A Gallon of Margaritas by the Gallon

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Update! Click here to learn how to make this and other drinks for a slushie machine!

It’s summer here in Oregon, which means barbecues, camping trips and river floats are on the agenda for the next few months. I always love showing up with a gallon jug of pre-mixed margaritas for the party, so I’ve decided to share my recipe with you, the loyal reader.

[Update: I just realized – three years later – that there was some confusion about the amounts specified due to my suggestions regarding how many bottles to purchase for the recipe. I hope it’s more clear now, but just in case… You will need to buy two fifths of tequila and measure out six cups (you should be left with about two ounces), and you’ll need to buy one fifth of triple sec and measure out 2½ cups (this should leave you with about an ounce). I hope this helps, and sorry for the three years of confusion.]

I usually make this recipe several gallons at a time and I serve them in one of these classic, durable, insulated coolers. What I’ll do is add a couple of gallon-size Ziploc bags full of ice right in the cooler and it’ll keep the whole thing nice and cold all day long. And as an added benefit, the Ziploc bags will keep the melting ice from diluting the Margaritas as they sit.

Hey, are you looking for a single-serving Margarita? Don’t need to make twenty of these damn things? Well here’s a really solid recipe that we use at all our bars, and that I use at home!

One Gallon of Margaritas Print Me

  • 6 cups tequila (you'll need to buy two fifths for this)
  • 2½ cups triple sec (just buy one fifth, please)
  • 2½ cups fresh lime juice
  • 2½ cups fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  1. Mix ingredients together in a large insulated container.
  2. Fill container with gallon Ziploc bags full of ice to chill
  3. When ready to serve, pour mixture into an 8-ounce glass filled with ice.
  4. Salted rim is optional.
  5. Makes around 20 margaritas per gallon.

Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com

282 Replies to “A Gallon of Margaritas by the Gallon”

  • pam says:

    These Margaritas are fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Happy 4th

  • Leslie says:

    Hey…I’m having a tequila fiesta in a couple of weeks and your “gallon of margaritas” post came up first when I searched.

    I found a natural sour mix…I plan on mixing this with Hornitos. So, will you clarify…exactly how much tequila does one need per gallon?? Is a fifth the equiv. to 750 ml…holy moly??! I plan on making (2) 1 gallon jugs for a party of about 30 ppl. I can already tell…this is going to be an expensive hosting! ha, ha…

    I hope to hear your reply!


  • Hi, Leslie!

    Well, for pre-made sour mix (I hope to high heaven you’re using something good) and to make two gallons, you’re going to need the following:

    12 cups tequila
    5 cups triple sec
    14 cups sour mix

    I think that translates into just under four fifths of tequila and two fifths of triple sec.

    Remember to measure!

    A fifth and a 750 mL bottle are roughly the same thing. A fifth stands for a fifth of a gallon (or four-fifths of a quart), which would be 25.6 ounces. 750 mL comes in at 25.360517 ounces, so I guess it’s close enough. We assume they’re about the same volume.

  • Flowerysong says:

    A fifth used to be exactly 0.2 gallons (~757 mL); in the seventies when alcohol bottle sizes were metricized, 750 mL (0.198 gallons) became the new standard. Even though it’s no longer entirely accurate, these bottles are still referred to as “fifths”.

  • Thanks, flowerysong, that’s exactly the kind of eloquence I was looking for at 2AM last night!

    Sorry for the roundabout math, everyone.

  • Jeff says:

    Just what I was looking for, should be perfect for a friend’s nautical themed b-day! Quick question, do you have a recommendation for the specific brands of alcohol? I barely touch tequila, so I’ll be making these for everyone else, but I have no idea what a decent tequila would be to use for this. Thanks!

  • Jeffrey says:

    Jeff, I think Sauza Gold is a good, attractively-priced tequila suitable for mixing in margaritas.

  • susan says:

    Do you use lemon and lime juice that comes in bottles. That would be a lot of squeezing.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Oh, no. No. God, no. Never. Let me tell you something:

    No matter how groovy the label is, no matter how “fresh” it claims to be, no matter how many times they’ve thrown the word “organic” on there, bottled lemon and lime juices can never come close to the flavor of freshly-squeezed.


    Get a juicer, put some work into it, and I guarantee people will be talking about your margaritas for months after the party. You don’t even have to tell them where you got the recipe. I can keep a secret.

    And honestly, depending on the fruit, you can get anywhere from an ounce to three ounces of juice out of one lemon or lime. So it really isn’t that bad,

    And so worth it.

  • heidi says:

    looking at your rec. and excited about giving it a try. need about 5-6 gallons for my brothers 40th party. any more hints for that much?.

    thanks jeff


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