How to Make Margaritas for a Crowd

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo or toast your Thursday night crew with an extra large batch of tasty drinks. Cheers to the best margarita pitcher recipe around!

Homemade margaritas take a tiny bit of effort but pay off in a big way. Hear us out: There’s no way store-bought mix tastes better than freshly squeezed juice and high-quality tequila! Make a batch for sharing—and be prepared to pour a second round.

On the Rocks or Blended?

True margarita aficionados drink their margaritas on the rocks. I learned this decades ago from the look a bartender shot me when ordering a blended margarita. He explained that they only served margaritas on the rocks—which made me promptly want to melt into the floor. But once I had that margarita on the rocks, I’ve never gone back. You get to taste your quality ingredients instead of mostly ice. If you’ve only had blended margaritas, this recipe is a great opportunity to try it on the rocks.

How to Make a Pitcher of Margaritas

This big-batch recipe makes 16 drinks.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups tequila (Make sure to get something smooth and delicious. You’ll thank me in the morning.)
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup lime juice (Use the juice of real, fresh limes. You won’t regret it!)
  • 1 cup lemon juice (Yes, both citrus fruits… and again, squeeze it yourself or use this trick.)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (It’s also known as caster sugar. Learn about all different kinds of sugars here.)
  • 16 lime wedges
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 5 1/3 cups crushed or cubed ice

Step 1: Mix It Up

In a large pitcher or another vessel (e.g., glass beverage dispenser, stockpot, deep bowl—whatever’s handy; don’t make it too complicated) combine the first five ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. In the meantime, put all of the salt in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate.

Step 2: Salt, Serve, ¡Salud!

This margarita pitcher recipe is ready to go!

When serving, wet the rim of the margarita or cocktail glasses with a lime wedge and dip the rim of each glass in the salt. Put ice in glasses and pour the drink mix over. Be sure to stir the mixture gently before serving.

Once you savor the fresh citrus and smooth tequila of this recipe, you’ll be ruined for all lesser margaritas. Pair it with any one of these wonderful Mexican dishes and have fun!

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Jennifer Schwarzkopf
Half Chilean, half Irish descent and all joie de vivre, I'm a food writer/photographer who loves to share stories about different cultures and the magic that is sharing a meal together. When not doing that, you'll find me working on my culinary degree, hanging with family & friends, and just trying to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." Salud!