Looking for a unique, super fun, party idea? You’ve got to try a margarita party! All you need is tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, and an assortment of fresh fruits and herbs. Your guests will love mixing up their own margarita creations!
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I was at an industry party last week, and I’ve got to say it was probably one of the best parties I’ve been to in a long time.
The company, promoting its liquor, invited some of us to a mixology class, followed by a fabulous “make your own margarita” party which included several hundred additional guests.
Bartenders were there to help portion out the tequila, suggest combinations of fruits and herbs, and give bartending tips. We had a grand time coming up with interesting combinations!
Back home, the wheels were spinning! All I could think about was what a great party idea this is!
How Do You Plan a Margarita Party?
You don’t need a blender to make a simple margarita. These margaritas are just fruit and/or herbs, tequila, orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple-Sec), lime juice, and simple syrup.
To plan this party, have guests bring extra jiggers, cocktail shakers, and muddlers. You could also buy jiggers or muddlers for everyone to take home as a party favor.
To make a classic margarita, follow the 3-2-1 ratio of tequila to orange liqueur to lime juice. Instruct your guests to use 1.5 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of orange liqueur, and ½ ounce of lime juice, then muddle in any combination of fruit and herbs their hearts desire!
For a little extra sweetness, make a batch of simple syrup – dissolve 1 part sugar to 1 part hot water, then cool and store in the refrigerator until party time.
Just a ½ ounce (or a couple tablespoons) is usually all that’s necessary per margarita, but party-goers can adjust to their liking. You could also substitute agave or stevia if desired.
Go crazy with the fruits and herbs; part of the fun is coming up with different margarita variations.
Spencer and I spent one afternoon testing and came up with the following combinations: Strawberry Basil (a favorite), Mango Chile Cilantro (a close second), Lavender Blueberry or Lavender Blackberry, and Pineapple Mango Chile Lime.
We decided that it’s best to keep the combinations fairly simple to let each flavor come through.
This could also be called a “skinny” margarita party since you are using fresh, natural ingredients. Most bottled margarita mixes contain lots of corn syrup and artificial flavorings and colorings.
Bonus: tequila is gluten free!
Margarita Party Ideas
Here are some of our favorite margarita bar recipes.
Strawberry Basil Margarita: Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped strawberries, 2-3 basil leaves, and lime juice to the shaker. Muddle gently, then add liquor and ice. Shake and strain. Garnish with a sprig of basil and a strawberry.
Lavender Blueberry Margarita: Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup blueberries, 1-2 sprigs of lavender, and lime juice to the shaker. Muddle gently, then add liquor and ice. Shake and strain. Toss in a few fresh blueberries for garnish.
Mango Chile Cilantro Margarita: Add 2 slices of jalapeno, 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped mango, 3-4 sprigs of cilantro, and lime juice to the shaker. Muddle gently, then add liquor and ice. Shake and strain. Garnish with a jalapeno slice.
This Chile Salt is perfect for rimming the glasses of all your spicy margaritas. Mix up a batch for your margarita bar, or package it up in small containers and give it as a party favor or hostess gift.
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Mix well and store in an airtight container.
What is Needed for a Margarita Bar?
- Use an assortment of chopped fruit in ramekins. Some margarita bar ideas include mango, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or peaches.
- Add herbs. Basil, cilantro, mint, lavender, and thyme work well.
- Sliced jalapeños are a must!
- Ask friends to bring extra cocktail shakers, muddlers, and jiggers… the more the merrier!
- Silver tequila works best for this type of party, as it allows the color of the fruit to show through.
- Get plenty of ice! Crushed works best.
- Straining the margarita is the traditional way, not straining is called a “dirty margarita”.
- Pre-measure the alcohol, or encourage guests to follow the standard 3-2-1 tequila to orange liqueur to lime juice ratio for best results.
- Use FRESH lime juice! If you’re going to all the trouble to throw a fabulous party, use the best ingredients possible, and that includes fresh lime juice. Pre-juice the limes and refrigerate.
- Provide simple syrup in case guests would like to sweeten their drinks. Just a tablespoon or two is generally all that’s needed!
- Pre-slice wedges and wheels of limes.
- Provide regular salt and sugar for coating the rims. You can also offer homemade Chile Salt or Tajin seasoning. Try salting one half of the rim and putting sugar on the other half!
- Make sure you provide plenty of food for guests to eat!
What Food Goes Well With Margaritas?
Don’t forget the food! Put out chips, salsa, guacamole or even Mexican shrimp cocktail while guests are mixing drinks.
This Slow-Cooker Chile Pork Colorado can be started the morning of the party. Just shred and serve with tortillas, cheese, cilantro, onions, and sour cream. Cilantro Rice can be made a day ahead and served cold or warm.
What interesting combinations would you put in your tequila when you throw the perfect margarita party?
Margarita Bar for the Perfect Margarita Party
Basic Margarita Recipe
- Assorted fruits: Try mango, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or peaches.
- Assorted herbs: Basil, cilantro, mint, lavender, and thyme work well.
- Sliced jalapenos and/or cucumbers
- Assorted salts and sugars to rim glasses
- Fresh limes cut into wedges for garnish
- Add desired fruits and/or herbs to cocktail shaker and gently muddle.
- Add ice and Basic Margarita ingredients. Shake well.
- Rub the rim of glass with a lime, then dip into desired sugar or salt.
- Strain margarita into the glass and garmish with lime wedge.
This is such a great idea! Your photos make me want to break out my tequila and cocktail shaker right now! So glad that I learned all about tequila in Mexico and that I don’t actually hate it! 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful idea!!
haha! You’d like these margaritas since there’s no artificial anything or fake mixes!
What fun! The problem with blenders is that they’re too noisy! So this is a brilliant idea!
and they’re messy too! This solves a multitude of problems!
Cathy A says
Gorgeous set up. What guests wouldn’t love this fun idea. So many delicious variation that I will have to try.
I can’t wait to try it again!
Saving this in pinterest for any time i throw a margarita party. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Laura! It was such a fun party!
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo! What a fun idea! I have a few friend who I know would absolutely love this. 🙂
Ginny McMeans says
What a fun party! You know, i have never used orange liqueur in my margaritas. It really does sound like a perfect addition. I’m taking notes.
What a fun idea for a party! I love making margaritas at home – so easy and always a crowd pleaser 🙂 Thank you for sharing such great ideas!
Perfect for a Cinco de Mayo party too.
Veena Azmanov says
What an AMAZING idea! Ohhh I can’t WAIT to try this! This looks sooooo good! Yummy! This made me drool. I really like! Thank you.
So much fun Veena!
Claudia Lamascolo says
wow I wish I was invited to this party! Those look delicious I love the fruits and the color of the drink blackberries are my favorite. I haven’t had a great margarita like this one in years would love one! What a great photo!
We had so much fun mixing all kinds of fun flavors!
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says
That sounds like such a fun party idea! I love a margarita!
Me too Bintu! The flavor combinations are endless!
Deb Igel says
In the child salt recipe, it indicates 12 teaspoons of smoked paprika. Should it be 1/2 teaspoon?
Deb Igel says
Oops! That should read Chile salt not child salt. Darn auto correct.
lol! Yes! Good catch!
Your blog posts are remarkable