Why stop at a typical margarita? Like crystal clear tropical water, a blue margarita catches the eye and feels refreshing as you plunge in.
Caribbean Blue Margarita Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Go to any Mexican restaurant and you’ll likely find more options on the margarita list than on the taco menu. From replacing the tequila with mezcal to mixer upgrades and flavored margaritas, there’s a margarita for everyone.

If you want to get in on the colorful cocktail fun but love the taste of a traditional margarita, mix up a blue margarita. This beverage has all of the elements of a classic margarita—tequila, orange liqueur and lime—but swaps in a blue-toned liqueur for a shock of color that immediately transports you to white sandy beaches and clear blue water with every sip. Have the paper umbrellas ready!

Not to be confused with a blueberry margarita, a blue margarita is made with blue curacao (pronounced CURE-ah-souw), an orange-flavored liqueur with a bright blue color, instead of Triple Sec. Both are orange liqueurs with a similar sweetness, but curacao has about half the alcohol by volume. Curacao also comes in a clear version, and other colors, and takes its name from the Caribbean island that supplies the bitter oranges used to flavor the original liqueur.

Blue Margarita Ingredients

  • Blanco tequila: White, unaged tequila has a clear color and neutral flavor that won’t dilute the brightness of a blue margarita. If you want to use an aged tequila instead, a golden reposado will complement the curacao’s hue better than a darker-colored anejo. Here’s a little more about the best tequila for margaritas.
  • Blue curacao: This orange-flavored liqueur gives the margarita and other blue cocktails a vibrant blue color. The color comes from food coloring, regardless of the brand, because natural blue dyes are more susceptible to color changes when, say, mixing in lemon or lime juice.
  • Lime juice: Lime juice balances tequila’s strength and curacao’s sweetness with its natural tartness. Freshly squeezed lime juice has just the right sour flavor for this drink, and you might notice a difference if you use bottled juice instead.


Step 1: Salt the rim

Moisten the entire rim of a cocktail glass with the lime wedge; set the wedge aside. Sprinkle salt on a small plate, and then flip the glass upside down and dip the rim in the salt while gently rotating the glass. Fill the glass with ice.

Editor’s Tip: Moistening the rim with lime will hold the salt just along that lip, but also running the lime just below the rim around the outside of the glass will let more salt cling to it. Tilt the rim at a 45-degree angle when rolling it in the salt to add a deeper coating, and then gently tap the glass to dislodge the excess. Sugar can replace the salt for sweeter sips.

Step 2: Shake the liquids

In an empty cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, blue curacao and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice. Cover it and shake until frost forms on the outside of the shaker, 15 to 20 seconds.

Step 3: Pour and serve

Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass. Garnish with the lime wedge and, if you want to add more flair, star fruit and orange slices. Serve immediately.

Recipe Variations

Blue Margarita glasses on black surface with fruits lying aroundTMB Studio

  • Tropical margarita: If the strong orange taste of a blue margarita surprises you, adding pineapple juice may make you feel more like you’re enjoying the drink on a Caribbean island. Start with half of the recipe’s blue curacao and lime juice and about 1/2 ounce of pineapple juice before adjusting all of the flavors to taste.
  • Berry margarita: Muddle a few fresh blueberries or blackberries in the bottom of the cocktail shaker before shaking with the other ingredients and straining. The color will turn a deeper blue or take on a purple tinge depending on the amount of juice released by the berries.
  • Sweet margarita: While you may be tempted to cut back or drop the lime juice if you like a sweeter cocktail, a better choice is to mix in homemade simple syrup. That way, you keep all of the essential lime flavor while offsetting its sourness. Start with about 1/4 ounce of simple syrup and add more as needed to taste.
  • Colorful margaritas: Create margaritas in an array of jewel tones for a cocktail party. Grab bottles of curacao in as many colors as you can find: Besides clear and blue, some distillers offer green, red and orange versions of the liqueur. Distillers usually mix in food coloring to achieve these tones and then filter the final liqueur, so you’re better off buying bottles of colored liqueur rather than trying to color each glass yourself.

Can you freeze a blue margarita?

Shaken margaritas have the best texture and flavor when mixed and served immediately, but you can freeze them to serve later, especially if you’re making a large batch. To serve just a glass or two at a time, pour the premixed ingredients into oversized ice trays or small containers portioned to hold your number of servings and then freeze them. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, and then shake them with ice just before straining and serving.

Blue Margarita Tips

Blue Margarita garnished with sliced fruit on rim of the glassTMB Studio

Can you make a big batch of blue margaritas?

You can scale up the recipe to make as many servings of blue margaritas as you like. Premix the tequila and blue curacao, and add the lime to individual drinks. Or mix up everything in a pitcher, and get shaking when you’re ready to serve. Expand the party with some of these other big-batch cocktails.

Can you make frozen blue margaritas?

To make frozen margaritas, use a high-powered blender. Combine the ingredients (except the salt and fruit garnishes) in the blender, along with about a cup of crushed ice, and whiz on low speed for about 10 seconds or until smooth. Long, high-speed blending will add more air bubbles to the cocktail, giving it a foamy top layer. Blending in the ice can also dilute the flavors, especially the fresh lime juice, so you many want to squeeze in a little extra just before serving.

Blue Margarita

For a fun spin on a classic cocktail, substitute Blue Curacao for Triple Sec. The vibrant blue margarita will make you think you're on the shores of the Caribbean. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
Caribbean Blue Margarita Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 10 min.


1 serving


  • 1 lime wedge
  • Coarse sea salt, optional
  • 1-1/2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce blue curacao
  • 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • Optional: star fruit slices and orange slices


  1. Moisten rim of 1 cocktail glass with lime wedge. If desired, sprinkle salt on a plate; dip rim in salt. Fill glass with ice.
    In an empty cocktail shaker, combine tequila, blue curacao and lime juice. Fill with ice; cover and shake until frost forms on the outside of the shaker, 15-20 seconds. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with lime wedge and, if desired, star fruit and orange slices.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 143 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.