Winter’s Finest Citrus Fruit for a Delicious Margarita Cocktail

by Pamela

margarita cocktail, citrus fruit, blood oranges, margarita party, relationship advice

I know there are a few of you (emphasis on a few) that are sitting amidst the snow and cold of winter.  While I don’t envy you, I’m guessing that you thought you wouldn’t see any of the white stuff this year, given the warm temperatures you’ve been having.  Rest assured everyone…it’s only January….come March you’ll be sick of the snow. But for now it’s time for a margarita cocktail.

While you might not be quite ready for this margarita cocktail right now (to help boost your spirits that is but  you’ll definitely be ready for it right now for it’s delicious flavor), this is one recipe you’ll want to keep handy and bust out when you just can’t stand to see another gray day.  The colors of this cocktail will definitely have you thinking of bright summer days.

It’s funny how Mother Nature works sometimes.  Right when we’re stuck in the dark/gray days of winter, bright and colorful citrus fruits are at their peak.  I used the zest from a couple of citrus fruits in that orange hazelnut gremolata recipe the other day, but I just couldn’t get enough of them.

One of Craig’s favorite cocktails is a kick you in the ass margarita.  He likes them good and strong and subscribes to the mantra “your drink, your finger.”  That is a favorite expression of a friend of ours which means: when I hand you a drink, stick your finger in there and stir it up, because I didn’t.  If you don’t stir it up, your first mouthful is 100% tequila which is promptly followed by copious amounts of fire spewing from your mouth and the sound of extreme laughter ringing in your ears – from those of us who have done the same thing….ONCE.

Margarita cocktail made with citrus fruit

In the past he’s used a sour mix plus fresh lime when concocting his margaritas, but lately has changed his formula (much to my delight, since I don’t like the mix) to a fresh fruit (citrus fruit…not frilly fruits).  The standard mix is fresh lime and tangerine juice (it helps that we have both of those trees in our yard).  But the other night, we were out of tangerines.  Since I had a bunch of citrus fruit around for some other recipes, he broke into those and created a margarita that I think is actually worthy of the moniker “Margarita Cocktail” instead of just the loose term of margarita.

The bright reddish color is from blood oranges.  The drink in these pictures is a lot darker than the one’s we had the other night because not all blood oranges are super red inside).  And of course there’s fresh lime juice in there, but there’s another fruit in there.  The third member of the citrus family that’s in there is a much lesser known member, it’s the cocktail grapefruit.  This thin skinned fruit just came about in the 50’s and is a result of the crossing of a mandarin orange and a pummelo.  So they aren’t quite as tart as grapefruit and have a little more sweetness to them.  If you can find them, you should definitely try them.  If you can’t find them you could mix up 3/4 parts fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with 1/4 part tangerine juice.

The other thing that’s nice about this recipe is the fact that you can mix up pitchers of this margarita recipe.  I’m not suggesting that you drown your winter blues in a pitcher of pink-ish margaritas but whipping up a batch of these bright cocktails would be a great excuse to have some friends over for a margarita party.  Put on your loudest Hawaiian shirt (no shorts please…you all will blind people with those pasty white legs of yours), crank up the Jimmy Buffett and set out the pitchers of this margarita cocktail and thumb your noses at Old Man Winter.

 Relationship Advice


Recipe: Citrus Fruit Margarita Cocktail


  • Juice from 1/2 Cocktail Grapefruit
  • Juice from 1 Blood Orange
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 3 Ounces Tequila


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large glass or cocktail shaker.
  2. Dip the rim of a glass into water and then kosher salt (if desired).
  3. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. Pour cocktail mixture over ice.
  5. Garnish with a lime and/or orange wheel and serve.

Quick notes

You’ll get about 3/4 cup of juice from the fruit that you squeeze. Feel free to play around with the citrus fruits you use.

To sweeten it up a bit, you can add 1 teaspoon of simple syrup or agave nectar.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Mexican



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carlos January 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

looks tasty. but just cuz you add tequila doesnt make it a margarita lol this sounds like a strong sangria sin vino

Pamela January 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Hi Carlos, I totally get what you’re saying (although I think this version would be considered a much more potent version of sangria 😉 ). A margarita consists of tequila and orange liqueur. However, when you add as much fresh juice as is in this recipe, you tend to leave the orange liqueur out. But if you’re a purist, put a float of it in the drink. Have fun with it…it’s cocktail time!

Jennifer January 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I love margaritas. especially those made with fresh citrus and no mix. Never thought of using grapefruit before, but now that I see your beautiful pinkish version, I want one. Right. Now. Thanks for the inspiration. can’t wait to try it.

Nancy Rose Eisman January 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Gorgeous photos and I’d like to RSVP for your margarita party!

Pamela January 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Your invite is forthcoming! 🙂

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