Blue Margarita

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

The Spruce

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
143 Calories
0g Fat
27g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 143
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 306mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 1g
Calcium 47mg 4%
*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 (pronounced "KYOOR-uh-souw" in its anglicized version). 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.

Due to its popularity, you should be able to find blue curaçao at big-box stores like Walmart and Target for $10 to $15. However, as with many cheap liqueurs, these are not necessarily the best options if you want true-tasting drinks.

Consider slightly pricier brands like Briottet, Herman Jansen, and Marie Brizard, which start in the low $20 range. If you'd like to stick within the $10 range, Bols Blue Curaçao is one of your best options. You'll find that this simple upgrade makes a great difference.

Regardless of what bottle you choose, once you have it, you can make countless other blue cocktails—like the blue lagoon, for example.


  • Ice
  • Optional: salt (for the rim)
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce blue curaçao
  • 1 ounce lime juice (fresh)
  • Garnish: lime wedge or an orange slice and cherry

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, and lime juice.

  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.

    Blue margarita on the rocks with salt along with an orange and cherry garnish
    The Spruce
  6. Serve and enjoy.

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.

Recipe Variations

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.

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.