This article may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Bourbon replaces tequila in a classic margarita recipe…and it’s surprisingly wonderful.
Have you ever tried replacing bourbon with tequila when making a margarita?
I think you might just like it. ♡
Barclay and I have long been fans of pairing bourbon and lemon for a good whiskey sour or horsefeather. But a friend recently made us realize that bourbon also pairs beautifully with lime and orange in a classic margarita. And after trying it, we couldn’t agree more.
Turns out bourbon, with its warm caramel and oak notes, is the perfect balance between crisp, tangy lime juice and bittersweet orange liqueur in a margarita. And when sweetened with a dash of maple syrup (optional, if you like a sweeter marg) and served with a rim of coarse salt, we found every sip of this margarita endlessly intriguing and oh so good. . If you love bourbon and margs as much as we do, I highly recommend giving it a try!
Bourbon Margarita Ingredients
Before we move on to the full bourbon margarita recipe below, here are some notes on the ingredients you’ll need…
- Bourbon: Any good quality bourbon whiskey will work in this cocktail. (Or rye whiskey would be delicious too.)
- Orange liqueur: I have a thing for Cointreau or Grand Marnier in margaritas, but a good quality Triple Sec would work too.
- Lime juice: Freshly squeezed juice as always, and feel free to use a slice as a garnish. I’m a big fan of this juicer, it makes juicing lime juice a breeze!
- Sweetener: I generally prefer my margaritas without added sweetener. But maple syrup goes wonderfully with bourbon, if you want to sweeten your cocktail a little. Or you can opt for the standard agave nectar (or simple syrup).
- Ice: You will need a handful of ice to shake the cocktail. Next, I recommend a large piece of ice (like a large cube or sphere) in the serving glass so that it slowly melts.
- Lime wedge and coarse salt: If you wish to rim the glass with salt, simply run a wedge of lime around the rim and dip it in a plate of coarse salt. (I recommend kosher salt, the texture of which is ideal for a good salt rim.)
Here are a few more ways to customize this bourbon margarita recipe…
- Use fresh orange juice: To make a “skinny” margarita, replace the orange liqueur with freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Use a different rim: I love to mix Tajín with coarse salt to make a spicier lime-chilli salty rim. Or if you want to go sweet and spicy, you can mix turbinado sugar (or any type of sugar) with salt.
- Add the jalapeno: To make a spicy margarita, mash a jalapeño slice or two into the cocktail.
- Make a Pitcher: To make a pitcher of bourbon margaritas (16 servings), combine the bourbon, orange liqueur, lime juice and a handful of ice in a large pitcher until combined. Add sweetener to taste, if desired, until margaritas reach your preferred level of sweetness. Serve over ice, garnishing each glass with an additional slice of lime if desired.
- 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon
- 1 ounce Cointreau (or Grand Marnier)
- 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- optional sweetener: 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- ice cream
- lime wedge and coarse salt to delimit the glass
- Salt the edges (optional). Run a wedge of lime (the juicy part) around the top rim of your serving glass. Fill a shallow bowl or plate with coarse salt, then dip the rim until it is coated with the desired amount of salt. Put aside.
- Prepare the margarita mix. Add the bourbon, Cointreau, lime juice and a few ice cubes to a shaker. Shake or stir vigorously for about 10 seconds to cool. Give the mixture a quick taste and add desired amount of sweetener if desired.
- To serve. Fill the prepared serving glass with ice. Strain into margarita mix, garnish as desired, serve and enjoy. Cheers!
Share this post