The only thing better than a classic lime margarita, is a key lime margarita! Key limes are tarter than regular limes and have a more aromatic and floral flavor that is just so good in margaritas! These margaritas are light, refreshing, and perfect for sipping on all summer long!
what are key limes?
Key limes are the smaller, sweeter cousin to regular limes. They're also known as the Mexican Lime or the West Indies Lime. They have a unique floral flavor that's tart without being too acidic.
In the US, key limes are in season from June to August so you can usually only find them at the grocery store during those months, which is why key lime pie is such a popular summer treat! I always have extra key limes in the summer which is why I decided these key lime margaritas were a necessity!
However, if you aren't lucky enough to find fresh key limes at the store, bottled key lime juice works great! Nellie & Joe's key lime juice is delicious and is sold at most grocery stores as well as amazon.
- Tequila - My favorite tequila for margaritas is 1800 Silver Tequila but you can use whatever you prefer!
- Key Lime Juice - The star of the show! I always prefer using fresh key limes, but if you can't find them you can use bottled key lime juice!
- Orange Liqueur - I love adding orange liqueur to margaritas always, but it's completely optional! My favorite is Grand Marnier!
- Simple Syrup - You can add as little or as much simple syrup as you like! I like my margaritas to be pretty tangy but if you like it sweeter, definitely add more syrup! See my notes below for making your own key lime simple syrup!
how to make key lime simple syrup
I always make my own simple syrup for cocktails because it's so easy and paying for it seems silly to me! You can also add in different herbs or fruit for a delightfully flavored simple syrup. Since we have leftover key limes from squeezing out the key lime juice, you can just add those in!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- key lime peels (optional)
- Add the sugar, water, and leftover key lime peels to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Let cool completely to room temperature, then strain into a glass jar and seal tightly with a lid.
- Store in the fridge for up to a month!
cocktail serving tips
I love my key lime margaritas on the rocks with a salt rim, but you can easily make these frozen instead! Just throw the ingredients in a blender with ice!
To make a salt rim, rub a small amount of key lime juice or simple syrup along the edge of your glass. Pour a small amount of margarita salt (or kosher salt) on a plate and gently press the edges of the glass into the salt.
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Key Lime Margarita
Key Lime Margarita
- 1 ½ ounces silver tequila
- 1 ounce orange liqueur, triple sec
- 1 ½ ounces key lime juice
- ½ ounce key lime simple syrup, optional
- margarita salt
- crushed ice
- key lime slices
- Stir together all ingredients. Taste and add simple syrup if desired.
- Pour into a salted-rimmed glass full of crushed ice. Garnish with key lime slices.