Looking for a different twist on a classic margarita? This Italian Margarita still tastes like a margarita, but calls for famous Italian almond-flavored liqueur for a unique taste. Makes 1 drink, but can easily be doubled or tripled.
It seems fitting to be sharing this Italian Margarita recipe with y’all because it combines one of my favorite liqueurs with our margarita flavors.
I’ll be honest—I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this recipe and purchased limoncello, too. Just in case.
As it turns out, I enjoyed the amaretto drink more because it gave us a more well-rounded drink that had tartness, a little sweetness and wonderful balance.
However, I plan to share an Italian Limoncello Margarita at some later date because it offered a different flavor profile. I just have to do some tinkering with the recipe first. 😉
Why we love this recipe:
This is just a FUN twist on the classic margarita.
Instead of calling for an orange liqueur, like Cointreau or triple sec, we use amaretto, an Italian liqueur made with almonds. It adds a balance of sweet and sour, as well as nuttiness to the margarita.
At the offset, it felt like this margarita recipe was going to be too sweet, but it actually was perfect.
The margarita base ingredients—tequila, lime juice and simple syrup—sing with the sweet, nutty amaretto liqueur, giving us the taste of a cocktail that’s similar to an Amaretto Sour, but it’s more well-rounded and balanced.
I hear that Olive Garden has a spectacular Italian Margarita, though I can’t speak to the similarities of that one to this one.
Other margaritas you might want to test out: Virgin Margarita (Margarita Mocktail) | Avocado Margarita | Pineapple Margarita | Cucumber Margarita | Peach Margarita | Cadillac Margarita | Pomegranate Margarita
In the market for a new drink? Check out my Cocktail Recipe Index for inspiration!
What you’ll need to make this recipe:
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- Margarita glasses (or other glasses that will work with margaritas)
- Cocktail shaker
- Jigger or mini angled measuring cup
- Citrus juicer or a citrus reamer
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you need:
- Silver tequila — a 100% blue agave brand, please and thank you.
- Amaretto — this is the ingredient that makes our margarita Italian. Amaretto is a famous Italian almond liqueur that’s nutty and sweet. Just a little bit goes a long way because it packs a flavor punch. It’s decently syrupy and thick.
- Limes or freshly squeezed lime juice — I purchase the squeezed kind from the refrigerated section at the grocery store. It’s with the pre-chopped fruit and is worth the splurge. However, you can purchase limes and squeeze ‘em yourself.
- Simple syrup — you can make it at home or you can purchase it from the store or online.
Also, if you’ve got some homemade margarita mix at your house, you could use that in place of the lime juice and simple syrup. I have notations on how to do that below in the recipe card for you, too.
How do you make an Italian margarita?
First and foremost, juice the lime(s.) I typically do this over a liquid measuring cup with a fine mesh strainer to separate pulp and seeds from the juice.
You’ll get more juice from your limes if they’re room temperature. If you keep ‘em in the fridge, pop them into the microwave for 20-30 seconds to get those juices flowing!
Rim a glass with granulated sugar. Run a lime wedge along the rim of a glass. Sprinkle sugar into a dessert plate, and dip the glass into it. Move it around gently until sugar adheres to the rim.
Once the limes are juiced and other ingredients are acquired, measure the tequila, lime juice, amaretto and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds, or until the metal of the cocktail shaker is extremely cold.
Strain as you pour the drink into your prepared glass(es).
Garnish with a lime wedge before enjoying immediately.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
Italian Margaritas would make a fabulous drink to mix up for a crowd for a gathering, especially if your people like the idea of a sweeter cocktail.
Margaritas at home are simple because they require few ingredients and even less time to put ‘em together! And this margarita recipe is absolutely worth mixing up to share.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make it as easy as possible:
- Make it a pitcher. After all, if you’re hosting several friends, you might as well double or triple the recipe so you’re not mixing margaritas by request throughout the evening. I’ll explain in the recipe card!
- Make the simple syrup 1-2 days in advance… or make a big batch so you’ve always got some in the fridge.
- Squeeze the limes an hour or so before guests arrive—or take the store-bought shortcut. Just be sure to get the fresh-squeezed lime juice instead of the shelf-stable kind. It makes all the difference.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve got margarita mix (homemade margarita mix or the store-bought kind), omit the lime juice and simple syrup with 2 ½ oz. of the margarita mix.
Take a lime wedge and run it around the edge of the glass. You want there to be enough liquid to where the salt will stick, but that the juice doesn’t run down the side of your glass. (If it does, no big deal—that’ll just add a little extra lime juice to your margarita.) Pour sugar into a small plate, and gently press the glass into the sugar until sugar coats the rim.
This Italian margarita is a delicious way to drink amaretto! It pairs beautifully with the silver tequila, lime juice and simple syrup.
Quick tips and tricks for making the best Italian margarita
- Double or triple the recipe! While this margarita recipe makes a single drink, you might want to blend more to share. Do the simple math and throw them in a pitcher if necessary!
- Purchase good lime juice or squeeze your own. The shelf stable bottled stuff won’t cut it for this avocado drink.
- Measure the ingredients, please. It’s provides wonderful sweet, nutty flavor to our amaretto cocktail, but a little goes a long way.
Looking for a different twist on a classic margarita? This sweet Italian Margarita still tastes like a margarita, but calls for famous Italian almond-flavored liqueur for a unique taste.
- Rim a margarita glass with granulated sugar. Fill with ice, and set aside.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Measure the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and amaretto in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake until the ingredients are cold and combined.
- Pour into the prepared margarita glass.
- Garnish the margarita with a wedge of lime, and enjoy immediately.
This recipe makes one margarita, but it can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re pouring margaritas for a crowd.
How to make this a pitcher drink: For a 6-drink pitcher, combine 9 oz. silver tequila, 9 oz. lime juice, 6 oz. simple syrup and 4.5 oz. amaretto in a pitcher. Stir to combine, then pour over ice with garnishes.
How can I use margarita mix in this recipe? If you’ve got margarita mix (homemade margarita mix or the store-bought kind), omit the lime juice and simple syrup with 2 ½ oz. of the margarita mix.
My favorite margarita store-bought shortcuts:
• Cold press freshly squeezed lime juice: It sounds silly, but if you can find this refrigerated lime juice that’s good to go, it’s worth the cost, especially if you’re entertaining.
• Simple syrup: If you’re unsure if you’ll have time to make and then cool simple syrup, they sell this bottled stuff in stores, too!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.