Grilled Orange Margarita.

Whether you're hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or looking for a refreshing summer cocktail, you'll love grilled orange margaritas.

Grilled orange margarita.Grilled orange margarita.

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What are margaritas made of?

A margarita is a popular cocktail made with tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur.

the quality of the cocktail can vary greatly, depending on the brand of tequila and the quality of the mix.

Restaurants often use margarita mix, made with lime juice and sweeteners such as simple syrup.

Personally I find the margarita mix too sweet. Cocktails made with too much sugar give me headaches, which is why I like to make my own.

How to make a sugar-free margarita

The secret to a sugar-free margarita is to use fresh citrus juice instead of bottled juice or margarita mix.

To amplify the natural sweetness and orange liqueur, I use freshly squeezed orange juice. And to make it even better, we grill oranges. Caramelization enhances their natural sugars even more.

How to measure cocktails

Most of the time, mixologists use jiggerwhich help you measure alcohol and mixes in ounces.

One side is usually an ounce and the other is usually 1 1/2 ounces.

I know not everyone has a jigger, so I developed this recipe to include cup and tablespoon measurements as well.


  • Rub the BBQ: Use your favorite BBQ rub, Tajin or salt for the rim of the glass. I like to use Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub.
  • Oranges: For this recipe I prefer to use small seedless mandarins such as Cuties or Halos. They come in a bag in the produce section.
  • Limes: When selecting fresh limes, juice them at the supermarket. Softer ones will produce more juice.
  • Tequila: You can use any brand, but I recommend selecting a reposado tequila. This is a blanco or white tequila aged in oak barrels. My favorite brand is Herradura.
  • Orange liqueur: I like Cointreau or Grand Marnier. You can also use Triple Sec.
Substitutions: If you like a sweeter margarita, you can add a tablespoon of agave nectar. For a more bold margarita, use blood oranges

See the full recipe card below for serving sizes and full ingredient list.

How to make a grilled orange margarita

You can cook oranges on a grill, griddle or pan. Heat grill to high heat.

  1. FIRST STEP: Cut the oranges and limes in half and place them on the grill or griddle. Cook for a few minutes, until they begin to char.
Orange and lime on the plate.Orange and lime on the plate.
Charred oranges and limes.Charred oranges and limes.
  1. STEP TWO: Rub a lime around the rim of a margarita glass. Place some barbecue rub in a shallow bowl or on a saucer. Dip the rim of the glass into the rub. The rubbing should stick to the edge.
Glass in a bowl of barbecue rub.Glass in a bowl of barbecue rub.
  1. STEP THREE: To the glass, add the tequila, Cointreau, and juice from the grilled oranges and limes. Mixed.
Mix the Margherita.Mix the Margherita.
  1. STEP FOUR: Add ice and garnish with a grilled orange slice.
Margarita and ice ball.Margarita and ice ball.
PRO TIP: I love nugget ice. I have the GE Profile Opal ice maker and a pellet ice maker I picked up on Amazon. 

Margarita by the carafe

This recipe yields about 3/4 cup of liquid. To make a large 2-quart pitcher of margaritas, multiply the recipe by 10.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • For added sweetness without adding sugar, char your citrus
  • You can char citrus 1-2 days ahead
  • Softer limes produce more juice

Frequent questions

Can I use orange juice instead of triple sec in a margarita?

You can use orange juice in addition to triple sec. But for a real margarita you should use orange liqueur. When adding orange juice. Don't go for bottled orange juice. Use freshly squeezed orange juice. The flavor is even better if you grill oranges.

What's the best orange liqueur to put in a margarita?

Cointreau and Grand Marnier are excellent high-end orange liqueurs. If you want to save some money, you can use DeKuyper Triple Sec. When I throw a party, I use the best stuff for the first few rounds. Then I move on to the cheaper stuff.

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  • Preparation of the glass: Place your favorite barbecue rub, tajin, or rock salt in a shallow bowl. Place a lime wedge around the rim of a glass. Dip the glass into the rub. It should stick to the edge.

  • Grill: Heat your grill or griddle to a high temperature. Cut the oranges and lemons in half. Place on the grill cut side down and cook until caramelized.

  • Mix: In prepared glass, mix 1/4 cup (2 ounces) tequila, 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Cointreau, 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) juice of freshly squeezed lime. Mix well.

  • End: Add ice to the glass and garnish with a slice of grilled orange or lime.

If you prefer a sweeter margarita, add 1 teaspoon of agave syrup.

Nutrition information is calculated automatically, so should only be used as an approximation.

Be sure to rate it, leave a comment, and save it so you can do it again. Show off your amazing results on social media by tagging @girlscangrill

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