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”

  • Terry in FL says:

    If you used good quality liquor, fresh squeezed citrus and fresh simple syrup, then I can only think of one thing.

    You said 15 1/2 cups doesn’t equal a gallon. You are technically right, as it is 4 ounces short. Most people couldn’t tell you if a gallon jug was 4 ounces short by looking, the difference is that small.

    If you ended up with either a lot less than a gallon or a lot more, then your measurements were off somehow, which will definitely change the flavor.

    Full disclosure: I have used a version of this recipe since 2010. (I use slightly more lime, slightly less lemon and use Patron Citronge for the orange liquor) I have made them too many times to count and they have been universally praised as awesome.

  • Cyndi Murphy says:

    Dear Jeff ,
    I found your recipe on the margaritas by accident . Well i used it at a cookoff and got 4th place margaritas last month . Next month i have something different in mind than the matgarita i went with . I’m looking to do something more on the line of blueberry and honey dew margarita . Trying to figure up the besy way to make this rita up against competing with some good rita makers . Any suggestions for me please ? Thank you

    Cyndi M.

  • MargaritaLush says:

    I know this post is old buuuut these sound delicious! I’m also very concerned about the people asking you to multiply the recipe for them to make larger batches. 😕 Anyways! Thanks for the recipe, thinking I will be drinking these this weekend for our families 4th of July BBQ!

  • Megs says:

    Just wanted to say Happy 10th Anniversary on the post that brought me to your site. Was looking for a “gallon of margaritas” recipe a few years ago, and found you. Have been a big fan ever since. Thanks for the great knowledge and insight.

  • Marie says:

    I made 2 gallons of this for my very large fourth of July party. I followed the directions exactly and they were the best margaritas on the rocks that I have ever had in my entire life. Not a single drop was left when the party had ended. PERFECTION! Thanks so very much for sharing!

  • Dorohy says:

    How far in advance of of when you want to use them can you make these?

  • Kristen says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for a great recipe that has stood the test of time and taste! I made these for company we had over New Years 2016. They were very strong so I added a few more cups of water but man they were yummy!! We drank the whole batch in one night (8 people) and had to go to the store the next day for an electric juicer and more lemons and limes! This is now a staple in my cocktail repertoire. Thanks Jeff!

  • Mike says:

    Every time I make your reciept, it comes out too bitter. Then I fight that add more simple syrup battle and it never works. Everyone says squeeze gently, but its still bitter. Help?

  • Terry in FL says:

    What orange liquor are you using?

    If you are using generic triple-sec, that will make it taste off.

    I use either Cointreau or Patron Citronge. Some people spring for Grand Marnier. Regardless of which one you choose, a good quality orange liquor is just as important as using a good quality tequila.

    Happy experimenting.

  • Ace says:

    I doubled this recipe for my husband’s 30th birthday party and it’s a big reason why that party is now legendary. Juicing the citrus was a pain in the rear but it was definitely worth it. I used agave for the simple syrup. There were many comments about how strong they were, and there were many more comments about how they were the best margaritas they’d ever had. My husband’s been begging me to make them ever since. A huge hit.

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