Margarita Sugar

Add the perfect garnish to your margarita glasses with this sweet and tangy margarita sugar recipe. With a little lime zest and sugar, you can add a wonderful citrus sweetness to your favorite cocktails!

A gold spoon on top of a pile of margarita sugar.

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Margarita Sugar recipe

A classic margarita is by far one of the most popular cocktails, and it’s no wonder why! The tang of fresh lime juice and the bite of tequila truly make this drink refreshing and fun. Is it Taco Tuesday yet?

While it’s popular to use a margarita salt rim on a fresh marg, it’s also quite tasty to use a sugar rim! This margarita sugar recipe makes the best lime-flavored sugar that enhances the taste of any cocktail, but especially your favorite margaritas.

Not only does it have a delicious flavor, but it looks so pretty too! The little flecks of bright green in a glistening sugar is a fabulous finishing touch on the rim of the glass of any cocktail.

Fruity drinks like a strawberry margarita or mango mojito would be so tasty with lime margarita sugar. This easy recipe only takes minutes to make and can be used on anything you want! So let’s get started.

More cocktail rim recipes: Strawberry SugarCinnamon SugarBloody Mary Rim Salt

A bowl of lime juice with a spoon next to it.

Why you’ll love this recipe

I love adding an extra little something to my cocktails. Whether it’s a lemon twist or a spicy rim like chili lime seasoning, a good garnish makes my drinks just that much better. This margarita sugar is great because:

  • You only need 10 minutes total time to make this easy garnish. It won’t take long at all, yet it will add so much to your homemade cocktails. That’s a win win situation!
  • Make this tangy sugar with just two ingredients! It’s doesn’t get much easier than that.
  • Margarita sugar is actually pretty versatile. Not only can you use it on cocktails, but it’s great used in dessert and other recipes too.

Tools & equipment

To make margarita sugar, you will need a few different supplies. Make sure you have a good citrus zester to easily zest the peel of a lime. You will also need measuring cups and spoons, and a bowl and spoon to mix the ingredients together.

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A group of limes with a measuring spoon.


With just two ingredients you can make the most delicious sugar rim. The prep time is almost non existent too! It only takes a few minutes to get those zesty little flakes of lime and mix it with sweet sugar. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • lime zest: It is important to only get the green part of the lime peel. The white part, called the pith, is very bitter and will effect the taste of the margarita sugar. You can also use this same method and recipe with other citrus fruits. Make lemon sugar by using lemon zest and even make grapefruit or orange sugar with zest from their peels!
  • granulated sugar: Use granulated white sugar and mix it with the fresh lime zest. Be sure that the sugar you use isn’t too coarse or you may have a hard time getting it to stick to the edges of the glass.

How to make Margarita Sugar

Follow these simple steps to make the best zesty lime margarita sugar:

Clean your lime well and then grab your citrus zest and finely zest it.

A bowl of white sugar and lime zest.

Add the lime zest to a small bowl along with the sugar. Then use your fingers to rub the sugar into the zest until well combined.

A person mixing margarita sugar with their fingers.

Use immediately, or transfer to a food-safe airtight container and store in a dry place at room temperature.

A blue plate with margarita sugar on it.

How to rim a glass

I have a whole post with the best tips and tricks on how to rim a glass, but here’s the basic idea:

A margarita glass upside down on a plate of margarita sugar.
A rimmed margarita glass with a slice of lime next to it.

To rim a glass, pour the margarita sugar onto a plate that you can use to dip the glasses.

Rub a lime wedge on the outer edge of the margarita glass, then carefully roll it in the sugar to coat it.

Pour your cocktail into the glass and serve!

Tips & tricks

With just a few simple tricks, you can make this easy recipe even easier! Follow the simple instructions and then check out these tips and tricks for the best results:

  • When you go to rim a glass, make sure that only pour out the amount of sugar that you need. Once liquids like lime juice or lemon juice touch the sugar, it will begin to dissolve. So don’t store any sugar that you have used to rim glasses.
  • Give the sugar a courtesy taste test after you mix it together and feel free to add more lime zest if you’d like it to be more tart!
  • If you plan to have guest serve their own margaritas from a pitcher, rim the glasses ahead of time so that you can be sure you have enough!
A jar of margarita sugar and limes on a table.

Uses for Margarita Sugar

From an ice cold frozen margarita to a unique and flavorful strawberry basil margarita, there are so many uses for this zesty margarita sugar. Whatever drink has citrus, tequila 101, and maybe a yummy simple syrup, you can use this sugar on the rim! Oh, and it’s even great with lemonade!

Use it on lemon drop cookies or frozen margarita bars for a fun sugary topping. It’d be a great dusting sugar on top of lemon cupcakes too!


How do you get sugar to to stick to glass rims?

You need a little bit of liquid to get the sugar to stick to the rim of a glass. Use a lime wedge and run it around the rim to wet it a bit. Then roll the glass in sugar and it’s good to go!

Do margaritas have sugar or salt rims?

Both! It’s really personal preference as to whether you use sugar or salt to rim the glass. Some people prefer salt and others prefer sugar, so use whichever you want.

A spoon full of margarita sugar on top of a pile of sugar.

More margarita recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

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

A gold spoon on top of a pile of margarita sugar.

Margarita Sugar

Yield: 24 teaspoons
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This zesty lime margarita sugar is the perfect addition to your homemade cocktails. Add it to any rim for a sweet and tangy flavor! Makes ½ cup.
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 tablespoon lime zest from 1 lime
  • ½ cup sugar


  • Zest the lime finely.
  • Combine sugar and lime zest. Use your fingers to rub the sugar into the zest.
  • Store in a food-safe, airtight container.
  • To jar more for later: Preheat oven to 225ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the salt mixture evenly over the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until zest has dried. Let cool. If done, the zest should crumble when you rub it between your fingers.
  • To rim a glass: Place margarita sugar on a plate. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Roll the rim of the glasses in the sugar to coat the rim.


The amount of zest you can get varies depending on the size of your limes. On average, a regular lime will make 2 teaspoons of zest.
Feel free to substitute grapefruit zest, orange zest or lemon zest in this recipe. See post for other variations.
Make sure your glassware is dry before rimming it. Any leftover moisture can pick up extra flacks of salt and sugar.
Use freshly cut citrus to moisten the rim of the glass. If no lime, use lemon or orange. The fresh juices help the sugar and salt stick to the rims of the glasses without dissolving right away.
Be precise when applying the citrus wedge. Any areas touched by the moisture will get coated in salt and sugar; any areas not coated will be devoid of it.
Do your best to keep salt and sugar away from the interior of the cocktail glass. A proper rim should have the grains on the top lip of the glass or a band on the outside of the glass.

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nutrition information

Yield: 24 teaspoons

amount per serving:

Serving: 1teaspoon Calories: 16kcal Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 0.002g Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 0.05mg Potassium: 0.3mg Fiber: 0.01g Sugar: 4g Vitamin A: 0.1IU Vitamin C: 0.1mg Calcium: 0.1mg Iron: 0.004mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

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