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This virgin margarita mocktail recipe is quick and easy to make without alcohol, yet it’s still so tangy, refreshing and delicious.
I’m having a bunch of girlfriends over tonight for happy hour margaritas, chips and salsa. But since about half of our crew tends to not be drinking alcohol at any given point for various reasons, I’ll be making classic margaritas and these margarita mocktails too!
I first got into making virgin margaritas when I was pregnant last year, and was surprised to discover that you could still achieve those margarita-ish vibes even without the tequila or mezcal. For my taste, it helps to make virgin margaritas extra lime-y, so that the drink is more of a sipper and doesn’t just taste like lime soda. I also love adding in freshly-squeezed orange juice, a hint of agave, and a lightly-effervescent sparkling water. And then of course, if you’re into a good salt rim, that will always make this drink more festive!
I also love muddling a fresh jalapeño slice or two into my virgin margaritas, a step that seems to make any mocktail decidedly more complex and cocktail-ish. But whether you make your drink spicy or not, it will still be wonderfully tangy, delicious, and refreshing.
Let’s make a round together!
Margarita Mocktail Ingredients
Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need to make a virgin margarita mocktail:
- Lime juice: Freshly-squeezed juice, as always, plus feel free to use a slice as garnish. I’m a big fan of this citrus juicer, which makes juicing limes a breeze!
- Orange juice: I recommend freshly-squeezing an orange or purchasing 100% orange juice.
- Agave nectar: This traditional sweetener adds a lovely hint of agave flavor and sweetness to the mocktail. Feel free to add however much or little you prefer, to taste. Or you are also welcome to use any other sweetener that you prefer, such as simple syrup or honey simple syrup.
- Sparkling water: I’m partial to making margarita mocktails with Topo Chico, whose light mineral flavor and effervescence is absolutely delicious here. But feel free to use any variety of sparkling water or club soda that you prefer.
- Salt: If you would like a salt rim, simply run the juicy side of a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and dip it in either coarse sea salt or margarita salt.
Here are a few fun variations that you’re welcome to try on this virgin margarita recipe too:
- Use a different rim: I love mixing Tajín seasoning with salt to make a spicier chili-lime salted rim. Or if you want to go sweet and spicy, you can mix some turbinado sugar (or any type of sugar) with the salt.
- Use a different fruit juice: Stir in a different 100% fruit juice (such as cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, etc.) in place of the orange juice to give this mocktail a different spin.
- Add jalapeño: To make a spicy margarita, muddle a jalapeño slice or two in the cocktail.
- Blend the margarita: Toss all of the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth to make a virgin frozen margarita.
- Make a pitcher: See notes below the recipe below for how to make a pitcher of margarita mocktails.
More Mocktail Recipes
Looking for more fun mocktail recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves…
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1/3 cup sparkling water (or club soda)
- coarse sea salt (or margarita salt), for rimming
- extra lime slice, for garnish
- Rim the glass (optional). Cut a small notch in a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass. Dip the rim in a small plate of salt.
- Mix the margarita. Add the lime juice, orange juice, agave nectar and ice to the serving glass and stir vigorously for 15 seconds to combine. Top with sparkling water and garnish with an extra lime slice.
- Serve. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Pitcher Instructions (4 servings): To make a pitcher of margarita mocktails, combine 3/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, 4-8 teaspoons agave nectar, and a large handful of ice in a large pitcher and stir vigorously for 15 seconds to combine. Briefly stir in 1 1/3 cups sparkling water. Then immediately pour into serving glasses over ice and garnish with an extra lime slice.