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National Margarita Day: Recipes to make skinny, spicy and even avocado cocktails

National Margarita Day, the made-up holiday celebrated Thursday, could be a good day to try your hand at making your own cocktail – or jazzing up a recipe you already use.

The popular drink gained prominence in the '40s and has become a go-to cocktail in bars and at home. Tequila sales rose 5.1% in 2023 – the highest spike among top spirits – and off-premise sales are up 9.6% so far this year, ahead of whiskey (3%) and vodka (1.5%), says Bump Williams, whose firm Bump Williams Consulting of Shelton, Connecticut, services the alcoholic beverage industry.

More imbibers are sipping tequila straight, but "I think the mixing component certainly plays into the growth of the category," Williams said.

In the super-hot ready-to-drink category – sales are up 36.6% so far this year – ready-to-drink margaritas are up 27.5%, compared to a year ago, the research firm says.

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National Margarita Day deals: Get discounts and specials on the tequila-based cocktail

National Margarita Day 2024: What you need to make a perfect margarita

National Margarita Day: Twists on the tequila cocktail

A basic margarita is easy to make: typically you mix two ounces of tequila, one ounce lime juice, ½-ounce orange liqueur, such as triple sec, and ½ ounce of agave nectar or syrup, as suggested on Liquor.com.

This amateur mixologist has had good results with this combination: 5 parts sweet & sour mix, 3 parts blanco tequila, 1 part triple sec, ½ part lime juice, plus fresh juice from a squeezed lime quarter. You can add a small portion of mezcal or reposado tequila – or completely substitute the reposado tequila for the blanco – for a smokier flavored drink.

Here's some recipes to kickstart your experiments

Cazadores Avocado Margarita

This cocktail is a mashup of margaritas and guacamole, with avocado, jalapeño and cilantro among the ingredients.

  • 1½ oz. Tequila Cazadores Blanco

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice

  • 1 oz. agave syrup

  • 1 quarter of avocado

  • 1 cilantro sprig

  • 1 slice of roasted jalapeño

Mash up avocado, cilantro and jalapeño in a mixing glass. Add the rest of the ingredients with ice, then shake and serve over the rocks.

Cazadores Avocado Margarita is a mashup of margaritas and guacamole, with avocado, jalapeño and cilantro among the ingredients.
Cazadores Avocado Margarita is a mashup of margaritas and guacamole, with avocado, jalapeño and cilantro among the ingredients.

Sammy's Velvet Kickstand Margarita

  • 2 oz. Santo Blanco Tequila

  • ½ oz. triple sec (or any high quality orange liqueur)

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice

  • ½ oz. Damiana liqueur

This recipe from the book "Sammy Hagar's Cocktail Hits.", uses tequila from Santo Spirits, the liquor line Hagar launched in 2017 after selling the Cabo Wabo tequila brand for nearly $100 million.Add ingredients to shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and garnish with a fresh lime.

Sammy Hagar's Velvet Kickstand Margarita.
Sammy Hagar's Velvet Kickstand Margarita.

The Greatest Margarita

  • 1½ oz. Cincoro Blanco

  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice

  • ½ oz. agave nectar

Shake well with ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

The Greatest Margarita: made with Cincoro Blanco tequila.
The Greatest Margarita: made with Cincoro Blanco tequila.

Golden Hour Margarita

For this margarita you want to whip up some Golden Milk, made with turmeric, ahead of time.

  • 1¼ oz. Mezcal Unión Uno

  • ¼ oz. Nixta Elote Liqueur

  • ¾ oz. Supasawa Cocktail Mixer (can substitute with clarified lime juice)

  • ¾ oz. Golden Milk (turmeric milk)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated orange half and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

The Golden Hour Margarita made with Mezcal Unión Uno tequila.
The Golden Hour Margarita made with Mezcal Unión Uno tequila.

Golden Milk Recipe

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • pinch black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

Add ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.

Dulce Vida Tequila Skinny Margarita

Skinny margaritas, which cut the calories with ingredient swaps such as club soda, orange juice or monkfruit syrup, and spicy margaritas, which work jalapeño peppers into the cocktail, are hot cocktails now, according to a "National Margarita Day: America's favorite margarita" report from Casino.com, which used Google search activity.

  • 2 oz. Dulce Vida Lime Tequila

  • Club soda

  • Lime

Add tequila to your choice of glass with ice. Top with club soda and a squeeze of lime and float a fresh lime slice on top.

1800 Spicy Margarita

  • 2 oz. 1800 Cucumber & Jalapeño Tequila

  • 1 oz. Lime Juice

  • ¾ oz. Agave Syrup

  • 2 Thin Jalapeño Slices

  • Lime wheel

In a mixing tin or shaker, add jalapeños and then lightly muddle. Add remaining ingredients and ice, then shake and strain into iced, rocks glass rimmed with spicy chili and lime seasoning. Garnish with a lime wheel.

1800 Cucumber & Jalapeño Tequila is used in the making of the 1800 Spicy Margarita.
1800 Cucumber & Jalapeño Tequila is used in the making of the 1800 Spicy Margarita.

Sweet Heat margarita

  • 1 part Dulce Vida Pineapple Jalapeño Tequila

  • 3 parts Club Soda

  • Squeeze of Fresh Lime

  • Garnish with a Slice of Pineapple or a Lime

Pour all ingredients over ice in a glass and squeeze fresh lime to taste. Stir, garnish and enjoy.

The Sweet Heat margarita made with Dulce Vida Pineapple Jalapeño Tequila.
The Sweet Heat margarita made with Dulce Vida Pineapple Jalapeño Tequila.

Patrón Spicy Margarita

For this spicy cocktail, you'll need a jalapeño and some Tajin seasoning.

  • 2 oz. Patrón Reposado

  • 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

  • 1 oz. Agave Syrup

  • 3 Seedless Jalapeño Slices

  • Tajin Rim

  • Lime wheel for garnish

Gently muddle the jalapeño slices in the cocktail shaker. Add tequila, lime juice, agave, and ice to shaker.

Shake and strain into a rocks glass rimmed with Tajin over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wheel and one more jalapeño slice.

The Patrón Spicy Margarita is made with jalapeño peppers and Tajin seasoning.
The Patrón Spicy Margarita is made with jalapeño peppers and Tajin seasoning.

Herdez Spicy Margarita

  • ¼ oz. Herdez Chipotle Salsa Cremosa

  • Himalayan salt

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 2 oz. Illegal Mezcal

  • ¾ oz. orange liqueur

  • ¼ oz. Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce

  • 1 cup ice

  • Jalapeno slices

  • Lime wedges

In a small plate, mix the Himalayan salt with the Herdez Chipotle Salsa Cremosa. Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, then dip it in the prepared salt mix. Combine tequila, orange liqueur and Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds or until chilled. Add some ice to prepared glass and strain cocktail mixture. Garnish with jalapenos and lime.

The Herdez Spicy Margarita is made with Herdez Chipotle Salsa Cremosa and Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce.
The Herdez Spicy Margarita is made with Herdez Chipotle Salsa Cremosa and Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce.

The Codigo 1530 Reposado Cadillac Margarita

  • 2 oz. Codigo 1530 Reposado

  • 1½ oz. Orange Liqueur (Italicus)

  • 1½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice

  • ½ oz. Agave Nectar

Add to shaker, shake and serve ice.

The Código 1530 Reposado Cadillac Margarita.
The Código 1530 Reposado Cadillac Margarita.

The Prime Margarita Recipe

This recipe comes from the Ocean Prime restaurants and is served at all 17 locations across the U.S.

  • 1 ½ oz. Don Julio Blanco Tequila

  • ½ oz. St. Germain Elderflower

  • ¾ oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

  • ¼ oz. Lime Juice

  • ¼ oz. Agave Nectar

  • ¼ oz. House Grenadine

Add ingredients to a shaker or mixing tin with ice. Shake vigorously for five seconds. Strain and serve over ice with a lime wheel.

The Prime Margarita is available at all 17 Ocean Prime restaurant locations across the U.S.
The Prime Margarita is available at all 17 Ocean Prime restaurant locations across the U.S.

Hibiscus Margarita

For this colorful cocktail, you make some Hibiscus syrup and Hibiscus salt ahead of time.

  • 2 oz. Gran Coramino Cristalino tequila

  • ¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice

  • ¾ oz. Hibiscus Syrup

Shaken, served over ice. Lime garnish. Hibiscus salt on the rim.

The Hibiscus Margarita, made with Gran Coramino tequila, is on the menu at Shanklin Hall in Washington D.C.
The Hibiscus Margarita, made with Gran Coramino tequila, is on the menu at Shanklin Hall in Washington D.C.

Hibiscus Syrup

  • 1 quarts dried sorrel flowers

  • 3 thumbs Fresh ginger

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • Peel of 1 orange

  • 6 cloves

  • 2.5 quarts water

To make Hibiscus Syrup, add all ingredients, simmer and then steep overnight to develop flavor. Sweeten with cane sugar to taste. For Hibiscus Salt, grind dried flowers in a grinder or blender, then had some sea salt and sugar to taste and mix.

Lobos 1707 Cucumber Mint Margarita

  • 2 oz. Lobos 1707 Joven or Reposado Tequila

  • 1 oz. lime juice

  • 3 slices of fresh cucumber

  • A few springs of mint

  • ½ oz. agave nectar

  • 1 tsp. salt or sugar – for the rim

Prepare your glass with salt/sugar rim by running a sliced lime around the edge and dipping it into salt/sugar. Muddle tequila with a couple sprigs of mint and cucumber slices. Add mixture, lime juice, agave nectar and ice to shaker. Shake and pour margarita with ice into prepared glass, garnish with cucumber slice and a sprig of mint.

This Cucumber Mint Margarita is made with Lobos 1707’s Joven or Reposado Tequila.
This Cucumber Mint Margarita is made with Lobos 1707’s Joven or Reposado Tequila.

Follow Mike Snider on X and Threads: @mikesnider & mikegsnider.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Margarita recipes for National Margarita Day 2024: How to make one