Virgin Margaritas Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
You don't need store-bought limeade, zero-proof alcohol or any fancy ingredients to create this refreshing summer sipper. All you need is fresh citrus, sugar and a splash of club soda. It really is that easy to learn how to make a virgin margarita!

Updated: Apr. 12, 2024

I try to keep all types of guests in mind when I throw a party. Some of my friends only drink craft beer, while others prefer wine or cocktails. Over the years, a growing number started gravitating toward the sparkling water selection. And so, mocktail recipes like this virgin margarita have become a party staple.

This nonalcoholic margarita captures the sweet, tart, salty essence of a classic margarita without any of the booze. You can make it for two for any ol’ taco Tuesday, or scale the recipe to make a pitcher for a crowd. It’s a perfect summer sipper for all-ages backyard barbecues and baby showers.

How to Make a Virgin Margarita

I’ve tried several ways to make virgin margaritas, including dressing up bottled limeade or nonalcoholic margarita mix. Most of those attempts fell flat because they failed to capture the freshness of a really good margarita. Fresh citrus is vibrant and bright, but it’s a little tart on its own. Mixed with a bit of sugar and a splash of club soda, the juice mellows and gains a balanced, refreshing taste.

That club soda is the real secret behind this nonalcoholic margarita. Club soda contains minerals (an important distinction between club soda and seltzer). That minerality affects the flavor and mouthfeel of the mocktail, giving it depth and complexity. Plus, the bubbles create a pleasant drinking experience and help carry the sweet and tangy flavors of the drink.

Virgin Margarita Ingredients

  • Lemon and lime juice: We mix lemon and lime juice in equal parts for a just-right balance of sour and bitter tastes. Freshly squeezed juice makes a world of difference, so skip the bottled products. If you don’t have a citrus juicer, check out this easy way to juice lemons.
  • Superfine sugar: This type of sugar dissolves more quickly than granulated sugar. Feel free to substitute maple syrup, honey or agave nectar, although the mocktail will taste slightly different.
  • Club soda: Club soda adds complexity to the sweet lemon-lime mixture and gives the drink an effervescent finish.


Step 1: Make the lemon-lime mixture

In a small pitcher, combine the lime juice, lemon juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Step 2: Salt the rims, if desired

This step is optional to create a salt-rimmed glasses. Moisten the rims of two margarita or cocktail glasses with lime wedges, reserving the wedges for garnish. Sprinkle salt on a plate. Dip the rims of the glasses in the salt.

Editor’s Tip: Spice up the rim by adding Tajin seasoning to the salt.

Step 3: Pour over ice

Two virgin margaritas and a bowl of salsa on a blue tile floorTMB Studio

Divide the crushed ice among the prepared glasses. Pour the lemon-lime mixture over the crushed ice. Top off each glass with 2 tablespoons club soda and the reserved lime wedges.

Can you make virgin margaritas ahead of time?

You can make virgin margaritas up to four days ahead of time. Prepare the lemon-lime mixture, then transfer it to a jar with a tightly fitted lid. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Pour the mixture over ice, and top with club soda as directed.

Recipe Variations

  • Make frozen virgin margaritas: Blend the lime juice, lemon juice, sugar and 2 cups ice in a high-powered blender. Cover and process until smooth. You won’t need to use the club soda, so save it for another time.
  • Add flavor: Instead of club soda, substitute a flavored carbonated drink, preferably one with little or no sugar. Otherwise, the drink might taste too sweet.
  • Use flavored simple syrup: Substitute a homemade simple syrup for the sugar. Infuse the syrup with flavors like orange peel, basil, thyme or spicy peppers.
  • Make a pitcher: It’s easy to scale this recipe for a crowd and make a pitcher of margaritas. Divide your guests by two, and multiply each ingredient by that number. You can make the lemon-lime mixture in advance, but we recommend adding ice and club soda just before serving to keep the drink fresh.
  • Make it fruity: Muddle blackberries or strawberries in the glass before adding ice, or add frozen mangoes or peaches to the blender for frozen margaritas. Get inspired by our favorite flavored margarita recipes.

Virgin Margarita Tips

Three Virgin Margaritas with lemon slices on the sideTMB Studio

What is a nonalcoholic substitute for tequila in margaritas?

You don’t need to add a zero-proof spirit to virgin margaritas to make them taste great. That said, you can certainly add a nonalcoholic spirit like Ritual Zero Proof to add complexity to mocktail recipes. Check out our top picks for the best nonalcoholic spirits.

Can you make virgin margaritas with tonic water?

Tonic water is a slightly bitter, quinine-flavored carbonated beverage that would taste great in virgin margaritas. Because tonic water is high in sugar, you may want to reduce or omit the sugar in the lemon-lime mixture. Some women avoid quinine while pregnant, so check with your guests before preparing virgin margaritas with tonic water for a baby shower.

Virgin Margarita

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 2 servings.


  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar, or more to taste
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, optional
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1/4 cup club soda, chilled


  1. In a small pitcher, combine the first 3 ingredients; stir until sugar is dissolved. Moisten rims of 2 margarita or cocktail glasses with lime wedges, reserving wedges for garnish. If desired, sprinkle salt on a plate; dip rims of glasses in salt.
  2. Divide crushed ice among prepared glasses. Serve lemon mixture over crushed ice. Top off each with 2 tablespoons club soda and reserved lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

2/3 cup: 127 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 8mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

You don't need store-bought limeade, alcohol or any fancy ingredients to create a refreshing, thirst-quenching experience this summer. All you need is a few lemons, limes and a touch of sugar; it really is that easy to learn how to make a virgin margarita! —Lindsay Mattison, Hillsboro, Oregon