Blood Orange Margarita

a blood orange margarita with slices of blood orange and lime.

Quench your thirst with a bright, citrusy, refreshing blood orange margarita. It’s the ultimate blood orange cocktail and really showcases the beautiful crimson red color of this seasonal fruit. The taste is fresh and light without being too boozy or sweet. Make this recipe for blood orange margaritas whenever the fruit is in season.

Sliced blood oranges on a dark background.

What are blood oranges and why are they special?

This variety of citrus is different from the traditional Valencia or Navel oranges you might be used to, and if you weren’t aware of the difference, you might assume the fruit had turned.

Blood oranges have dark maroon, red and even black colored flesh (depending on how cold the nights get as they mature and ripen). Their skin may also have a mottled maroonish-brown cast.

What makes blood oranges so special, aside from their distinctive coloring, is the unique berry-like flavor (somewhere between a raspberry and strawberry) with less acidity than other oranges.

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Though you might think that the blood orange and red Cara Cara varieties are similar, the Cara Cara have more of a bright pink hue. Blood oranges get their coloring from anthocyanins whereas Cara Caras derive their pink color from lycopene.

Why you’ll love to sip a blood orange margarita

  • It’s made with fresh squeezed juices, no artificial anything.
  • The flavors are balanced, not overly boozy or sweet.
  • These blood orange cocktails are fresh, light and citrusy with a berry-like finish.
  • They’re perfect for groups because you can assemble a whole pitcher of blood orange margarita mix in advance.
  • You can customize the red margarita according to your tastes and available ingredients. (See suggestions below).
Ingredients for the blood orange margarita recipe.

Ingredients for blood orange margarita recipe

  • Blood Orange Juice – freshly squeezed from blood oranges.
  • Fresh Lime Juice – freshly squeezed will give you the best flavor.
  • Blanco Tequila (can use Reposado Tequila)
  • Cointreau – We prefer Cointreau, but you can also use Grand Marnier.
  • Simple Syrup or Agave Nectar
  • Margarita Salt (or Kosher Salt — Diamond Crystal is flakier and less salty by volume than Morton’s)

Best tequila for blood orange margaritas

We’ve enjoyed these blood orange tequila cocktails using both Blanco and Reposado tequila and both are very good. Blanco is lighter and pairs well with the blood orange and tart lime citrus flavors, while reposado gives the drink a more mellow flavor.

Best orange liqueur for margarita

We prefer Cointreau, but Grand Marnier and Triple Sec are also good choices.

Cutting blood oranges to juice them for the drinks.

Where are blood oranges grown?

Blood oranges are grown in Mediterranean climates like Spain, Italy and Malta and stateside in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.

When is blood orange citrus season?

Blood oranges are typically available from December through April or May, depending on where they’re grown.

I’m in Florida and January through March is when we see the best supply of this citrus.

If it’s a tighter window where you live, I recommend buying several bags and juicing the fruit to freeze, so you can enjoy this blood orange tequila cocktail year round.

Juicing blood oranges

I use my handheld lever citrus juicer {affiliate links} for juicing the citrus for these margaritas. Still, I’m considering investing in an electric version to make quicker work of the process.

I like squeezing the juice and then using a mesh strainer to remove the excess pulp. You can skip that step if you don’t mind the pulp.

How much juice does an orange have?

Typically, each orange will yield about 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed juice. If you’re serving a crowd, you’ll want to plan accordingly.

How to make a blood orange margaritas by the glass or pitcher

By the glass:

  1. Wet the rim of your glass by running a lime or orange wedge around the edge – or for better-sticking power, rim the glass with a bit of simple syrup or agave — this is my husband’s method.
  2. Spread the rimming salt in a thin layer on a small plate. Dip the rim of the glass into margarita salt and press so the salt sticks.
  3. Add the blood orange juice, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup to the glass and stir.
  4. Fill the glass with ice and serve.

By the pitcher:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine the orange and lime juices, tequila, Cointreau and simple syrup. Stir well and refrigerate for several hours until chilled.
  2. To serve, rim each glass with margarita salt, fill the glasses with ice, pour the blood orange margarita mix over the ice and garnish.

Variations on the orange margarita

  • Make a spicy blood orange margarita by muddling 2-3 slices of jalapeno in the glass before you add the juices.
  • Make a sparkling orange juice margarita by adding 2 ounces of sparkling water to each cocktail for a light effervescence. This cuts the sweetness and stretches the drink. We like them because they’re less boozy and great for day-sipping at picnics and barbecues.
  • To enhance the natural berry flavors of the orange, swap the Cointreau for Chambord.
  • For a frothier cocktail, use a Boston shaker to shake the ingredients with ice for 30 seconds. Not only will the drink be icy cold, but the light foam will also add another dimension to the drink.

Garnishing blood orange cocktail

Margaritas are nothing without a good garnish. From the obligatory salt rim to a simple slice of blood orange, these are musts for any blood orange margarita.

  • Add a fresh lime wedge for another pop of citrus.
  • Rim the glass with a blend of equal parts margarita salt and Tajin (that spicy, tangy Mexican seasoning).
  • Cut a thin orange slice and press it to the inside of the cocktail glass before adding the ice and blood orange margarita mix. It gives the garnish a peek-a-boo quality in the glass.
Pouring blood orange margarita into the prepared glass with ice.


Can I make the recipe for blood orange margaritas in advance?

Yes. You can make it a day ahead of time, just don’t add the ice until you’re ready to serve.

If I want to freeze blood orange juice for later, what’s the best way?

Juice and strain the blood oranges and transfer to ice trays. Freeze the ice cubes, then turn out the blood orange ice cubes into a one or two-gallon zip-top freezer bag. The ice cubes will keep well for 6 months or more. (Each ice cube usually equals 3-4 tablespoons).

Can I use this margarita recipe with other types of oranges?

Yes. Each variety of orange will give you a slightly different flavor (and color).

A refreshing glass of red margaritas with a slice of lime and blood orange.

More orange juice cocktail recipes you’ll love:

A decorative way to serve the blood orange margarita with a whole orange slice pressed to the inside of the glass.

More quenching margarita recipes:

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a salt rimmed glass filled with blood orange margarita and a half moon of orange slice on the rim.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood orange margaritas are bright and refreshing with fresh squeezed blood orange juice, lime juice, tequila blanco, Cointreau and a splash of simple syrup. You’ll love this red cocktail for Valentine’s Day or for Cinco De Mayo celebrating.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword blood orange, cocktails, margaritas
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Egg Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2


  • citrus juicer



  • 2 ½ ounces blood orange juice
  • .75 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (can use Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)
  • 2 ounces Tequila Blanco or Reposado
  • .5 ounce simple syrup

FOR A PITCHER: Makes 12 drinks

  • 2 cups blood orange juice
  • ½ cup +1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¾ cup Cointreau
  • 1 ½ cups Tequila Blanco or Reposado
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons simple syrup


  • water, lime or orange wedge or agave to wet the rim of the glass
  • margarita salt or Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt for salting the rim.


  • Prepare the rims of the glasses by running the rim with agave syrup (can use a cotton swab or your finger tip (if it’s your drink). Dip the rim in margarita salt until it sticks.
  • In a cocktail shaker or mixing glass combine the blood orange juice, lime juice, Cointreau, Tequila, and simple syrup. Stir well to combine.
  • Fill the glass with ice and pour the blood orange margarita over the ice. Serve with a wedge or round of blood orange for decoration.


Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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One Comment

  1. Octavio de Almeida says:

    5 stars
    Love to make all of those when my friends came around. Thanks for the recipe.