This Lemon Margarita is a fun take on the classic cocktail we all love. It's bright, citrusy, sweet, and perfect for spring and summer! Serve it in a salt-rimmed glass over ice topped with lemon soda for a refreshing treat that's sure to be a hit at every party. It's also easy to make in a pitcher for a crowd!
Why You'll Love This Margarita
A classic with a twist - Everyone knows and loves the classic margarita. This one is special because it uses lemon juice instead of lime juice. I always love making up new margarita flavors and this lemon one is super simple and so delicious!
Citrusy and sweet - Lemon gives this cocktail a slightly sweeter flavor than lime does but it's just as bright and citrusy as the classic we all know.
Perfect for a crowd- If you're hosting a party, margaritas are always a great choice because they're really simple to make for a crowd. You can multiply the recipe by however many servings you need and mix everything up in a pitcher instead of a cocktail shaker.
- Tequila - Silver tequila works best here with the bright lemon flavor but reposado would also be a good choice.
- Cointreau - Any orange-flavored liqueur works here. Cointreau or triple sec are my go-to choices.
- Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always preferred. It's added instead of the classic lime juice. You can add both for an even more citrusy flavor!
- Simple syrup - You can use store-bought simple syrup but making your own is cheaper and so simple! Just mix equal parts of cane sugar and water and simmer for 2 minutes. You can use any sweetener but cane sugar has the most neutral flavor.
- Orange bitter - This one is optional but I always add bitters to my margaritas! Lemon or lime bitters would also work if you have those.
Variations and Substitutions
- Mayer lemon - Instead of regular lemon, you can use Mayer lemon for a sweeter flavor to make the most of the fruit when it's in season!
- Lemon and lime - Why only add one when you add both?! Lemon is delicious on its own in this margarita but lime adds extra citrusy flavor and works really well in this drink.
- Lemon zest - Grate some fresh lemon zest into the cocktail shaker for double lemon flavor!
To make a non-alcoholic version of this drink taste as close to the original as possible, I recommend using a non-alcoholic spirit. Ideally, one that's supposed to mimic tequila.
If you don't have a non-alcoholic spirit, I recommend making the drink with just lemon juice, simple syrup, and lemon soda (I like LaCroix because it has no added sugar).
To add more flavor, shake the lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and a little bit of fresh lemon zest. Pour the mixture over ice and top with your favorite soda.
This cocktail is really simple to put together. As with any margarita, you'll start by prepping your glass by adding salt to the rim. This step is optional but a classic.
Simply run a lemon wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it into salt sprinkled on a small plate. You can also use a mix of sugar and fresh lemon zest instead to make it more fun!
Fill the glass with ice and set it aside while you mix the cocktail.
- Add the tequila, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitter to a cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice.
- Shake the cocktail vigorously for a few seconds until very cold to the touch.
- Pour the cocktail into your prepared glass over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.
- Top the cocktail with sparkling water or lemon soda (I like ones with no added sugar like LaCroix) and enjoy!
I highly recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice because it provides the best flavor but you can use store-bought if absolutely necessary.
Yes! Add all ingredients (except the lemon soda) into a pitcher with ice and serve topped with lemon soda. Ingredient measurements for a bigger batch are in the recipe card notes.
Yes, you can use a non-alcoholic spirit instead of tequila or skip it all together. Add fresh lemon zest for extra lemon flavor.
Other Fun Margaritas
It's no secret my favorite cocktail is any kind of margarita (along with mojitos!) so I'm always adding more variations to the website. Below are four of my favorites. Definitely give the passion fruit one a try, it's so good! Head over to the Cocktails category to see all the latest cocktail recipes.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This Lemon Margarita is bright, citrusy, and perfect for spring and summer. Make a single cocktail or a bigger batch for a party (see notes).
- Lemon wedge
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ oz silver tequila
- ½ oz Cointreau
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz simple syrup (see notes)
- Sparkling water or lemon soda (I like LaCroix)
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Prepare a glass by running a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass and dip it in sea salt. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside.
- Add silver tequila, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a handful of ice into a cocktail shaker.
- Shake the cocktail vigorously for a few seconds and pour into your prepared glass over ice.
- Top up with lemon sparkling water if desired, garnish with a lemon slice, and enjoy!
Simple syrup: Mix 2 tablespoon cane sugar and 2 tablespoon water in a small saucepan. Heat up the syrup stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn. Simmer for 2 minutes and allow to cool before storing in the fridge in an airtight container. Keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Pitcher for 6: 1 cup silver tequila, ⅓ cup Cointreau, ¾ cup lemon juice, ⅓ cup simple syrup - mix everything in a pitcher with ice, divide between 6 glasses filled with ice, and top each cocktail with lemon soda.
Keywords: lemon margarita
I love a good margarita but I never thought to make it with lemon juice instead of lime! What a fun idea, I'm hooked!