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”

  • Teressa says:

    how long do ritas keep in the fridge before going bad?

  • Blair says:

    just made a half batch of this recipe with jose cuervo gold tequila and hiram walker triple sec. i consider myself a lover of tart margaritas, and this margarita is awesome. you can taste the tequila just enough and it has a refreshing flavor of fresh citrus. some people thought it was a bit too tart and preferred the batch i made with jose cuervo margarita mix and the same tequila. i think that those people are not worth pleasing. i am drunk. awesome recipe!

  • Suz says:

    Hi Jeff-
    I am making your recipe of your tradional margaritas for a party I am having about 125+ people- so I am using a 5 gallon water cooler for dispensing, this has worked amazing well in the past for Sangria. Do you have any suggestions for me on this since this is the first time with margaritas.


  • Suz – I think you’ll be just fine with your 5-gallon water cooler. I use a two-gallon dispenser to serve a loud, large group of troublemaking bartenders every year on our camping trip and it works just fine! Good luck.

  • Yenny says:

    AH! this is excellent! if only August in Alaska was a bit more margarita worthy. I should have stayed in Oregon this summer! (I randomly came across your site just now and reading your resume is like a journey through my favorite times in Eugene…)

  • Crystal says:

    Hey!! My roommate and I are having a party and making Sangria and Margaritas!! We are trying out your recipe. We will let you know how it goes over. The mixture tastes pretty sour so far..thinkin about using more simple syrup. Humm…

  • sanantoniodave says:

    As a big step up from triple sec and at about 1/2 the cost of Cointreau, try Gran Gala. An interesting color, too.

    I do not understand all the above bad raps on gold tequilas. The Cuervo Especial works just fine, with less of a morning-after head. If your tequila is expensive enough and smooth enough to drink straight, that is how you should drink it.

  • Ivana says:

    Looks great. I`m going to try this at the next party.

    Just one question. About simple syrup. Is it 2:1 or 1:1 sugar to water ratio. Cuz this changes things a lot.

    I liked your Old Fashioned (with 1/4 oz s.s.), so I`m guessing your sweet/sour balance will probably suit me.

  • Ivana – This recipe uses 1:1 simple syrup. Prepare your margaritas accordingly. And good luck!

  • Paul Harrington says:

    Well Done Jeffrey!
    That is a very good recipe and it reminds me that I should be going to more parties. I have created a similar recipe for the Jasmine. I was getting roped into bartending for some friends’ holiday parties. As the parties began to grow, I had to resort to bulk cocktails. With the right adjustments and the proper effort when shaking they come out just fine.
    A trip to Portland is in my future. I will definitely be stopping by.
    I hope your evening went well in Seattle.

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