Olive Garden may have put the Italian Margarita on the map, but with this recipe, you'll be making a far superior version, in the comfort of your own home... in less than 10 minutes. Plus, we'll be using fresh ingredients (goodbye, bottled lime juice!) to achieve the best possible flavor.
You could safely say that this is the perfect cocktail for Summertime hosting. Not only because of the fresh and vibrant flavors, but it's also a little sweeter and smoother than your classic marg and your guests will be excited to change things up with something a little different.
WHAT'S IN AN ITALIAN MARGARITA?
The main difference between a standard margarita on the rocks and an Italian Margarita is the addition of an Italian liqueur called amaretto liqueur. The amaretto replaces the orange liqueur (or triple sec) typically found in a margarita recipe.
But, before we get into what amaretto can do for your Italian Margarita, let's first cover some basic margarita ingredients first:
- Tequila | Your margaritas can be made with either silver or reposado tequila.
- Lime Juice | Fresh lime juice is best when it comes to making margaritas at home. Don't stray toward the fake, bottled, sweet, and sour mix. It won't be nearly as good.
- Orange Juice | In addition to the lime juice, you'll need a little fresh-squeezed orange juice as well. Not only do orange and amaretto play extremely well together, but the orange juice sort of replaces the orange flavor you'd typically get from the orange liqueur. And, it does it at a much more budget-friendly price point -- bonus.
Another factor when it comes to differentiating the Italian Margarita from your classic margarita is the lack of simple syrup.
Simple syrup is a mixture of sugar and water that has been boiled together and is used to sweeten cocktails. You can make it yourself, buy it from the store, or use agave nectar in its place.
If you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side, consider adding an ounce of simple syrup or agave nectar to this Italian Margarita Recipe.
For another simple and delicious cocktail, try our Coconut Margs next!
ALL ABOUT AMARETTO
Amaretto is Italian for "a little bitter" This liqueur originated in Italy, is mostly sweet, and tastes like almonds, with only a faintly bitter note to it.
Because of the addition of amaretto liqueur, Italian Margaritas are less sour than classic margaritas and slightly sweeter with a hint of sweet, nutty almond flavor.
It can be made from apricot pits, bitter almonds, peach stones, or almonds. While you wouldn't normally think of the fruit pits as almond-flavored, they are sources of an organic compound that tastes very similar to almonds.
And, while it may seem like a surprising combination, this almond liqueur is well-suited to complement the sweet and tangy lime flavor of a margarita.
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN MARGARITAS
Before you get to whipping up this Italian Margarita Recipe, you'll first have to decide if you want a salted rim or a sugar-rimmed glass.
If you'd like a salt rim, add ⅓ cup of kosher salt to a small plate and give it a little shimmy. If you'd like a sugar rim, add ⅓ cup of granulated sugar to a small plate just the same.
Want to make that sugar rim extra special? Grate about one teaspoon of orange zest over the sugar and rub it in with your fingers.
Now, you'll take a lime wedge with a slit cut into the center, and run it along the rim of your margarita glass. Once the rim is wet, you can turn the glass upside down and gently swirl it around in either the salt or sugar. If desired, use your fingers to gently press the salt or sugar up against the sides.
Time to get mixing! The cocktail shaker isn't necessary unless you want your marg extremely chilled before it hits the ice in your glass. If you are just dying to use that shaker, you'll combine all of your Italian margarita ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, pop on the lid, and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
However, when it comes to whipping up Italian margaritas at home, we typically take the easy way out: all you really need is a measuring pitcher and a spoon. Measure out and combine the tequila, amaretto, fresh lime juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in the measuring pitcher and stir until combined.
Then, fill your glass with ice and pour your margarita right in! Garnish your margarita with a lime wheel and an orange slice, serve, and enjoy!
6 MORE MARGARITA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Frozen Margaritas
- Pineapple Margaritas
- Best Margarita Recipe
- Mexican Martini
- Strawberry Margaritas On the Rocks
- Watermelon Margaritas
Italian Margaritas are the drink of Summer! Smooth, refreshing, and a little sweeter than your classic marg, these are such a crowd-pleaser!
- 1 ½ ounce top-shelf Reposado or Blanco tequila
- 1 ounce amaretto liqueur
- 1 ounce fresh orange juice
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
Add ice to your cocktail glass or margarita glass.
In a separate beaker or measuring pitcher, combine the tequila, amaretto liqueur, orange liqueur, lime juice, and orange juice. Stir until well-combined.
Pour over the ice, serve, and enjoy responsibly.
Source: Amaretto | Wikipedia