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”

  • Megan says:

    For the best flavored margaritas I have found that using fresh fruit is the only way to go. My favorites are fresh cherries, blackberries, and, strawberries. First salt the rim of your cup, then add a lime slice and a few slices of your fresh fruit. Muddle it all together (like a mojito) then add the margarita mixture on top. You can garish with a few more pieces of fruit. Don’t use any premixed flavored icky stuff. Fresh is the only way to go for margaritas. Also try Mango and jalapeno if you like to spice things up!!

  • Katie says:

    Hey there! How can I make these with blue curaçao ?! Want to make them blue for the 4th!! Thanks!

  • Robin P. says:

    Have you ever tried to substitute a low calorie sweetener for the simple syrup? If so, which one and how much would you use?
    I would love to get all of my calories from booze rather than sugar! 🙂

  • margo says:

    After years of making 4-2-2-1 margaritas, I’ve adopted a simpler, cheaper, tastier recipe by ditching the triple sec. Traditionalists would say I’m making a Tequila sour instead of a margarita. Whatev…I like mine better without the triple sec.

    2 silver tequila
    1 lime juice
    1 light agave simple syrup

    This recipe works equally well to make one marg or one barrel of margs. For a gallon (almost) of margs, it is idiot proof simple to use a 750 ml/fifth bottle as your measuring cup.

    Pour two bottles of tequila into a gallon jug. Squeeze limes until you fill up one of the empty tequila bottles with lime juice and pour that in. Then pour in one bottle of agave simple syrup. Done!

    Agave simple syrup is just a 60/40 mix of agave nectar diluted into warm water. 50/50 works OK if you want to make it simpler. Simplest of all is to just buy a 750 ml bottle of pre-diluted “cocktail ready” agave nectar.

  • Desiray says:

    So I’m making these for camping this next week and I’m having a problem. It’s WAY too strong and it is not even close to a gallon (more like half or three quarters). I followed all the instructions as listed so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. HELP PLEASE!

  • Dodo says:

    I saw a few people ask this and believe I’ve read through the gazillion comments here. Didn’t see an answer to “how to make them a little less strong”. I know it’s a shame but I’m making a 5 gallon batch for my wedding and don’t want things to get too-outa-hand-too-early. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Ruth says:

    Love the concept and tried them tonight…… However they were SO sour we couldn’t even drink them 🙁 I quick made another cup of simple syriup– helped a little but ended up diluting and sweetening it up a bit by using 7- up. Next time I will cut way back on the citrus juice. Love the concept though!

  • Cathy says:

    Hi Jeffrey,
    I am making these for Boxing Day here in Australia. As it is going to be very hot I thought I would make one lot frozen. Would these recipe freeze?

  • meg says:

    I like the scaling here – but my measuring is off, or something. The fifth bottle (750 ml) has more than 3 cups of liquid, so I have much more than an ounce of triple sec left – is that correct? I don’t mind, but just want to make sure I’ve read/measured the recipe correctly.
    I know this is an older thread, but hope you’re still checking.
    Thanks a bunch.

  • Ben Fogelson says:

    Hey Jeffy! Long time! Hey, if you get this e-mail, mind telling me what you think of making a gallon up to a week ahead of time (kept in a plastic gallon)?

    – I suppose I could keep in glass growlers, but one container would be better –

    Going skiing this coming weekend for a few days in Idaho with friends. Curious about if you think the flavor of a pre-mixed gallon in-or-out of plastic, refrigerated, will change if I want to make it today and serve it a week later.

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to seeing you next! Megs says hi!

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