This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This margarita pitcher is everything we love about the classic sweet-tart cocktail, but party size! It's tangy, cool, and crisp making it perfect for your next warm-weather fiesta. With just three simple ingredients, it's easy to make, and it's ready in just 5 minutes!
This margarita recipe is pitcher perfect! The simple 2-1-1 margarita ratio is as easy to make by the glass as it is by the batch for a crowd.
Unlike many overly sweet store-bought mixes, a classic margarita is a strong sweet-tart drink with only three simple ingredients – good-quality tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly-squeezed lime juice.
Mix up a pitcher of this crisp cocktail for your next party, and be sure to serve it cold with plenty of salt and extra limes!
Here's what you'll need
To make a pitcher of a classic margarita, here's what you'll need:
- Ice + sliced limes – to add to the pitcher, and to keep things cool.
- White tequila – white tequila, also called silver tequila or tequila blanco, has a clean, colorless appearance which makes it perfect for lighter-colored cocktails.
- Triple sec – this clear orange-flavored liqueur made from the skins of oranges is a classic margarita ingredient used for sweetening. Cointreau, another orange-flavored liqueur, is a great substitute. Simple syrup or agave can be used instead (and yields a margarita that is slightly less strong on the alcohol!)
- Lime juice – fresh is best to give it that classic sour margarita taste!
- Coarse salt – to rim the glass, of course.
How to make a pitcher of margarita
It's easy to make a pitcher of margarita. The classic margarita ratio is 2-1-1, which makes it really easy to scale to share with friends (two parts tequila, one part triple sec (or simple syrup), and one part lime juice.)
- Fill a pitcher halfway full with ice – larger ice is better as it doesn't melt as quickly. Add a few lime slices to the pitcher, if you'd like.
- Now add the tequila, triple sec, and lime juice and give it a stir.
- Salt the rims of your glasses, fill them with ice, then pour the margarita from the pitcher into your glasses and garnish them with a slice of lime. Cheers!
How to make simple syrup
If you don't want to buy Triple Sec or would prefer a lower-alcohol drink, make some simple syrup to use instead!
Making simple syrup at home is really easy. Heat 1 cup of sugar (or honey, or agave syrup) with 2 cups of water until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool completely before using it to make a drink. Store any leftovers in the fridge for about a month.
How can I make a pitcher of margaritas with less alcohol?
Great question! The easiest way to make a lighter margarita is to replace the Triple Sec with simple syrup. You can also top your margarita with a splash of bubbly water as we do in our fizzy lime margaritas.
Can I make a pitcher of margaritas ahead of time?
If you'd like to prep as much as possible for your party ahead of time, combine the tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice in a pitcher and keep it in your fridge. Right before serving it, fill the pitcher with ice.
Can I use gold tequila instead?
Gold tequila has a very strong flavor, which is why white tequila is commonly used in margaritas. But if you like the flavor of gold tequila then you can try that instead!
Variations to try
There are many different types of margaritas you can make. Here are a few simple ways you can mix up the classic:
- Make it a spicy margarita – to give your margarita a little kick, add a few slices of jalapeño into your glass. Press the slices with the back of a wooden spoon to release some of the juices. Since the heat can vary, start with a few slices as you can always add more if you like.
- Make it a mezcal margarita – we love using mezcal in margaritas for its smoky complex flavor. Depending on your preference, you could swap all the tequila for mezcal, or do a 50/50 blend of tequila and mezcal.
- Make it a lower alcohol margarita – the easiest way to make a lighter margarita is to replace the Triple Sec with simple syrup. You can also top your margarita with a splash of bubbly water (as we do in our fizzy lime margaritas.
- Give it a spicy rim – use Tajìn mixed with coarse salt to give your rim some heat. You could even add a bit of cane sugar to make it sweet and spicy!
Ideas for serving a margarita pitcher
Nothing beats the tangy-sweet taste of a classic margarita on a hot day. Mix up a refreshing pitcher for your next party, gathering, or even Cinco de Mayo.
Of course, it's a natural match with Mexican food (our favorite!) Pour a glass while lounging on a patio with some salty tortilla chips and chunky grilled guacamole, or pair it with tacos, nacho fries, or a Mexican hot dog. You can't go wrong!
- Ice and sliced limes (for the pitcher)
- 2 cups white tequila
- 1 cup Triple Sec (see notes)
- 1 cup lime juice (fresh is best!)
- Coarse salt (to rim the glasses)
- Fill a pitcher halfway full with ice. Larger ice is better as it doesn't melt as quickly. If you'd like, put a few lime slices in the pitcher.Ice and sliced limes
- Add the tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice and stir.2 cups white tequila, 1 cup Triple Sec, 1 cup lime juice
- Salt the rims of your glasses by running a cut lime over the rim them dipping the wet edge into a plate of salt. Add ice to the glasses then pour the margarita from the pitcher into your glasses and garnish them with a slice of lime.Coarse salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.