Looking for a refreshing frozen drink to serve your family this summer? You need to try our frozen virgin lime margarita recipe! It comes together quickly, can be made ahead, and is a lot of fun to drink.
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All the ingredients for this refreshing virgin lime margarita can be found at your local grocery store. Let's talk about each ingredient!
- Simple Syrup: This is a simple combination of 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. It's easy to make at home! (See the recipe card for instructions.)
- Fresh Limes: The star of the show! You'll need them for zest, juice, and the garnish.
- Lemon Juice: Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. It will add brightness to the drink.
- Orange Juice: You can use store bought or freshly squeezed.
- Angostura Orange Bitters: We like the flavor it adds, but it also optional. The bitters add only a negligible amount of alcohol.
- Frozen Limeade: We have used Great Value and Minute Maid. We favor the latter.
- Salt: We use 2 pinches of kosher salt in the drink to add umami flavor and to help cut the sweetness. Make sure you have some margarita salt to rim the glasses.
- Sparkling Water: This adds a nice touch to the drink, but is optional.
This recipe is only 278 calories per serving, so make a big batch for everyone to enjoy. For more nutritional facts, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
A skinny margarita has less sugar and is lower in calories, usually accomplished by using fresh orange juice and agave nectar.
Virgin drinks usually replace the alcohol with fruit juice, so they don't contain alcohol.
This margarita recipe contains 2 teaspoons of Angostura orange bitters for flavor, but they add a negligible amount of alcohol. Feel free to omit if you're pregnant.
Yes, you can, just omit the sparkling water. Cover and freeze the mixture for 1 ½ to 2 hours or a couple of days. Let it thaw on the counter for 15 minutes then break up the frozen slush with a fork or spoon.
How can I select fresh limes?
It's best to look for soft, plump limes with shiny skins. When you lightly rub the skin, it should have a rich citrus aroma. Avoid shriveled limes as they are dried out.
How can I extract the most juice?
Start with room temperature limes then roll the limes on the counter while pressing down on them. Next, slice the limes in half and place on a plate. 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's icy cold, ice is used as an ingredient, it has a slushy texture, and it's fun to garnish because they stay in place better when a drink is thicker.
Why do you salt the rim?
Salt reduces the slight bitterness, and balances out the sweetness. It also heightens the taste of the lime. Margarita and sea salt have a more intense salty flavor, so use those.
How to Serve
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.
Serve this drink at a party for guests who don't drink alcohol, for a party with all ages of guests, or anytime you want something fun and refreshing.
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 the frozen limeade, the freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices, the orange juice, the kosher salt, the simple syrup, and the Angostura bitters to a large blender pitcher. (If you have a small blender, you'll have to blend the margarita in two batches.)
Add enough crushed ice to make the drink thick and frozen; about 3 to 4 cups. If you want to make this ahead, freeze until you're ready to serve it, which can be a few hours or several days.
Just before serving, pour in 1 cup of sparkling water. Gently stir and pour into the prepared glasses.
Garnish this frozen lime margarita with a lime wheel by making a small cut in the lime and place it on the rim.
Enjoy your homemade 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 flavor the simple syrup? Add 2 tablespoons of lime and lemon zest while its still hot, then set aside to cool.
- Need a big batch? Double the recipe, pour it into a one gallon empty ice cream tub and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Take out 30 minutes before and break up the slush with a fork.
- Need an intriguing flavor? Add a bit of pickle juice, to taste.
- Want to extract more juice from limes? Cut the limes in half and microwave them for 30 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. To balance out the sweetness and to get a tinge of umami, add a pinch or two of kosher salt.
- Use lime zest on the rim to add a pleasing bitter flavor.
Other Refreshing Mocktails You'll Love
- Non Alcoholic Strawberry Margarita
- Non Alcoholic Jalapeño Margarita
- Virgin Raspberry Daiquiri
- Virgin Mango Daiquiri
- Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri
Round out your Cinco de Mayo menu with these recipes!
- Chipotle Tortilla Chips
- Chipotle Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Chipotle Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa
- Chipotle Corn Salsa
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Frozen Virgin Margarita Recipe
For the Drink
- 2 12-ounce cans frozen limeade, such as Minute Maid
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 6 limes
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 2 jumbo lemons
- ½ cup pulp-free orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Angostura orange bitters
- 1 cup simple syrup
- pinch or two of kosher salt
- crushed ice, enough to make it thick and frozen
- 1 cup sparkling lime mineral water, such as Perrier
For the Rim
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoons margarita salt
- 1 lime wedge
- 8 lime wheels from 2 small limes
- 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. Pour it into a shallow container and put in the freezer for 10 minutes to speed up the cooling process.
- 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 twirl the rim in the salt until coated. Repeat with the remaining glasses.
- Roll 6 limes on the counter, applying pressure with your hand to soften them. (Set aside the other three for garnish.) Cut the rolled limes in half and microwave them on high for 30 seconds to make them easier to juice. Juice the limes and lemons with a citrus press. You should have ½ cup of each lemon and lime juice.
- Blend together all the ingredients except the sparkling water in the blender, then blend in enough crushed ice to make the drink thick and frozen. You should have nearly 9 cups. If you have a small blender, do this step in two batches.
- Pour the sparkling water into the margarita mixture. It will fizz a little! Stir until mixed, then carefully pour the margaritas into the prepared glasses.
- Thinly slice a lime crosswise, 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. You can also freeze the drinks in the glasses for up to 2 hours.
- Use freshly squeeze the limes and lemons for the best flavor.
- Use the frozen limeade when it's still frozen, or the drink won't be as thick.
- If you can't find sparkling lime water, use plain sparkling water with a splash of fresh lime juice.
- Want to make ahead? Put the margarita in the freezer for a 1 ½ to 2 hours or overnight. Let the mixture thaw for 15 to 20 minutes, then break it up a bit with a fork or spoon.