Can a Margarita Be Made With Lemon Juice?

Can a Margarita Be Made With Lemon Juice?

You only need three ingredients to make a classic margarita: tequila, orange liqueur (triple sec), and lime juice. But what if you don’t have limes–only a bunch of lemons? Luckily, with their similar flavor profile, lemons can take the place of limes when you’re making margaritas. You’ll end up with a drink that’s more sour than usual, but that’s nothing some zero-calorie simple syrup from Skinny Mixes can’t fix!

What Do You Need to Make a Margarita?

There are several margarita variations, from frozen versions to fruit-flavored ones. The most basic recipe, however, only needs three things:


Tequila is the main ingredient of margaritas. Because it makes up most of the drink, it’s important to use authentic Mexican tequila with 100% agave. If you don’t have that, you can also make the drink without tequila, swapping it for other spirits. For example, a margarita with vodka (known as a “vodkarita”) is a popular alternative that many love for its smooth taste.

Orange Liqueur

Orange liqueur is a sweetened distilled spirit flavored with oranges. It’s often used when making cocktails, and in margaritas, it’s usually added in as triple sec or Cointreau.

Lime Juice

Lime juice gives margaritas their signature tartness, which balances out the deep flavor of the tequila.

Can I Use Lemon Instead of Lime to Make a Margarita?

Not everyone stocks up on limes. Instead, you're more likely to have a bunch of lemons at home–so, can you make margaritas with lemon juice instead of lime juice? Given how similar these two pieces of citrus are, the answer is: yes. In this case, your margarita would technically be called a lemon margarita–but that’s only if you’re particular about it.

How to Make a Lemon Margarita

Making a lemon margarita is no different than making a classic margarita. To start, prepare your glass. Slice a notch in a lemon wedge, then swipe the lemon on the rim. Press the edge of the glass in a plate of salt, then set it aside. Next, make the drink by combining three parts tequila, two parts orange liqueur, and one part lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake everything until the drink is cold (about twenty seconds), then strain the liquid into the salt-rimmed glass before finishing it with more ice.

What Does a Lemon Margarita Taste Like?

A lemon margarita would taste like a regular margarita. However, you should expect it to be a bit more sour than usual. This is ideal for people who want this flavor profile to mask most of the tequila flavor, but it may come as a shock to those who are used to a more subtly sour drink.

How Do I Make a Lemon Margarita Less Sour?

If you find your lemon margarita is a tad too sour for your taste, you can add a sweet element to balance it out. Skinny Mixes’ sugar-free simple syrup can do the trick and is a great option for people who want to enjoy their margarita without the added calories. Otherwise, some agave syrup or honey can also work wonders.

Easy Two-Ingredient Margaritas With Skinny Mixes

If you only have a bottle of tequila on hand but are craving a margarita, Skinny Mixes’ Margarita Mix will help you easily get the classic margarita experience you’re after. Simply combine the mix with some tequila and you’ve got yourself a proper margarita. Even better–with zero sugar and fewer calories, you get a great cocktail experience, minus the guilt.