How to Make a Pitcher of Margaritas

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When the warm weather rolls around, treat yourself and a few friends to a tasty pitcher of margaritas.

Homemade margaritas take a tiny bit of effort but the payoff is big. While store-bought mixes are convenient, they don’t quite live up to fresh lime juice and tequila. Make a batch for sharing—and be prepared to pour a second round.

On the Rocks or Blended?

True margarita aficionados drink their margaritas on the rocks. I learned this decades ago from the look a bartender shot me when ordering a blended margarita. He explained that they only served margaritas on the rocks—which made me promptly want to melt into the floor. But once I had that margarita on the rocks, I’ve never gone back. You get to taste your quality ingredients instead of mostly ice. If you’ve only had blended margaritas, this recipe is a great opportunity to try it on the rocks.

Margarita Ingredients

When it comes to margaritas, high-quality ingredients are a must. Invest in a decent bottle of tequila Blanco and orange liqueur that you like the taste of. Also, always use fresh-squeezed lime juice. Bottled lime juice will make your margarita taste bitter and off. Learn more about the essential ingredients in a margarita.

How to Make a Pitcher of Margaritas

Tequila Orange Liqueur Lime Juice
1 Serving 1 1/2 oz. 1 oz. 1/2 oz.
2 Servings 3 oz. 2 oz. 1 oz.
4 Servings 3/4 cup 1/2 cup 1/4 cup
8 Servings 1 1/2 cups 1 cup 1/2 cup
12 Servings 2 1/4 cups 1 1/2 cups 3/4 cup

When it comes to margaritas, you can rely on the 3-2-1 ratio, no matter what size cocktail you’re mixing. (That’s the first rule in our margarita guide.) For a single serving, that means 1-½ ounce tequila, 1 ounce orange liqueur and ½ ounce lime juice. This scaled-up, big-batch recipe makes about 12 drinks.


  • 12 lime wedges
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • Crushed or cubed ice
  • 2 ¼ cups tequila
  • 1 ½ cup orange liqueur
  • ¾ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup simple syrup, optional


Step 1: Prep the glasses

Grab your margarita glasses and moisten the rims with the lime wedges. Then, pour the salt onto a small plate and sip the edges of the glass into the salt until the rim is completely covered. Fill each glass about halfway with crushed or cubed ice.

Step 2: Mix it up

In a large pitcher, beverage dispenser or punch bowl, combine the tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice. Add ice and stir with a large spoon until the cocktail is chilled and the outside of the pitcher has formed condensation.

Editor’s tip: If you prefer a sweeter margarita, add the simple syrup (or agave nectar) here. You can also add flavorings like fruit puree, fruit juice or other ingredients for a margarita variation.

Step 3: Serve

This margarita pitcher recipe is ready to go! Simply divide the pitcher of margaritas evenly between the prepared glasses and enjoy.

Editor’s tip: To prevent the ice cubes in the pitcher from splashing into the glasses, use a spoon to hold the cubes back. Or use a pitcher with a lid that prevents the ice from pouring out.

Once you savor the fresh citrus and smooth tequila of this recipe, you’ll be ruined for all lesser margaritas. Pair it with any one of these wonderful Mexican dishes and have fun!

Up next: Learn how to make a skinny margarita!

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Jennifer Schwarzkopf
Half Chilean, half Irish descent and all joie de vivre, I'm a food writer/photographer who loves to share stories about different cultures and the magic that is sharing a meal together. When not doing that, you'll find me working on my culinary degree, hanging with family & friends, and just trying to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." Salud!