How to Make the Perfect Frozen Margarita

Plus, how to whip up every flavor imaginable.

May 05, 2020

Frozen Mango Margarita; Ellie Krieger

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Nothing screams Cinco de Mayo quite like a frozen margarita. Sure, a margarita on the rocks will get the job done, but we think that sipping on this slushed, boozy treat just feels festive.

However, while the ingredient list for a classic margarita on the rocks is pretty simple (tequila + orange-flavored liqueur + lime juice + simple syrup), the formula for a frozen margarita is less straightforward. With so many different variations of this frosty drink, we couldn’t help but wonder if there was a way to get it right every time.

To find out how to make the *perfect* frozen margarita, we enlisted the help of our test kitchen. Amanda Neal, a recipe developer for Food Network, says that the first step is to have the proper tools in your kitchen. “A high-speed blender is the best tool for the job because of its smooth, fast moving blades,” she says. “If you don’t have one, a regular blender will also work, you may just need to blend your margarita on high speed for a little longer until the ice is evenly and finely chopped.”

Amanda also suggests starting with crushed ice rather than whole cubes. Not only will crushed ice give you that desired frothy texture, but it will also save the blades from becoming dull.

“Once you’re ready to blend, start the speed on medium-low” she recommends. “This will start to crush the ice without watering down your drink. After about 30 seconds, crank the speed up to medium-high and continue to blend until you achieve the perfect frozen consistency.”

Like other frozen treats like smoothies and ice cream, frozen margaritas are best served slightly sweeter and more acidic than a regular ol’ margarita. Why? “The very cold temperature of the drink will actually dull the overall taste,” Amanda says. “It’s best to add an extra 1/4 ounce of lime juice and simple syrup to your frozen margarita for a perfectly balanced beverage.”

For the finishing touch, keep your margarita cold for longer by placing your glassware in the fridge or freezer at least 30 minutes before serving. And, don’t forget to salt the rim and garnish your glasses with lime once they’re chilled.

Now that you’ve perfected the art of the frozen margarita, celebrate with one of these mouth-watering recipes:

Frozen Mango Margarita (pictured above)

To save on prep time, Ellie Krieger uses a bag of frozen diced mango for her icy margaritas. Bonus: these top-rated sippers are ready to drink in just 10 minutes!

A red margarita garnished with a frozen strawberry in a long stemmed glass placed on a round wooden tray

©Food/Prop Styling: Paul Lowe

Food/Prop Styling: Paul Lowe

Garnish your glasses with sugar-dipped strawberries for an extra indulge treat.

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150416_FoodNetwork_217.tif

Photo by: Sarah Anne Ward

Sarah Anne Ward

Frozen watermelon cubes and frozen limeade concentrate work hand-in-hand to balance the sweet and sour flavors in this drink.

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cocktail-left-0194.tif

Photo by: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe - 2015

Ryan Liebe, Ryan Liebe - 2015

This floral margarita tastes just as good as it looks. Combine lime juice, triple sec and tequila with a homemade hibiscus syrup; chill the mixture and blend with ice until slushy.

Photo by: Stephen Murello ©Stephen Murello

Stephen Murello, Stephen Murello

Tyler Florence adds a few pomegranate seeds at the bottom of his frosty margs for a burst of texture and freshness.

Sunny Anderson makes Avocado Margaritas, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Yup, even avocados can be transformed into a frozen boozy drink. The key to The Kitchen’s Frozen Avocado Margarita is to add the avocado after all the other ingredients have already been blended. Once the avocado has been added, blend for about 10 more seconds until the drink is smooth and creamy.

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FN0109121_FROZEN_01.tif

Photo by: Levi Brown Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Levi Brown Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Because sometimes you just can’t beat a classic. Food Network Magazine’s traditional Frozen Margarita recipe calls for freezing water, lime juice, orange liqueur and sugar into ice cubes then blending the cubes with tequila for a frothy refresher.

Close-up of Blue Thunder Frozen Margarita, as seen on The Pioneer Woman, Season 18.

Don’t let this margarita’s vibrant hue scare you off — it’s just blue curacao! To make these blue beauties even more unique, Ree Drummond runs an orange wedge around the rim of each glass and then dips the rim in orange sugar.

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