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.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are blood oranges and why are they special?
- 2 Why you’ll love to sip a blood orange margarita
- 3 Ingredients for blood orange margarita recipe
- 4 How to make a blood orange margaritas by the glass or pitcher
- 5 Variations on the orange margarita
- 6 Garnishing blood orange cocktail
- 7 FAQ’s
- 8 More orange juice cocktail recipes you’ll love:
- 9 More quenching margarita recipes:
- 10 Blood Orange Margarita
- 11 Pin It For Later!
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.
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 blood orange margarita recipe
- Fresh Blood Orange Juice
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Blanco Tequila (can use Reposado Tequila)
- 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.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the blood orange juice, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup to the glass and stir.
- Fill the glass with ice and serve.
By the pitcher:
- In a large pitcher, combine the orange and lime juices, tequila, Cointreau and simple syrup. Stir well and refrigerate for several hours until chilled.
- 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.
Yes. You can make it a day ahead of time, just don’t add the ice until you’re ready to serve.
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).
Yes. Each variety of orange will give you a slightly different flavor (and color).
More orange juice cocktail recipes you’ll love:
- The Original Blood Orange Martini
- Spiced Christmas Old Fashioned
- Sparkling Cara Cara Margaritas
- Tropical Guava Tangerine Fizz
- Fruity Tropical Planter’s Punch Cocktail
- Light and Bubbly Cara Cara Margarita Mocktail
More quenching margarita recipes:
- Watermelon Margarita Recipe
- Shaken Mango Margarita
- Quenching Hibiscus Margarita
- Spicy Passion Fruit Margarita
- Spicy Cucumber Kiwi Jalapeno Margarita
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Blood Orange Margarita
- citrus juicer
FOR TWO COCKTAILS:
- 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.