Italian Margarita

Italian Margaritas With Amaretto Shots on the Side

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail

It doesn't take much to give your margarita a taste of Italy! The only extra ingredient required in an Italian margarita is amaretto. It's a brilliant addition to the famous tequila cocktail, giving it a semi-sweet, nutty touch that's a delight to drink.

The Italian margarita has been a favorite bar and restaurant cocktail for several years. It's probably most famous at Olive Garden, which serves a shot of amaretto on the side. In this recipe, the liqueur is shaken into the drink. Add an extra splash of amaretto in the glass to sweeten the drink if you like.

You'll also notice the recommendation for reposado tequila. The slight aging of this style is a good match for amaretto's dark profile, though the drink is nice with a blanco tequila. Feel like splurging? Pour an añejo tequila instead. Whichever tequila style you choose, this drink deserves a top-shelf brand.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces reposado tequila
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • Garnish: lime slice
  • Garnish: orange slice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for an Italian Margarita
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and amaretto. Shake well.

    Mixing an Italian Margarita
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.

    Straining an Italian Margarita
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. Garnish with an orange and lime slice.

    Italian Margarita With Lime and Orange Garnish
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Serve with an extra shot of amaretto if you like and enjoy!

Tips

  • Fresh-squeezed lime juice always makes a better margarita. One lime should yield the 1 ounce of juice needed in the recipe.
  • Likewise, pour a premium triple sec, such as Cointreau. Other high-end orange liqueurs like Grand Marnier and orange curaçao work as well.

Recipe Variations

There are many variations on the Italian margarita. Try one of these or tweak any of them to suit your personal taste:

  • One version replaces triple sec with fresh-squeezed orange juice. To make it, shake 1 1/2 ounces each of tequila and orange juice with 1 ounce each of amaretto and lime juice.
  • Another popular option uses a sour mix. For this version, shake 1 1/2 ounce of tequila, 1/2 ounce of triple sec, 1 ounce of amaretto, and 2 ounces of sour mix.
  • Serve any of these margaritas without ice in a well-chilled glass if you prefer. The Italian margarita is not the best candidate for a frozen cocktail.
  • Add a sugar or salt rim to the glass. For this drink, many people prefer either salt or a combination of sugar and salt.

How Strong Is an Italian Margarita?

Like the original shaken margarita, the Italian margarita is not a light drink. Its alcohol content averages out at 22 percent ABV (44 proof). That's like drinking half a shot of straight tequila, so it's wise to take it easy with this one.