How to Make the Perfect Frozen Margarita
Plus, how to whip up every flavor imaginable.
Sure, a margarita on the rocks will get the job done, but we think that sipping on this slushed, boozy treat just feels festive. 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, specifically Amanda Neal, a recipe developer for Food Network.
Tools to Make a Frozen Margarita
- A high-speed blender: “A high-speed blender is the best tool for the job because of its smooth, fast moving blades,” Neal 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.”
- Measuring cups and spoons: For portioning your ingredients.
Ingredients to Make a Frozen Margarita
- Crushed ice: Neal suggests starting with crushed ice rather than whole cubes. Not only will crushed ice give you that desired frothy texture, but also it will also save the blades from becoming dull.
- Freshly squeezed lime juice: Frozen margaritas are best served slightly sweeter and more acidic than regular ol’ margaritas. Why? “The very cold temperature of the drink will actually dull the overall taste,” Neal says. “It’s best to add an extra 1/4 ounce of lime juice and sweetener to your frozen margarita for a perfectly balanced beverage.”
- Sweetener: You’ll want to add something that very easily dissolves – so there’s no graininess – such as superfine sugar, confectioners’ sugar, simple syrup or agave.
- Tequila: As a rule of thumb, 1 cup of tequila serves 4 people (2 ounces of tequila per drink).
- Orange liqueur: Reach for an option like Cointreau.
- Fresh fruit (optional): If you’d like to flavor your frozen margarita, you can add fresh fruit like watermelon, strawberry or even dragon fruit.
- Coarse salt or flavored salt: Use this to rim the lip of each glass. Kosher salt will do the trick, and feel free to mix it with creative add-ins such as orange zest or cayenne. Or swap the salt out all together for tajin.
- Lime wedges: Perch these on the rim of each glass.
How to Make a Frozen Margarita
- Place your glasses in the freezer. Keep your margarita cold for longer by placing your glassware in the freezer at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Add all of the ingredients to the blender.
- Start the speed on medium-low. “This will start to crush the ice without watering down your drink," Neal says. "After about 30 seconds, crank the speed up to medium-high and continue to blend until you achieve the perfect frozen consistency.”
- Salt the rims of your glasses, pour the drinks and garnish with lime. Make a slit in each lime wedge. Rub a wedge around the rim of each glass. Dump salt onto a plate and dip the rims into the salt - the salt will stick. Fill the glasses and garnish them with the lime wedges.
Frozen Margarita Recipes
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!
Garnish your glasses with sugar-dipped strawberries for an extra indulge treat.
Frozen watermelon cubes and frozen limeade concentrate work hand-in-hand to balance the sweet and sour flavors in this drink.
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.
Tyler Florence adds a few pomegranate seeds at the bottom of his frosty margs for a burst of texture and freshness.
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.
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.
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.