Saturday, June 1, 2013

How to Make a Fresh Margarita with Orange Juice, Lime & Raw Honey

How to Make Fresh Margaritas with Orange Juice, Lime & Raw Honey |

I am SO excited to share this margarita recipe with you guys! Know why? First, I concocted it several years ago when I was living in KC with my sister and attending UMKC. I experimented with many cocktails and martinis during my college years. :) Second, I know WAY too many people out there are still drinking pre-made mixes and this makes me very sad. Cause those mixes are d-i-s-g-u-s-t-i-n-g.

Seriously. I'm not a drink snob. I have no problem drinking well liquor. But I like real juices and mixers in my drinks, as should most people. Unfortunately, these margarita mixes are filled with crappy, fake ingredients.
There are lots of ways to make a margarita, but a classic version generally has tequila, lime juice, an orange liqueur (like triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier) or orange juice, and a sweetener like simple syrup to balance out the lime's tartness. To make it simple, it's mostly tequila and citrus with a bit of sugar and depending on the person's preference, salt on the rim.

Now that you know what's supposed to go in a margarita, let's take a look at a popular store-bought Margarita Mix.

Here's the ingredients label for a bottle of Jose Cuervo Classic Margarita Mix (Non-Alcoholic) :

Ingredients in Store-Bought Margarita Mixes | The Rising Spoon
Image Source: Diet Facts
Depending on which version you buy, it may have high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucralose instead. Jose Cuervo isn't the only offender. Sauza and grocery store brands are filled with the same super processed ingredients, too.

And while I'm at it, have you ever ordered a "house" margarita (or three) at a restaurant/bar and felt really gross afterward? Unless the menu says it's fresh, your margarita is comprised mostly of tequila and commercial sweet & sour mix that's laden with preservatives.

This mix is SUPPOSED to be half citrus (lemon and/or lime), half sugar. Most companies opt to save money and use the cheapest ingredients possible: namely corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Because it's a 1:1 ratio, you'll be consuming a crap ton of highly processed "sugar".

Wouldn't you love a tall, icy glass of tequila and high fructose corn syrup? Mmmmm.... ::barf::

Sorry if I grossed you out. Let's move on to REAL margaritas. Delicious, tart and slightly sweet drinks with a healthy tequila kick! They're super easy to make at home with quality ingredients. If you don't like squeezing fruits, you can quickly fix one with 100% lime juice and orange juice, which is 1000x better than the pre-made mixes!

And since you'll be making all your summertime cocktails from scratch, why not use this mason jar shaker to quickly chill all your freshly prepared drinks before pouring them over ice? 
Mason Jar Shaker via | The Rising Spoon
Image source:
This shaker makes my mason jar loving self go squeeeee. One can never have too many mason jars. Especially since you can reuse them in any number of ways!

Orange-Honey Margarita
A classic margarita cocktail with fresh fruit juices, 100% agave tequila and local, raw honey. Skip the over processed pre-made mixes with corn syrup and preservatives and learn to make your own delicious beverage in minutes. 
Serves: 1

2 ounces of silver 100% agave tequila
1 1/2-2 ounces of fresh squeezed or organic bottled 100% lime juice (3-4 tablespoons or approximately 2-2 1/2 limes)
3 ounces of fresh squeezed or bottled orange juice (6 tablespoons or approximately 1/2 an orange)
1-2 teaspoons of raw, local honey
1 ounce (about a splash) of sodium-free carbonated water (optional)
Coarse sea salt, for the rim 

Recommended Equipment
Stainless Steel Cocktail shaker
Or if you're really cool, a Mason Jar Shaker

Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page.

Note: This version is strong on tequila and lime, which is how I like it. If you want a less potent version, reduce the tequila to 1 or 1.5 ounces and reduce the lime juice to 1 ounce. If you want it more sweet, increase the orange juice by an ounce or two and add an extra teaspoon or so of honey. As always, taste it and adjust to your personal preferences.  


Pour a circle of kosher salt into a small plate or saucer. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass (or dip the rim into a small bowl of lime juice) and press the glass' rim into the salt, twisting the glass around slightly until there's a small coating of salt around the rim. Fill your glass with ice and set aside.

In a separate container, mix the tequila, lime juice and orange juice. If you're using fresh fruit, make sure to roll the orange and limes out on the counter with the palm of your hand to redistribute the juices before cutting them open. Measure in the raw honey (do not heat it) and stir until combined. It may take 30-60 seconds to dissolve, possibly longer if the OJ and tequila are chilled.

Optionally, top off the drink with a splash or two of carbonated water. If you want it extra cold, shake the margarita over ice before pouring into the salt-rimmed glass to serve.

Notes & Tips
By using raw, local honey that hasn't been heated, you're adding vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-fungal properties to your margarita. Yay!

Looking for a more colorful margarita? Try my blood orange margarita recipe!

Blood Orange Margaritas Recipe |

Keep Reading! More Recipes From The Rising Spoon:

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite way to make margaritas? Do you prefer them on the rocks, frozen or with fruit flavors? 

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks! 

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