Blood Orange Margaritas

Skinny Blood Orange Margaritas -

Things have not been going as planned lately. Before I dive into yesterday’s fiasco, I’ll tell you that this recipe was supposed to be a curried coconut quinoa dish. The photographed version didn’t turn out quite right, so I’m still working on it.

Secondly, this post was supposed to be published yesterday. I was on track until I realized, with a sudden gasp followed by, “Oh, #$*@!” that my dress—the blue dress I’d shown to all of my friends and the entire internet—was not on its way. Somehow, I didn’t finish placing the order. That’s right, the girl who makes her living on the World Wide Web and stays up late coding a redesigned website and has probably stolen items from your cart while you’re browsing J.Crew’s final sale somehow did not hit the final submit button.

blood oranges and ice

Once I realized what had happened, I was all worked up in a tizzy for a solid twenty minutes. I texted my friends who are going to the party with me for commiseration. I called my mama for sympathy. This post went by the wayside and I ran out the door to go shopping, the whole time fully aware that this would seem like a trivial issue in a few days’ time. In the current moment, however, it mattered.

Blood Orange Margarita Ingredients

Long story short, four hours and twenty-five disappointing dresses later, I found a winner. A classy, short emerald green number that magically makes this narrow, angular body of mine look like it has curves. Bonus? It was over 70 percent off.

So, the next time that you find yourself searching for a last-minute dress, here’s what to do. Grab a friend and head to the nearest BCBG store. Ask for help and try on all the dresses they suggest. You might find yourself buying a dress that you wouldn’t have picked from the rack yourself but fits you like a glove. For your sake, I hope that it is 70 percent off. When you get home, kick your feet up with a boozy blood orange margarita. Job well done, sexy lady friend. Personal first world crisis averted.

margarita salt

This margarita, like my “skinny” margarita recipe, does not contain any orange liqueur. I’ve learned through extensive margarita testing (hiccup) that margaritas taste best without it—a travesty to some, in the same silly seriousness that is last-minute dress shopping—but it’s true. Orange liqueur is syrupy, medicinal and expensive. Add half an ounce to this margarita if you must, but you might find that you love the margarita more without.

If you want to enhance the flavor of this drink, try adding a teeny tiny drop of pure vanilla extract to each drink. Blood oranges and vanilla are lovely together. And if you can’t find blood oranges in your area, please consider this a recipe for fresh orange margaritas. For best flavor, I’d suggest choosing any of the tasty, in-season varietals over the standard orange, like Cara Cara’s.

How to Make a Blood Orange MargaritaBlood Orange Margarita Recipe - cookieandkate.comBlood Orange Margarita -

Blood Orange Margaritas
5.0 from 5 reviews
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
Simple margaritas made with fresh blood oranges, limes, agave nectar, tequila and a tiny hint of vanilla. Amounts listed below yield 1 drink so multiply as necessary.
  • 2 ounces silver/blanco tequila
  • 2 ounces fresh blood orange juice (about 1 large blood orange, juiced)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 lime, juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
  • 1 tiny drop pure vanilla extract (optional)
Salt and brown sugar rim (use all salt if you want)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher sea salt and/or Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  1. Mix together the salt and sugar on a small plate (preferably one just slightly larger than the top of your margarita glass). Run a wedge of lime around the top of your glass. Dip the top of the glass into the salt blend at a 45-degree angle and roll it from side to side to catch the salt. Add ice cubes to your glass and set it aside.
  2. Fill a small cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the tequila, freshly squeezed blood orange and lime juice and agave nectar. If desired, add a drop of vanilla extract (don't pour it straight from the bottle, I used the blunt end of a fork as a dropper).
  3. Put on the lid and shake for 30 seconds. Strain the liquid into your glass and garnish with a slice of blood orange, if desired.
  • Recommended tequila: Espolón, Milagro or any other 100 percent agave silver tequila.

P.s. More margaritas: basic “skinny” lime margaritas and cranberry margaritas. You might also enjoy this pear nectar with reposado tequila cocktail and blood orange French 75.


  1. says

    Four hours to find a dress? :( I’m kind of happy I don’t care about fashion! But it’s awesome that you found a decent replacement.

    And these margaritas look amazing! Love love love the color. And gorgeous shots, too! I have the worst time with shooting drinks.

    • says

      Ha! I spent way more than four hours looking for a dress in total. I wish I were less obsessive about such things. :( I love shooting drinks. It’s all about backlighting!

  2. says

    Lucky you found a cute dress the night of! I’m awful at shopping and would not have had that success. These margaritas sound like the perfect solution.

  3. Gracie Fred says

    Oh man! So sorry to hear about the dress drama!! Glad it was averted and thanks for keeping us in the loop (I know we’ve all been there) with a fun weekend cocktail recipe to boot! Hope you have so much fun tonight! I wanna see pics!!!!

  4. Kris says

    Looks beautiful!! Looking forward to trying this. But I’m even more curious about the coconut curry quinoa dish…sounds delish. Can’t wait to read it!! Glad you found a dress. BCBG is the best.

  5. says

    I just made this exact same drink over the weekend!!! The only difference was that I didn’t use vanilla extract, otherwise…same drink! Wasn’t it absolutely delicious? I’m stocking up on more blood oranges so I can make these again and again and again!

  6. says

    Thank you for another great read, Kate – really enjoyed this! I could have used this recipe for last night’s BBQ we had on a lovely Australian summer’s evening. Next time! Also, I too am curious about the coconut curry quinoa so please do go ahead and post!

  7. says

    I’ve done that with a FreshDirect order (basically grocery shopping that is delivered to your house) before. It’s usually a wake-up-the-morning-its-supposed-to-be-delivered-and-realize kind of situation. And it is inevitably when I have something I really need to make THAT DAY so then I have to run to an actual (more expensive) grocery store. Blah.

    But I’m so glad you found a replacement dress!! And that you have these margaritas to slug down to destress. They are beauties.

  8. says

    The margarita looks delicious! I love drinks made with fresh ingredients instead of sugar filled mixes. My husband and I are always looking for great drink ideas, and this is definitely one we’ll have try!!!

  9. says

    Oh what a nightmare! So glad you got something sorted in the end and I hope you enjoyed the party. I’m just going to be sitting here getting quietly sozzled on these ; )

  10. says

    I just figured out that I like margaritas better than daiquiris (thank you, recent cruise… though, I know, what took me so long?! LOL!) and blood oranges are amazing so I’m so glad I found this recipe! Many thanks! I love your styling on this as well. :D I just want to reach into my screen and take a sip. If only that would work.

  11. Amelia says

    Your post was the inspiration for a great evening. We went through 17 blood oranges and had a wonderful spontaneous get together with friends.

  12. says

    Cheers to fashion emergencies solved! You could wear a paper bag and look stunning but I’m glad you found something a little more appropriate :)

    This drink is an amazing way to end a crazy day… What color!

  13. says

    Oh you poor thing! That must have been so stressful! You handled it like a champ, though….. 70% off? Woohoo! This margarita sounds so refreshing — I had a margarita on two different occasions this weekend, neither were made from scratch, and the syrupy-sweet mixer gave me the worst headache. Got to find a way to get one of these in my hands instead! Cheers!

  14. Nichole says

    Sorry the rental didn’t work out…but…I’m thinking the little emerald number was meant to be!! Love the Blood Orange Marguerita. (And I can slightly adjust for me and make it a martini!!)
    Have a great day!!

  15. says

    Have you ever had a SPICY blood orange marg? Absolutely delish. Just soak 1-2 jalopenos in your choice of tequila for no longer than 24 hours. Strain and continue to make just like this recipe. You will never look back!

    • says

      I love spicy margaritas! I’ve never tried a spicy blood orange margarita, though. Fantastic idea. Have you ever tried infusing tequila with serrano peppers? They’re so spicy that infuse the liquor with flavor in about 30 minutes.

  16. melissa guidry says

    I was looking for a slight variation on the recipe I use and noticed the vanilla as an added touch! On the Foodilly website, it states that each one of these drinks contains 816 calories. Surely, that cannot be correct? I am juts curious:). Love your pics!

Leave a comment below:

Your comments make my day. Thank you!

Note: Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: