the rim.
Set of 2 cactus margarita glasses for virgin margaritas.

What to serve with Virgin Margaritas

Margaritas are always good with Mexican food. Serve them with one of these ideas:

Two margarita glasses with limes and lime wedges, perfect for enjoying a refreshing Virgin Margarita.

FAQ

What is a non-alcoholic substitute for tequila in a margarita?

In lieu of alcoholic tequila, a zero-proof spirit can be used in a margarita. Some zero-proof spirit companies make tequila alternatives that taste spicy and smoky like a tequila or mezcal. Alcohol can also be omitted from many recipes, but

What are the ingredients in a virgin margarita?

A virgin margarita can be made similarly to a classic margarita. Lime juice and a sweetener like simple syrup or agave nectar shine along with alcohol alternatives. Instead of tequila, a zero-proof spirit, made without alcohol, mimicking tequila can be used. The tequila can also be omitted from many recipes, but a zero-proof spirit helps to emulate a regular margarita. For recipes that call for orange liqueur, a splash of orange juice works well.

More non-alcoholic drinks

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A Virgin Margarita in a glass with lime and lime wedges.

Virgin Margarita

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Learn the two ways to make a non-alcoholic version of the classic lime margarita! This Virgin Margarita is refreshing, light and perfect for margarita night.
5 from 39 votes
Print Save

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt or sugar, for rim
  • lime wedge for garnish

With zero-proof spirits

  • 1 ½ ounces tequila alternative
  • 1 ounce lime juice fresh-squeezed
  • 1 ounce agave nectar or simple syrup
  • ½ ounce orange juice fresh-squeezed

Without zero-proof spirits

  • 2 ounces lime juice fresh-squeezed
  • 1 ounce agave nectar or simple syrup
  • 1 ounce orange juice fresh-squeezed

instructions

  • Place sugar or salt on a plate. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Roll the rim in the salt or sugar to coat.
  • If you are serving them on the rocks, add ice to the glass.
  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the tequila alternative (if using), lime juice, agave nectar and orange juice.
  • Cover and shake well. Strain it into the prepared glass.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime or lime wedge.

notes

There are two ways to make a virgin margarita: with a zero-proof spirit that tastes like tequila or without. Try them both and pick your favorite! (I like them both but I love the punch of extra flavor you get from the zero-proof tequila.)
Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:
  • A tequila alternative will make this drink taste the most like the real deal.
  • Fresh juices are sweeter and less tart than bottled concentrate, making these margaritas nicer to sip.
  • Use a quality coarse salt or sanding sugar for the rim.
  • Add a garnish of a lime wedge or a lime slice on the rim.

recommended products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 serving

amount per serving:

Serving: 4ounces Calories: 101kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 0.3g Fat: 0.2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 4mg Potassium: 63mg Fiber: 0.2g Sugar: 21g Vitamin A: 43IU Vitamin C: 20mg Calcium: 7mg Iron: 0.1mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

The Golden Ratio Guide:

Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!