In our opinion, there’s no wrong time to enjoy a margarita. The tequila cocktail is just as refreshing on a scorching summer day as it is invigorating during winter citrus season. But if we had to pick just one time of the year to reach for the tequila bottle, it would naturally be on Cinco de Mayo. With a frosty glass in hand, some tacos, and a pile of nachos, the holiday easily makes a case for why it’s worth celebrating (even if that may not be the most authentically Mexican way to do it).
While the classic mix of tequila, lime, triple sec, and a salted rim never gets old, margaritas were made for getting creative. You can add a splash of fruit juice or play around with mezcal instead of tequila. No matter which way you spin it, the only requirement is that you use plenty of ice and serve it bracingly frosty.
We’ve rounded up three of our favorite margarita recipes that were borne out of experimentation. Our rosé-rita embraces all things pink with rosé sparkling wine, watermelon juice, and a pink lemon garnish. Next, we’ve got an avocado version that tastes like a mashup between a margarita and a smoothie. Lastly, there’s the cilantro (or chill-antro) margarita, which provides a definitive answer to the question “Cilantro: yay or nay?”
Get the recipes below, and shop for all of your at-home bar needs at FreshDirect Wines & Spirits.
Rosé Margarita Recipe
In addition to being Cinco de Mayo time, early May also marks the start of rosé season. This cocktail brings the two together in a drink that’s super juicy and refreshing. While the wine gives it a bit of a blush color, the addition of watermelon juice makes it even pinker and all the more chic.
What You’ll Need:
1 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1.5 oz. watermelon juice
4 oz. sparkling rosé wine
Pink lemon slices, for garnish
What to Do:
Put ice in a cocktail shaker and add tequila, lemon juice, and watermelon juice. Shake well, then strain into two coupe glasses. Top off each glass with the rosé wine, then float a pink lemon slice on top of each.
Makes two cocktails.
Avocado Margarita Recipe
Not a fan of extra sweet drinks? This margarita has a savory backbone that makes this cocktail a departure from the ordinary. It almost feels like it could be healthy thanks to the avocado and its smoothie-like consistency. Even if it’s not, you’re still getting plenty of good-for-you omega-3s!
What You’ll Need:
2 cups ice
4 oz. tequila
2 oz. Cointreau or other orange liquer
2 oz. fresh lime juice (from 2–3 limes)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 jalapeño, sliced
What to Do:
Place all ingredients except the salt and jalapeño in a blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. If mixture is overly thick, add more ice until desired consistency is reached.
Spread out salt on a small dish. Dip the rims of four tumblers in water, then rub the rims into the salt to coat.
Pour the avocado margaritas into your tumblers. Garnish each with cilantro leaves and a slice of jalapeño.
Makes four cocktails.
Spicy Cilantro Margarita Recipe
Smoky notes in cocktails are easy to get hooked on, bringing lots of smoldering, mysterious personality. This drink has them in spades because it uses both mezcal, an agave-based spirit that’s related to tequila, and smoked paprika. And as the name suggests, it also has cilantro to create a truly distinctive profile. This cocktail may no be for everyone, but if you do love off-the-beaten-path flavors, you’ll find plenty to love here.
What You’ll Need
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 limes, halved
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
4 oz. mezcal
1.5 oz. Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon agave nectar (use more or less to taste)
What To Do
Place salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne on a small plate and mix, spreading it out in an even layer. Rub the cut side of a lime around the rims of four tumblers. Dip each glass into salt and spices coat the rims. Fill each glass with crushed ice or a few ice cubes.
Squeeze juice from limes and add to a blender, along with cilantro, mezcal, Cointreau, lime juice, and agave. Blend thoroughly on high power. Pour mixture over ice in glasses and serve.
Not in the mood to play mixologist? Try one of these pre-mixed margaritas instead.