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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With 5 Delicious Margarita Recipes

Create a twist on tequila’s favorite cocktail with ingredients such as mango, jalapeño

spinner image Grapefruit Margarita
Ocean Prime

Margaritas can make just about every event a fiesta. From that first rattle of ice in the cocktail shaker to preparing the perfect salt or tajin (a Mexican seasoning made of chile peppers, lime and salt) rim around your most festive margarita glasses, it’s a party.

For Cinco de Mayo — a yearly celebration commemorating Mexico’s victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla — it can be fun to experiment with tequila’s favorite cocktail and give the classic margarita recipe a kick. Bartenders who know their way around Mexico’s classic beverage shared some inspired versions that will amp up any festivities. These easy-to-make concoctions are sure to become favorites.

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Ruby red grapefruit juice makes the difference

There’s nothing like cutting into a chilled grapefruit at breakfast. So it’s no surprise the juicy citrus goes well in this margarita recipe from restaurant and lounge chain Ocean Prime.​

For the tastiest results, juice your own fresh grapefruit and lime, says Andrea Cornwell, director of beverage for Ocean Prime and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.​

“It adds an additional layer to the cocktail, which is bright and mouth-watering,” she says. To serve it in something other than a standard margarita glass, she recommends pouring this version into an etched highball.​

Be sure to use a jigger for your pours, she says. “Measure everything just like a food recipe.”​

Prime Margarita

  • 1.5 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila​​
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur​
  • 3/4 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed​
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice​
  • 1/4 ounce agave nectar​
  • 1/4 ounce grenadine​


  1. Add all ingredients in cocktail shaker.​
  2. Add ice.​
  3. Shake vigorously for five seconds.​
  4. Strain and pour over fresh ice into glass prepared with a kosher salt rim.​
  5. Garnish with three submerged lime wheels.​
spinner image Watermelon Margarita

Get a kick when watermelon and jalapeño meet

​Tequila infused with one of Mexico’s favorite chiles gives a boost to the sweet watermelon overtones of this cocktail from popular Mexican restaurant and tequila bar JoToro in Tampa, Florida.​

To infuse the tequila with fresh peppers, just trim the top off two jalapeños and slice them into thin strips. Drop into a bottle of blanco tequila, close the cap, shake gently and let sit for 10 hours or overnight. Strain the peppers and seeds, and you’re ready to go.​

For an authentic and eye-pleasing rim on your margarita glass, look for the Mexican spice called tajin (a mix of dried chile peppers, lime and sea salt) at a supermarket or Latin market.​

Jotoro Spicy Watermelon Margarita​

  • Tajin spice​
  • 2 cubes watermelon​
  • 1 ounce fresh watermelon puree​
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice​
  • 3/4 ounce Casamigos Blanco Tequila​
  • 3/4 ounce jalapeño-infused Casamigos Tequila​
  • 1.5 ounces Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur​


  1. Spread sea salt or tajin into a small shallow dish. Dip a rocks glass rim in water, then into the spice mixture.​
  2. Muddle the watermelon with the puree in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.​
  3. Add the citrus juice, tequila and liqueur. Shake vigorously with ice.​ ​
  4. Strain into the tajin-rimmed rocks glass and garnish with a slice of watermelon.​
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Blood orange liqueur and Amaretto add delicious layers

For an Italian-inspired margarita, almond-flavored Amaretto liqueur and the brightness of blood orange liqueur blend delightfully in this recipe from Forbici Modern Italian restaurant in the leafy Hyde Park neighborhood in Tampa, Florida. Adding a dash of cinnamon to the sea salt rim makes for an unexpected flavor addition for your guests when they take their first sip.

spinner image A margarita from Forbici Modern Italian
Forbici Modern Italian

Forbici Margarita Sicilia

  • 1.5 ounces Corazon Reposado Tequila 
  • 1/4 ounce Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur 
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup  
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice 
  • Sea salt (for rim) 
  • Dash cinnamon (for rim)


1. Spread sea salt and a dash of cinnamon into a small shallow dish. Dip a rocks glass rim in water, then into the spice mixture to coat. 

2. Add the lemon juice, tequila, simple syrup and liqueur to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously with ice. 

3. Strain into cinnamon- and sea salt-rimmed rocks glass over fresh ice, and garnish with an orange slice.

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There’s booze in the blender

spinner image Spicy Mango Rita
Margaritaville Hotel Nashville

The frozen concoction that helped Jimmy Buffett hang on was the inspiration behind his 1977 hit song “Margaritaville.”​

And there’s definitely booze in the blender of this atypical frozen margarita recipe from the mixologists at Margaritaville Hotel Nashville made from mango, the house margarita blend and more.​

“The habañero from the whiskey gives a good smoky spice flavor, making the drink super unique and well balanced,” says bartender Kim Basnight.​

Spicy Mango Rita​

  • 1.5 ounces 1800 Reposado Tequila​
  • 3/4 ounce Ole Smoky Mango Habañero Whiskey​
  • 3.5 ounces Lemon-X Golden Margarita Mix with agave​
  • Half a mango cut in chunks​
  • Lime wedge, jalapeño for garnish​


  1. Fill cocktail mixer to the top with ice.​
  2. Add all ingredients except mango and garnishes.​
  3. Cover and shake.​
  4. Serve in a short glass with salted rim and garnish with lime wedge, jalapeño and mango pieces.​

Exotic lemongrass syrup mixes it up

spinner image Homegrown Margarita
Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

​​Margaritas may be most closely associated with Mexico, but these beverages are a worldwide favorite. Case in point is this Caribbean-inspired concoction with a touch of Asian flavor.​

A recipe from the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman, the Homegrown Margarita layers exotic notes of lemongrass with cucumber juice and grapefruit liqueur in a most delicious way.​

"This clean, delicate set of flavors is brought to life with a great aromatic profile,” while remaining faithful to the essence of a margarita, says the property's beverage manager, Jim Wrigley.​

Homegrown Margarita​

  • 1.5 ounces Herradura Silver Tequila​
  • 3/4 ounce lemongrass syrup (rest two chopped stalks of lemongrass in a quart of simple syrup overnight)​
  • 1/4 ounce grapefruit liqueur​
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice​
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cucumber juice​


  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice and all ingredients.​
  2. Shake vigorously and strain over cubed ice into a chilled short glass with a salted rim.​
  3. Garnish with a cucumber slice.​​

Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 23, 2021. It has been updated to reflect new information.

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