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”

  • DanW says:

    @Fitter Stoke

    1) Try 2oz tequila, 1oz triple sec, 2oz lemon/lime juice, and a little less than 1oz of simple syrup.

    2) Agave nectar is approximately twice as sweet as simple syrup, so use half the amount (and add an equal amount of water if you need to match the volume of the syrup as well).

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Jeff
    Thank you for the recipe! 2 questions….

    I need about 8 gallons (throwing a party for about 40 RN’s)that’s a lotta citrus to squeeze in one go!
    Would it affect taste if I squeezed and froze the citrus ahead of time in batches?

    Can I used a blend of triple sec cointreau and grand mariner I have about a litre off each and it would save a little money


  • Sarah says:

    Hi jeff
    Oops make tha 4 gallons- even us girls would be pushing it with that many!


  • Sarah

    From what I hear (never tried it myself, actually) the juice should freeze just fine. But I recommend using it as soon as possible.

    And my opinion is that if you want to save a little dough, go ahead and blend those three orange liqueurs. I’d recommend starting by cutting back on the sugar just a touch at first though, a couple of those are pretty sweet. Mix up the 4 gallons with all the orange liqueurs and half the sugar, and then adjust the sweetness to taste.

    Good luck!


  • Jay says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Like many others that I’ve read here, I stumbled on your website this morning. After reading the great reviews, I mixed up a 5 gallon batch, following your original recipie to the “T”. I’ve had many a margarita in my day and must tell you, you’ve nailed it! Of course it sounds as though you spent some time tweaking to get it just right. Anyway, thanks for sharing.



  • John A says:

    Hey Jeffrey,
    Great blog. I am wondering if you could possibly tell me what the recipe would be for just one drink? I’m having a hard time figuring out the right balance for a lone margarita.


  • John A says:

    Also, can you tell me your thoughts on using Grand Marnier or Cointreau as a substitute for triple sec? I’ve seen many margarita recipes that use either one of these or a combination of the two for a more of ‘premium’ triple sec. Can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  • Bridget says:

    By now, I definitely know that freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice is the way to go with this recipe and that it will make a huge difference. However, for the particular event that I am needing to make this batch of margaritas (tomorrow!) I simply don’t have time to do this. Which would be the lesser of two evils: Substituting sweet and sour mix for the juices and simple syrup, or substituting store-bought lemon and lime juice? Or maybe there is a better shortcut out there?

    Again I apologize, and I do plan to make this the REAL way when I have more time!

  • Kim says:

    I am getting ready to serve about 150 people with this recipe. We made 1 gallon to sample and WOW!!!!!!!!! So incredible.

  • Nate says:

    This is my first time commenting. Great blog! Your thoughtful approach to the cocktail craft is inspiring.

    Have you experimented with a daiquiri adaptation? I’m thinking of trying this with Bacardi Silver instead of tequila and maybe Maraschino instead of Triple Sec. Do you think the amount of simple syrup should be reduced? Would you add (or sub in) any grapefruit juice? Thanks! I appreciate any thoughts or advice.

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