14 Margarita Variations

Nothing cuts through summer heat like a refreshing margarita

On warm summer nights, nothing cuts through the heat like a refreshing margarita. While the classic is always a crowd-pleaser, the basic recipe can serve as a canvas for playful and unexpected variations on the drink. We've rounded up some of our favorite reinterpretations of the margarita.

There are really two classic margaritas. The original, which dates back to sometime in the early 20th century, was a shaken cocktail of tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar. The second classic margarita came later. In 1971, Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez modified a soft-serve ice cream machine to dish out a slushie version of the drink and the frozen margarita was born.

Those two versions, shaken and frozen, yield all sorts of variations. To make a party-friendly frozen margarita, simply blend a can of frozen limeade with tequila, triple sec, agave nectar, and ice. For a beautiful pink frozen margarita, try infusing your tequila with prickly pears and muddling the fruit into the drink.

Another vibrantly pink margarita variation is the Moradita, colored with beet purée and kicked up with a jalapeño-infused tequila. Jalapeño is also featured in our mezcalita de piña, a smoky, sweet, and spicy drink made with mezcal, cilantro, and grilled pineapple. For something cooler, blueberries and basil make for a fresh, lively combination. Or try using ginger-kale juice to make a boozy-but-refreshing green juice margarita.

Find all of these drinks and more in our collection of 14 margarita variation recipes.

Classic Shaken Margarita
Classic Shaken Margarita
There is perhaps no cocktail better suited to summer than the classic margarita: tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and simple syrup, shaken and poured over ice.André Baranowski
Frozen Margarita
Frozen Margarita
In 1971 Mariano Martinez figured out how to make frozen margaritas from a soft serve ice cream machine; the rest is history.Penny De Los Santos
Margarita Al Jazeera
Margarita Al Jazeera
Jerusalem’s most vibrant watering hole is Yudale, where the bar offers sui generis drinks that include this delicious, tequila-based creation infused with rose petals and cumin. The name is an homage to the many journalists who tramp through town.André Baranowski
Frozen Limeade Margarita
Frozen Limeade Margarita
Canned frozen limeade intensifies the citrus flavor of this slushy Mexican-inspired libation.Todd Coleman
Prickly Pear Margarita
Prickly Pear Margarita
This legendary margarita comes from bartender Ruben Bernal at Las Carnarias restaurant in San Antonio.André Baranowski
Mezcalita de Piña
Mezcalita de Piña
Made with mezcal, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, and lime, this festive take on the classic margarita is smoky, sweet, and spicy, with an herbaceous kick from cilantro.Todd Coleman
Garden Variety Margarita
Garden Variety Margarita
A spicy ginger kick and the subtle, unmistakably grassy sweetness of kale elevates this vegetal variation on the margarita, from the New York City bar The Wayland.Anna Stockwell
Le Mexique (Mango-Ginger Margarita)
Le Mexique (Mango-Ginger Margarita)
Domaine de Canton, an aromatic, small-batch ginger liqueur made in France, adds spicy notes to a fruity twist on the classic margarita.Laura Sant
The Borderline Escape
The Borderline Escape
One of the most popular snacks on the streets of Mexico is fresh fruit dusted with chile powder. The flavors and aromas of that snack are brought back in this tequila-based drink.Helen Rosner
Sangria Margarita
Sangria Margarita
Matt's El Rancho in Austin combines two festive drinks in its sangria margarita.André Baranowski
Blueberry and Basil Margarita
Blueberry and Basil Margarita
Fresh blueberries and basil add a summery twist to a classic margarita.Todd Coleman
Moradita
Moradita
A jalapeño-infused, blood-colored tequila and beet cocktail, the Moradita (“Little Death”), is a fresh, nearly healthy-tasting drink with some real body and a balancing hint of elegant richness.Helen Rosner
Li Hing Mui Margarita ("Side-Mui")
Li Hing Mui Margarita ("Side-Mui")
Homemade sour mix adds fresh tang to a sweet combination of vodka and Kahlua.Helen Rosner
Thai Margarita Squares
Ginger Margarita Squares
Ginger simple syrup adds a bit of Asian-inspired flavor to these mouth-puckering Jell-O shots that turn the classic margarita on its head.Helen Rosner