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

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

  • jenny says:

    Thanks for the recipe I am going to try it :)…. Do you think using Meyer lemons would be tasty?

  • Isaac says:

    Thank you for this recipe. however I’m trying real hard to find a good homemade recipe for a commercial frozen margarita machine mix as I obviously don’t want to use the bought glow in the dark stuff. I know there is some trouble with the freezing (there needs to be a certain amount of sugar, stabilizers and such for the whole thing not to be frozen solid) do you have any ideas of how to go about it?
    Much appreciated.

  • dan says:

    hi, well this sounds great, i live in Thailand and they have some funny ideas over here on the classics so making this for my wife’s birthday will be great, i have a few obstacles though, limes are in abundance but i have never seen a lemon in Thailand yet, in fact if you ask for “manou” which is Thai for lemon you get a lime, they simply don’t differentiate between the two, but there are liquor stores a plenty with lots of bottles of lemon juice or concentrate. but there is also plenty of FROZEN 100% JUICE for any fruit you can think of.
    so… better bottle or frozen 100% juice?
    also i would like to have the option of frozen aswell, am i right to think it is better to blender the ice separately put in the glass and just pour the drink on top?
    also and this is a strange question, can u EXPLAIN how these should taste, as all fruit will have a different level of taste depending on season and location and i am interested in making a AUTHENTIC margarita – and thanks from everyone Jeff, 8 years on and your still posting answers to this recipe

  • Tom says:

    I would like to thank you for this recipe. It tastes great, and was a hit at our housewarming party.

    I even did reduced versions to make 16 or 8oz as testers and see no reason why this will not be my only margarita recipe in the future – at any volume.

    For my tastes, Cointreau was not sweet enough in balance with the rest of the cocktail. I used a cheaper Triple Sec (Hiram Walker) that fit the bill perfectly.

    One more warning to those who use a digital food scale to build their margaritas – don’t do it for this because the simple syrup has a different density than water. Use an standard measuring cup to measure by volume.

  • Terry says:

    To the people who are asking about how this recipe will freeze…

    It doesn’t.

    We took a batch to a hotel earlier this year, so I made it the day before and put it in the freezer so it would be good and cold. There is so much alcohol, it barely had any ice crystals in it, even after 20 hours.

    I then put it in a pre-cooled igloo jug and it kept nice and cold for about 8 hours. So it does travel well.

    Happy Drinking!

  • Rosalie says:

    I have a parrot ice margarita machine. It holds 3 gallons of mix. So, since I can’t use ice, Would you reccomend 2 gallons of your mix and a gallon of water? Or what do you think the proper ratio would be for the mix and water. I am so excited to try this at my next party!! Thanks for any suggestions ✌🏼️❤️🍹

  • Doc Ethan says:

    Hi, I just made the gallon last night for a work event, and when I tasted it, I almost fell out. I love a strong drink, but MAN this was STRONG! Is that normal? I added more lime/lemon juice and OJ to dilute the liquor, but it’s still strong. I just wanted to make sure I did it right. You have so many good reviews, and I just wanted to make sure I didn’t pour too much tequila (I followed the recipe exactly like it states on the site). Anyway, it taste good, but I was drunk after the first drink. HA!

  • Jacob Crim says:

    Not sure if this has been addressed but can I sub out simple syrup for agave ? Thanks!

  • marianne says:

    i did try out this mix with a so-called frozen margarita machine the other night. Rented the machine from a great place here in Berlin (rent-a-rita) and followed the owners recommended ratio mix-water, which is 1:1. I was worried that it would be too watered out, so tried first with 3 part mix and 2 parts water, but it was too strong. so i would recommend equal parts mix and water – it turned out great! I will use this recipe forever. thank you!

  • Needs fixin says:

    Thought i would try this bc of the reviews. THIS recipe is horrible. This recipe is missing something… 15 1/2 cups of liquid doesn’t equal a gallon. After following recipe exactly and using fresh squeezed lime and lemons not only is it stout, taste is disgusting. Luckily I tasted before taking it to the party. Would have been embarrassed. Now to try and save my gallon of weed killer!!!!

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