Italian Margarita

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.

Three glasses holding Italian Margaritas with a bottle of amaretto

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.

On 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!

Amaretto, tequila and other ingredients for a cocktail on marble

What you’ll need to make an Avocado Margarita

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In addition to these tools, you’ll need just four ingredients. You might have some of ‘em on hand already, too:

  • 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.

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. Makes 1 drink, but can easily be doubled or tripled.  Collage showing how to make an Italian Margarita

How do you make an Italian margarita?

First and foremost, juice your lime(s.) I typically do this over a liquid measuring cup with a fine mesh strainer on top of it to keep pulp and seeds out of the final juice.

Pro tip: 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!

Also, you’ll want to rim your glass with granulated sugar. Take a lime wedge and run it along the rim of your glass. Sprinkle sugar into a dessert plate or another flat surface, and dip the rim of the glass into it. Move it around gently until sugar adheres to the rim.

Once your 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, then strain as you pour into your prepared glass(es).

Garnish with a lime wedge before enjoying immediately.

A golden Italian margarita with a sugar rim on marble

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 your simple syrup 1-2 days in advance… or do what I do and make a big batch so you’ve always got some in the fridge. Let it hang out in the fridge, and make a lot of it, depending on how many friends are joining you.
  • 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, promise.
Close up of a golden italian margarita with a lime garnish

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

How do you rim a glass with sugar?

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.

What do you drink with amaretto?

This Italian margarita is a delicious way to drink amaretto! It pairs beautifully with the silver tequila, lime juice and simple syrup.

Three tall golden drinks garnished with limes and red striped straws with the text italian margarita

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.
Three glasses holding Italian Margaritas with a bottle of amaretto
Yield: 1 drink

Italian Margarita

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

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.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rim a margarita glass with granulated sugar. Fill with ice, and set aside.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Measure the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and amaretto in a cocktail shaker.
  4. Shake until the ingredients are cold and combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared margarita glass.
  6. Garnish the margarita with a wedge of lime, and enjoy immediately.

Notes

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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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

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.

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