If you're a margarita fan, you NEED to try these gorgeous Blood Orange Margaritas. These on-the-rocks margs look like something you'd order at a swanky cocktail bar, but they are filled with seasonal, freshly squeezed juices and are easy to make at home when vibrant citrus fruits crowd the store shelves. Fair warning: your friends will ask for the recipe.
Maybe your favorite season is summer. Or fall. Or just the holidays in general.
Me? I make a strong case for the importance of citrus season, mostly because I can make batches and batches of these refreshing Blood Orange Margaritas.
A glass of this rocks marg is one of the tastiest ways to banish the winter blahs.
Why you'll love this recipe
➤ Fresh is best. There is no pre-mixed, bottled stuff here. Only the freshest juices from in-season fruit, aged silver tequila, the orange liqueur of your choice and a bit of sugar. You'll taste the difference that real ingredients make!
➤ An irresistible color. A classic margarita is always a solid drink choice but it can't hold a candle to the vibrant glow of these on-the-rocks margs. It's a delicious way to add a splash of color to those long, dark winter nights.
➤ Best use for blood oranges. Ever walk by the displays of blood oranges (also called raspberry oranges) at the store and wonder what to do with them? I may be biased, but I can think of no tastier way to dip your toes into the world of berry-sweet blood oranges than by making a round of these margaritas.
➤ Make one or a batch: This recipe is written for a pitcherful of drinks, but it can easily be divided to make just one or two in minutes.
What are blood oranges?
Blood oranges have a similar taste to a navel orange with a hint of berry and a stunningly colored flesh. You might see them labeled as Moro oranges or raspberry oranges at the grocery store.
They are usually in season December through March, so grab them while you can! (Update: I saw blood oranges at the grocery store in MAY, so it appears that blood orange season is longer than it used to be.)
You'll find the usual suspects here as with any typical margarita recipe: citrus juice, tequila, orange liqueur and sugar.
A few ingredient notes:
- Tequila: I don’t like to muddy the gorgeous color of these beauties, so I always opt for silver or blanco tequila. Just be sure you're buying 100% agave blanco tequila (and not one with a number of additives) to ensure a smooth margarita.
- Orange liqueur - You can opt for any number of options here (Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier). I'm a fan of Cointreau for this margarita.
- Juices should ALWAYS be fresh. None of that bottled stuff here as it has preservatives that can change the flavor of the juice. (A batch of this recipe makes 10 drinks which means squeezing a LOT of blood oranges and limes. Make it easy with this inexpensive handheld juicer with built-in measurement markings.)
- Superfine sugar can be found in the baking aisle. It's essentially granulated sugar that has been finely ground. I love to use it in cocktails because it doesn't take nearly as long to dissolve as traditional ground sugar.
This homemade margarita recipe is written as a batch cocktail so you can share it with friends. But the method is similar to any other margarita recipe and can be easily divided for just a few cocktails.
Combine ingredients. For a recipe this size, stir together everything in a large pitcher. Chill for a few hours.
When ready to serve, add ice to a cocktail shaker and fill ⅔ full with margarita mix. Shake for at least 30 seconds and pour into ice filled glasses. Repeat until all mix is used.
Give Cara Cara oranges a try! They have a sweet, reddish flesh that is similar to blood oranges.
For margaritas with a lot of color like this one, I prefer to use silver or blanco tequila. It’s a young tequila that is not aged for very long, which also makes it less expensive than a reposado or anejo tequila. The most important thing to remember is to buy a 100% agave tequila. It's the smoothest tequila, regardless of age (and is less likely to result in any morning after headaches - within reason, of course).
Sure! This recipe is written for a pitcher full of cocktails, but feel free to scale the recipe for yourself. Simply divide the ingredients by however many servings you need. No need to refrigerate the mix since you'll be shaking your individual portions over ice.
Expert tips for making blood orange margaritas
Follow these tips to take your margarita from average to outstanding:
✔︎ Choose citrus fruits that are easy to squeeze. Oranges and limes that are rock hard usually do not contain as much juice and you'll need more to make your drinks.
✔︎ Shake, don't stir. The shaking process not only chills the drink, it dilutes it and emulsifies the citrus juices with the alcohol. The result is a bunch of tiny air bubbles, a frothy appearance and a smooth taste.
✔︎ Salt the rim. It make feel like an unnecessary extra step, but salting a cocktail glass is super easy and adds polish to any cocktail, especially margaritas.
- Place salt on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the edge of the glass so it is coated in juice. Then turn the glass upside down and dip it into salt on the plate. You may need to tip and turn the glass a bit to make sure the entire rim gets coated in salt, but you'll get the hang of it after a few tries.
- Our "house" brand of salt is Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, so that's most often what I use for margaritas because it's what I have on hand. You can also use a coarser grained sea salt for a bigger wow factor.
- You can also "fancy up" your drink (and add a bit of kick) by including any number of dried herbs or spices in your salt rim like we do with chili powder in our Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas.
✔︎ Freeze any extra juice so you can enjoy these blood orange margaritas whenever the craving hits!
✔︎ A mason jar is an excellent substitution for a cocktail shaker. This bar strainer fits most larger jar sizes. We use ours all the time.
More margarita recipes
We love margaritas, and we have no shortage of tasty marg recipes for you to try:
You can find even more cocktail recipes in our archives.
Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Your feedback helps us and your fellow readers!
Blood Orange Margaritas
- 4 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 cups silver tequila
- 1 ½ cups orange liqueur, I used Cointreau
- ¼ cup superfine sugar
- lime wedges
- kosher salt
- blood orange and lime slices optional
- Place juices, tequila, orange liqueur and sugar in a large pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.4 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 cups silver tequila, 1 ½ cups orange liqueur,, ¼ cup superfine sugar
- Rim edges of glass with lime wedge and salt. Fill cocktail shaker and 8 low ball glasses with ice.lime wedges, kosher salt
- Pour enough margarita mix into shaker until it's ⅔ full. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into ice filled glasses. Repeat with remaining margarita mix. Garnish with blood orange slices, if desired.blood orange and lime slices
- Total time includes refrigeration for making a batch of margaritas.
- To make only one margarita, combine 4 ounces blood orange juice, 1 ounce lime juice, 3 ounces silver tequila, 1.5 ounces orange liqueur and 1.5 teaspoons superfine sugar in a shaker filled with ice. Shake for at least 30 seconds and strain into a salt rimmed glass filled with ice.
- Can't find blood oranges? Cara Cara oranges are a reliable substitute. Not quite the same but they are the closest I've found in the citrus family.
- Choose citrus fruits that are easy to squeeze. Oranges and limes that are rock hard usually do not contain as much juice and you'll need more to make your drinks.
- Freeze any extra juice so you can enjoy these blood orange margaritas whenever the craving hits!
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sarah B says
Is shaking 100% necessary? I’d like to make this for a friends bridal fiesta, and I plan on putting it into a glass drink dispenser, so it won’t get shaken/stirred for every glass. Is that okay?
No, it's not absolutely necessary. Congrats to the bride!
Delicious! I liked the proportions and the color is gorgeous. I did a 1/2 recipe and it took 8 blood oranges to yield 2 Cups of strained blood orange juice.
You are speaking my love language with these margaritas. Beautiful! And thank you so much for featuring my Prosecco margaritas recipe. Cheers, friends!
Hi! This looks awesome! I'm wanting to do it tomorrow for my son's first birthday party, but since blood oranges are out of season I can't find the juice or orange anywhere. What are your thoughts on using clementine, tangerine, or cara cara (red navel orange) juice instead? Just wondering how much it would alter the taste and which one would be best to go with. Thank you!
Hi Betsy, I would suggest going with Cara Cara oranges. They seem to be the closest in flavor profile (sweet-tart) to blood oranges. Enjoy the party!
Thank you, I'll let you know how it turns out!