Arguably the best sidekick to any taco Tuesday feast, the margarita has been a fan favorite for as long as we can remember. Salt, lime, and tequila may be bar cart staples, but there are so many other game-changing ingredients that vary from the tried-and-true lime margarita you know and love. With summer hanging in the air, it’s time to try out some new twists on this classic cocktail with the very best margarita ingredients.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up a few tasty concoctions to show you how to make next-level margaritas that use fresh produce, spices, and tequila in the most unexpected ways. Whether you like your cocktails, spicey, smokey, or fruity, there's a combination of margarita ingredients that's just right for your palate. These signature cocktails will have everyone buzzing—pardon the pun—at your next gathering. Find out the best margarita ingredients that will kick your homemade cocktails up a notch (and what to pair each drink with).
The Star Ingredient: Passion fruit
Mixology Tip: According to Sarah Yates of A House in the Hills, all you need to change up your typical margarita is a few ounces of passion fruit juice. She recommends pressing the juice from the passion fruits yourself, writing, “the effort is worth it because the juice is so tropical and lovely.” Just add lime, simple syrup, and tequila for a dreamy cocktail to take you away from your day-to-day routine.
Pair With: While you’re sipping on your freshly squeezed margaritas, munch on these healthy shrimp taco lettuce wraps.
The Star Ingredient: Coconut
Mixology Tip: This cocktail fit for an island vacation calls for tequila, Cointreau, coconut milk, coconut cream, lime juice, half-and-half, and simple syrup. Heidi Larsen from Foodie Crush advises against forgoing the coconut cream and only using coconut milk in this recipe. “The coconut cream gives the drink a more intense coconut flavor and creamy texture,” according to Larsen. It's one of the best margarita ingredients you likely never thought of before.
Pair With: Serve up your creamy drink with one of these delicious (and easy!) salsa recipes.
The Star Ingredient: Honeydew
Mixology Tip: The unexpected hero ingredient of this innovative margarita is juice from one honeydew melon. Who knew? Kate Taylor, the foodie behind the blog Cookie + Kate warns not to overfill your blender when making the honeydew juice. Instead, work in batches to expertly juice the melon for this fruity cocktail. Taylor also uses chili powder when salting the rim before serving to give the drink a little kick.
Pair With: Pair this light summer margarita with an equally refreshing dish of ceviche.
The Star Ingredient: Rhubarb
Mixology Tip: You can make your own rhubarb simple syrup by following this recipe from Eye Swoon. After making the syrup, simply combine with lime juice and tequila in a shaker with ice, and garnish your creation with a basil leaf and a ribbon of rhubarb.
Pair With: You can’t go wrong pairing this summer drink with a light summer salad full of seasonal fruits and veggies.
The Star Ingredient: Mango
Mixology Tip: Dana Schultz from Minimalist Baker ups the margarita ante by adding hot sauce and chili powder on the rim when serving this fruity mixed drink. Use frozen mango for a blended combination or un-chilled mango for an on-the-rocks beverage. Combine your mango of choice with orange, lime, agave, and silver tequila—our favorite is Jose Cuervo—for a margarita that is sweet and spicy.
Pair With: What is a margarita without everybody’s favorite avocado-based side dish? Snack on homemade guacamole in between sips of your mango treat.
The Star Ingredient: Pineapple
Mixology Tip: Evan Kalman of Add 1 Tbsp introduced us to this sweet and smoky Roasted Pineapple Mezcal Margarita, and while it takes a bit of effort, it’s worth it. Kalman writes, “Summer fruit transforms spirits into amazingly flavorful cocktails. When infusing liquor look for juicy, ripe fruit to maximize the flavor extraction.”
Pair With: This fruity, smoky mixture goes perfectly with your favorite fish tacos. Close your eyes, and you’ll think you’re on vacation.
Add some of the best margarita ingredients likes passion fruit, chili lime, and coconut to your own signature cocktails next time you feel like playing bartender.
This post was originally published on August 18, 2017, and has since been updated.