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”

  • Keith says:

    It’s not summer here in Portland today, but it sure felt like it.

    I like this recipe a lot. My favorite margarita spot, Taqueria Nueve, here in Portland closed this week so I made a batch of these in their honor. Their house margarita used a muddled orange in the house margarita so I added a cup of fresh OJ to the mix – it was a pretty good facsimile. Thanks

  • Paul K says:

    I want to make these not sweet (I do not like sweet). Is it better to just add 2 cups of water or maybe some soda water or more lemon or what? (obviously it will be too strong otherwise). Thanks, paul

  • Paul

    Have you made this recipe yet? If not, try it out before you assume it’s too sweet. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time getting the ingredients to balance between sweet, sour and strong. Try it out.

  • Benny says:

    gonna make the recipe this upcoming weekend for a bunch of margarita fiends who just so happen to be my wife and her friends. Question: they always prefer i make their margaritas w/ Barcardi Rum (lightens up the boldness and tastes pretty darn good)…so, would the amount of Barcardi be equal to tequila called for in your recipe? Also, would triple sec still be needed? What are your overall thoughts on Rumgaritas? Thx for all your advice, Jeffrey, I really learned a lot in this thread of responses!

  • Emily says:

    Made this for a party and it turned out fantastic! My hand was sore for a couple days from all the citrus squeezing but it was well worth it.

  • DanW says:

    I just made this recipe for a party 2 days ago. I used El Tesoro reposado for the tequila (after many bad experiences, I refuse to use gold tequila), Cointreau for the triple-sec (I made a half batch as a test and was not impressed with generic triple-sec), 6 cups lime and lemon juice (18 limes, 9 lemons), and 2 cups simple syrup. I mixed it in a one-gallon insulated jug with a spout (storing the liquor in the freezer for a couple nights before mixing meant the mix was cold from the start).

    It was a complete success. I got many compliments on the margaritas and much complaining that they ran out so soon (maybe next year I’ll make a 5-gallon batch–if I can afford it, and if I get some form of powered juicer 😉 ). The balance of tart and sweet was excellent, and you still got a good taste of the tequila.

  • DanW – Glad you liked the recipe, great liquor selections. Thanks for writing!

  • Kimberly says:

    Do you have a strawberry rocks version of this???? My life would be much easier this weekend if you do!

  • Kimberly – I’m not really a strawberry margarita guy, but I would guess that you could take a pint of fresh strawberries, remove the stems, purée them in a food processor, run them through a sieve or strainer to remove the seeds, and add the smooth purée to the recipe above.

    Good luck!

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