Looking for a refreshing frozen drink to serve your family this summer? You need to try our frozen virgin margarita! It comes together quickly, can be made ahead, and is a lot of fun to drink.
How can I select fresh limes?
- Look for soft, plump limes with shiny skins.
- When you lightly rub the skin, it should have a rich citrus aroma.
- Avoid shriveled limes.
How can I extract the most juice?
- Start with room temperature limes.
- Roll the limes on the counter while pressing down on them.
- Slice the limes in half. Place on a plate and microwave for 30 seconds or until warm.
- Use a wooden hand reamer, a plastic or glass juicer, or a metal citrus press to extract the juice.
- Strain out any pulp or seeds.
What is better: a frozen or on the rocks?
This comes down to personal preference. Here are some reasons why we like a frozen margarita better than one on the rocks:
- It has more texture.
- It is icy cold.
- Ice is used as an ingredient. It has a slushy texture.
- It's fun to garnish. Garnishes stay in place better when a drink is thicker.
Why do you salt the rim?
- Salt reduces the slight bitterness.
- Salt heightens the taste of the lime.
- Margarita and sea salt have a more intense salty flavor, so use those.
- Salt balances out the sweetness.
How many calories are in one serving?
It's only 278 calories per serving, so make a big batch for everyone to enjoy.
Can I make this ahead?
Yes, you can. Cover and freeze the mixture for a few hours or a couple of days. When ready to use, break up the frozen slush with a fork or spoon. Let it thaw on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes.
While you are waiting, decorate the rim of the glasses with salt and zest, and prepare the lime wheel garnish. Just before serving, add the sparkling water and stir in gently. Pour into prepared glasses, garnish and enjoy.
The most popular way to serve this drink is in a margarita glass, but if you don't have one, any glass will do.
After the glassware has been selected, the next step is preparing the rim. Wet the rim of the glass by running a fresh lime wedge around the edge, then twirl the rim in coarse salt. Get creative by using your own rim garnish by experimenting with different salts, sugar, citrus zest, and fresh herbs.
Finish off the drink with a garnish of a simple lime wheel, or be brave and try other fruits or fresh herbs.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. Zest one lime, and juice 6 limes and 2 lemons. Wedge another lime and cut another into wheels for the garnish.
Rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass to dampen it.
Mix the lime zest and the margarita salt in a shallow bowl or plate.
Turn the glass upside down and twirl it in the salt mixture until the rim is coated. Repeat until all the glasses are done, then set them aside for later.
Add one can of frozen limeade to the blender pitcher.
Pour in ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice.
Pour in ¼ cup of orange juice.
Add 1 teaspoon of Angostura orange bitters and a pinch of kosher salt.
Pour in the simple syrup.
Add enough crushed ice to make the drink thick and frozen; about 3 to 4 cups. This first batch should give you roughly 5 cups of mixture. Pour the mixture in a large pitcher and place in the fridge or freezer.
Repeat the blending process to make the second batch and pour into the pitcher. Now you should have about 10 cups. If you want to make this ahead, cover the pitcher and place in the freezer until ready to use a few hours up to a couple of days.
Just before serving, pour in 1 cup of sparkling water for 10 cups or ½ cup for 5 cups.
Gently stir in the sparkling water and pour into the prepared glasses.
Garnish with a lime wheel by making a small cut in the lime and place it on the rim.
Enjoy your frozen virgin margarita with family and friends. It's sure to hit the spot on a hot day.
- Want a skinny drink? Swap the simple syrup for agave nectar or agave syrup.
- Want other rim ideas? Use sugar, chili powder, citrus zest or fresh chopped herbs for the rim.
- Want other garnish ideas? Use a lemon twist, lime wedge, mint sprig, or watermelon cubes on a skewer.
- Want to extract more juice from limes? Cut the limes in half and microwave them for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Don't use the bottled lemon and lime juice. Take the time to freshly squeeze the limes and lemons.
- Want a full flavored drink? For saltiness, add margarita salt. For sweet, add simple syrup. For sour, add lime and lemon juice. For bitter, add lime zest. For umami, add kosher salt.
- Salt the drink early. To balance out the sweetness and to get a tinge of umami, add a pinch of kosher salt.
- Don't let the frozen limeade defrost or the drink won't be as thick.
- Use lime zest on the rim to add a pleasing bitter flavor.
- Serving this to kids? Use plastic margarita glasses.
- Bamboo Citrus Reamer: this handy tool makes juicing citrus really easy.
- Microplane Grater: this sharp grater is the fastest and easiest way to zest citrus.
- Margarita Salt: this special flaky salt is the best kind to use for rimming glasses.
- Glass Prep Bowls: prep ingredients ahead of time and store them in these pretty bowls.
- Faberware Measuring Spoons: we use these handy spoons every day.
Looking for more refreshing drinks? Try these tasty ones.
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This frozen virgin margarita recipe will have your guests at your next party asking for seconds! Make a big batch, as its refreshing taste is perfect for kids, teens, and pregnant ladies. Learn how to make this simple non alcoholic frozen drink in minutes, complete with make ahead instructions. This ice cold drink will be fun for the whole family on Cinco De Mayo or a hot summer day.
For the Drink (10 cups)
- 2 12-ounce cans frozen limeade, such as Minute Maid (2 340g tins)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 6 limes (118 ml)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 2 jumbo lemons (118 ml)
- ½ cup pulp-free orange juice (118 ml)
- 2 teaspoons Angostura orange bitters (10 ml)
- 1 cup simple syrup (236 ml)
- pinch or two of Kosher salt
- crushed ice, enough to make it thick and frozen
- 1 cup sparkling lime mineral water, such as Perrier (236 ml)
For the Rim
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoons margarita salt
- 1 lime wedge
- 8 lime wheels from 2 limes
- Make the simple syrup. Pour 1 cup of water (236 ml) into a small saucepan over medium high heat, then mix in 1 cup of sugar (200g) until it dissolves. Lower the heat to medium low and let the syrup thicken for about 3-5 minutes. Pour it into a shallow container and put in the freezer for 10 minutes to speed up the cooling process.
- Decorate the rims of the glasses. Wash and dry 9 limes and 2 lemons. Grate the zest of one lime, then mix it with the margarita salt and spread on a plate. Wedge the lime and run a wedge around the rim of the glass, then turn the glass upside down and twirl the rim in the salt mixture until coated. Repeat until all the glasses are done.
- Juice the citrus. Roll 6 limes on the counter, applying pressure on them with your hand to soften them and help them yield more juice. Set aside the other three for garnish. Cut six of the limes in half, put them on a plate, and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds to warm and soften them, making them much easier to juice. Juice the limes with a citrus reamer, making sure to remove any pulp and seeds, then juice the lemons. You should have ½ cup of each juice.
- Make the margarita. Blend together half of the ingredients in the blender (except the sparkling water), then blend in enough crushed ice to make the drink thick and frozen. You should have nearly 5 cups of the margarita. Pour the first batch into a large pitcher and place in the fridge or freezer, then repeat the blending step to make another 5 cups of margarita.
- If you're making it ahead, stop here. Put the margarita in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Let the mixture thaw for 5-10 minutes, then break it up a bit with a fork or spoon. Remember to add the 1 cup of sparkling water just before serving.
- Add the sparkling water. Pour 1 cup of sparkling lime water (236 ml) into the pitcher of margarita mixture. (If you can't find sparkling lime water, use plain sparkling water with a splash of fresh lime juice.) Warning: it will fizz a little! Stir until mixed, then carefully pour the margaritas into the prepared glasses.
- Make the drink extra special. Cut a lime crosswise into wheel-like slices, then make a small slit in each slice so it sits nicely on the rim of the glass. Set the lime wheel on the rim of the glass, then serve the margarita immediately or place the glasses in the freezer for up to two hours - any longer could break the glass.
- Use freshly squeeze the limes and lemons for the best flavor.
- Hit all the bases for the best tasting drink. Saltiness, margarita salt. Sweet, simple syrup. Sour, lime and lemon juice. Bitter, lime zest. Umami, kosher salt.
- Add a pinch of kosher salt. This will balance out the sweetness and will give a tinge of umami.
- Use the frozen lime juice when it's still frozen, don't let it thaw or the drink won't be as thick.
- Add a pleasing bitter flavor by using lime zest around the rim.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: mocktails, non alcoholic, virgin margarita