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”

  • Jeremy says:

    I have to echo Jeffrey’s emphasis on fresh fruit juices. I made this batch of margaritas for a gathering here in the Tucson, AZ. We take our margaritas seriously here.

    I used fresh juice (took about an hours worth of squeeze time) and the results were well received. (For the record, it took 19 limes and 15 lemons – but good fresh Citrus in the desert is hard to come by.)

    As a process excellence manager, by trade, I asked the gathering what they would change, and of the few responses I got, they said there was too much lemon juice. (but of the 8 people gathered, only 2 suggested this)
    When I try this again, I might tweak the recipe, just a bit. More Triple Sec (maybe 3 cups) and less lemon juice (2 cups perhaps).

    But on the whole, this was well received, and requests that I produce more of this were bountiful. I definitely plan to use it again!

  • I was wondering if you’ve ever tried using fresh squeezed orange juice and or pineapple juice in this mixture. Kinda gives my Margarita’s (Tex-ican Martini’s) a little extra sunshine!

    Also, have you ever tried Agave nectar in this recipe instead of simple syrup? If so, how much would you use, 2/3 cup? Gonna try this recipe this weekend on the bank of a rain-filled limestone quarry. Cool crystal-clear water and a “Tex-ican ‘tini” might be a perfect match…

  • Jeffrey says:

    I’ve never used any other juices in this recipe, J.P. Call me crazy, but I don’t care for pineapple in my margarita.

    I have, however used agave nectar many times. I first make an agave syrup using 1 cup agave nectar to .75 cup hot water, and substitute it evenly for simple syrup in any of these recipes.

  • Lindy Lou says:

    Jeffrey,
    Found your site while searching the web to see if I could use the MISTO sprayer for alcohol. There you were…
    You genius you!
    Anyhoo, the 1 gal mag recipe makes you my new favorite guy I never met.
    My Husband and friends are in awe.
    Note to readers: 1$ for 2 limes HELL NO! Local mexican ar asian market 15 beautiful juicy limes for 1$ and 5 meyer lemons for 1$. Oh YEAH!
    Jeffery, What is your favorite all time Tequila?
    a new admirer in San Diego,
    Lindy Lou

  • Jeffrey says:

    Lindy, thanks for the kudos, and that’s some great advice there!

    I don’t have an all-time favorite tequila, although I always find myself coming back to the Herradura line time and time again.

  • Teri in Texas says:

    Hi Jeffrey, my Couple’s Wedding Shower Fiesta is this weekend and I can’t wait to try this recipe. Would it be a okay to use these ingredients:
    Grand Chevalier Liqueur (Gaetano)and Jose Cuervo Tradicional(reposado)? Thanks!

  • Jeffrey says:

    Teri, I believe the Grand Chevalier is more of an orange brandy, so it’s probably going to be a lot sweeter than using plain old triple sec. but it might work well with a half ounce floated on top. I’d probably pick up a bottle of triple sec and save the Gaetano for Cadillac-style margaritas.

  • Rob in citrus country says:

    Hey Jeffrey

    Great blog. I see a lot of people are struggling to squeeze their own citrus. Being in the state of florida i am surrounded by the stuff. I picked up an electric citrus juicer for $6 bucks at a thrift shop many years ago for fresh juice. If you have one, you will not even regard the time to squeeze the limes/lemmons an issue any longer. The cleanup is a simple rinse of three small parts. cheers

  • Dan says:

    Might as well keep this going 😉

    You can find citrus presses at places like Crate & Barrel or William & Sonoma for ~$10 and they’re perfect for squeezing limes, lemons and oranges. I typically roll them a bit on a flat surface before hand to loosen up the insides and then simply squeeze the hell out of ’em. Works a hell of a lot better than squeezing by hand and you can squeeze right over a mini-strainer to get rid of any unwanted pulp or seeds.

  • Joy says:

    I have so enjoyed reading all of your comments. I laughed through most of them – my husband was sitting across the room wondering what in the world? I’m making this recipe for my bunco group – the theme is margarita madness and I’m looking forward to trying these out. Thanks for making it so enjoyable!

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