Named after the oranges grown on the island of Curaçao, the lahara fruit is inedibly bitter—it’s the peel that’s used to flavor Curaçao. The use of blue Curaçao in this blue margarita instead of the clear variety adds a touch of fun. [Editor’s Note: If you adore colorful margaritas as much as we do, then make this red cranberry margarita next on your list.]–Ben Reed

LC Blue Margarita Mystique Note

Let’s talk for a moment about the lahara. (And no, not the faucet manufactured by Delta, in case you just Googled the term.) We’re talking about the lahara fruit (which the author mentions in passing in the note above). It isn’t something you’ll typically see in the grocery store. Though the lahara is inherently and noxiously bitter, curiously, when its peel is dried, the essential oil contained within becomes sweetly fragrant. The peels are steeped in alcohol to extract the elixir and mingled with sugar to make it palatable, thus creating the boozy beverage we know as Curaçao. Curaçao is naturally colorless, though the well-known and almost luminous version of it used here takes its brilliant blue hue—blue as the blue lagoon—from artificial dye. We gotta confess, it does lend a little mystique to the cocktail. While we’re not certain who first thought of this crazy concoction, we’re grateful they did.

A pitcher and two glasses of blue margarita on a grey woven placemat.
A pitcher and two glasses of blue margarita on a grey woven placemat.

Blue Margarita

4.74 / 15 votes
This blue margarita recipe, made with Curaçao, tequila, triple sec, and ice, is named for the Caribbean island and its brilliant waters.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories259 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 1 cup tequila, preferably reposado
  • 1/3 cup Curaçao, (blue or clear)
  • 1/3 cup triple sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 8 limes)
  • Crushed ice


  • Combine the tequila, Curaçao, triple sec, and lime juice in a large pitcher. Carefully fill the pitcher with crushed ice and stir gently to combine.
  • Pour the margarita into punch cups, margarita glasses, or whatever vessels you happen to have on hand.
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Serving: 1 cocktailCalories: 259 kcalCarbohydrates: 15 gProtein: 0.2 gFat: 0.1 gSaturated Fat: 0.02 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01 gSodium: 3 mgFiber: 0.2 gSugar: 10 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Ben Reed. Photo © 2012 William Lingwood. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Equal parts Curaçao and triple sec make what has to be the best margarita I’ve tasted in a long time. So many margaritas are so sickly sweet or contain fruity flavors, but this cocktail is the essence of a great summer cocktail. I like the simple proportions of the ingredients, as it makes it so easy to mix a single drink or a pitcher. I’d add some salt to the rim of the glass and stick with the crushed ice rather than blending it next time. Probably best to be a little careful with these. Resist the temptation to quench your thirst!

Last night was girls’ night out for our little group. It was my turn to host, and this was the drink of choice. It had a nice citrus flavor with a major kick. I was amazed at the smooth flavor of the reposado tequila. We made some using blue Curaçao and some using orange Curaçao. This didn’t change the flavor, but the different colors were beautiful. If my local liquor store wasn’t out of the red and green varieties, I would’ve made those colors, too. (Imagine the red and green ones served at Christmas! Or picture the orange at Halloween, green for St. Patrick’s Day, or red at Valentine’s. And if you need an excuse to drink blue margaritas for fun, you could say you are celebrating National Smurf Day and use the blue.) How fun! I’m just glad all the “girls” are neighbors and walked to my house!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I am wanting to serve this recipe of Blue Margaritas at a wedding reception for 150 guests. How do I make this by the gallon and to be served from a self serve drink dispenser? Some will use more ice than others and I do not want to make this with the ice in it already, as it will be sitting for awhile; the ice will melt and dilute the flavor.
    Please advise

    1. This sounds like a fun wedding idea, Laura. You’d need to multiply the recipe by 25 to 30 times in order to serve 150 people. A single gallon will produce about 7 times the original recipe, so you would need to mix up 4 to 5 batches. Each gallon batch would be as follows:
      7 cups tequila (56 oz | 1.7 liters)
      2 1/3 cups Curacao (18 oz | 0.5 liters)
      2 1/3 cups Triple Sec (18 oz | 0.5 liters)
      4 2/3 cups fresh lime juice (37 oz | 1.1 liters)

      I would just have a separate ice bowl or cups filled with ice, and then the mixture can be poured directly from the dispenser over ice.

  2. 5 stars
    I went to a party and I made this recipe. I added ginger ale and Lemon to fill up the pitcher and it was sooo good!

  3. 5 stars
    These are strong but awesome. My honey and I both love them!
    I pinned this to my personal favorite pins board. Thanks for sharing!