Blue Margarita

Blue margarita on the rocks with salt along with an orange and cherry garnish

The Spruce

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
211 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 211
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 29mg 144%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 106mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A traditional margarita is made with just three ingredients: tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. Blue margaritas replace triple sec with another type of alcoholic orange liqueur, blue curaçao. Aside from its beautiful color (which is artificially added), blue curaçao tends to be sweeter than triple sec. It also has a slightly bitter citrus taste, thanks to the bitter oranges from which it is derived.

While you could drink blue curaçao on the rocks—its alcohol by volume, or ABV, ranges from 15% to 40%—it's much more commonly enjoyed in cocktails. It is available from many different brands. Regardless of what bottle you choose, once you have it, you can make countless other blue cocktails—like the blue lagoon, for example.

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"Many cocktails with orange curaçao (essentially orange liqueur) can be made blue with blue curaçao without changing the flavor, including the margarita. As always with the margarita, fresh lime juice is key, along with quality tequila and proper balance." —Tom Macy

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Ingredients

  • Coarse salt, for optional rim

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila

  • 1 ounce blue curaçao liqueur

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • Lime wedge, or orange slice and cherry, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make a blue margarita
    The Spruce
  2. If you like, rim a chilled margarita glass with salt.

    Margarita glass with a rim of salt
    The Spruce
  3. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the tequila, blue curaçao, lime juice, and simple syrup.

  4. Shake well and pour everything into the prepared glass.

    Blue margarita on the rocks with salt and a cocktail shaker
    The Spruce 
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge or an orange slice and cherry. Serve and enjoy.

    Blue margarita on the rocks with salt along with an orange and cherry garnish
    The Spruce

Recipe Variations

  • The blue margarita is on the tart side. If you want to sweeten it up, combine 1 1/2 ounces tequila, 3/4 ounce each of blue curaçao and lime juice, and 1/4 ounce of 2:1 simple syrup.


This recipe creates a blue margarita that is served over the ice used in the shaker. That's not always the best approach because the ice in your drink is already broken down, so it dilutes faster. It works well for the blue margarita, but there are other ways to serve this (or any) margarita:

  • Over fresh ice: Strain the drink into your glass over fresh ice so the ice will not melt as quickly.
  • As an "up" drink: Strain the drink directly into a chilled cocktail or margarita glass with no ice.
  • In a rocks glass: Stemware is not required, so go the casual route and serve it in your favorite lowball glass on the rocks.
  • Blend it up: Toss all of the ingredients into a blender with about 1 cup of ice (5 to 6 cubes) and blend until smooth.

Why Is Curaçao Blue?

Quite simply, blue curaçao has its color because at some point in its origin—almost certainly by the early 1900s—makers decided to add color to it. The artificial color does not affect its taste; in fact, curaçao comes in other colors like orange, red, and green.

What Is Blue Curaçao Syrup?

The name blue curaçao is also used with nonalcoholic syrups. Monin and Finest Call are two syrup brands that produce it; Monin is the top choice of the pair. These are not liqueurs but blue-colored, orange-flavored syrups often found in the mixer section at the liquor store. They're useful for creating blue mocktails and for those times when you want to cut some of the alcohol out of your cocktails.

Does Blue Curaçao Go Bad?

Yes, eventually, but it'll last months or even years if stored properly. You want to store all liqueurs in a cool, dark place—refrigeration is not necessary, but the back of a cabinet is ideal. Keep in mind that liqueurs that have higher sugar content will tend to degrade more quickly, and blue curaçao nonalcoholic syrup will have a shorter shelf life than the liqueur.

What Is Blue Curaçao vs. Triple Sec vs. Cointreau?

There is no legal differentiation between blue curaçao and triple sec, and Cointreau is just one brand of triple sec. All are orange liqueurs. Curaçao can come in a variety of colors, of which blue is one. Triple sec is traditionally clear. While curaçao is said to originate from the Dutch Caribbean island of the same name, triple sec has its origins in France. (Triple sec literally translates to "triple dry," and it is indeed drier, or less sweet, than curaçao.) Curaçao is traditionally made from one very specific type of bitter orange, the laraha orange, which grows on the island of Curaçao; however, there is no legal requirement that this needs to be the case for a product to be called curaçao.

How Strong Is the Blue Margarita?

This blue margarita is made primarily of alcohol and, despite its alluring color, it is not a light drink. When made with 80-proof tequila and 60-proof curaçao, its alcohol content falls in the 23 percent ABV (46 proof) range. That's about half the strength of a straight shot of tequila, so it's best to take it easy with this cocktail.