As the holiday season approaches, it's the perfect time of the year to shake up a festive and fruity cocktail. This Pomegranate Margarita recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday party or a little happy hour indulgence.
Featuring tart pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, and a blend of silver tequila and Cointreau (orange liqueur), this cocktail is a beautiful combination of flavors that are sure to be one of your personal favorites.
Tequila is one of my personal favorites. When fall arrives I get the "Post-Summer Margarita Blues". This year we decided to share our workaround to stretch our margarita season into the Christmas cocktail season.
- Fresh Lime Juice: From 2 limes, which is roughly 2 ounces or ¼ cup
- Pomegranate Juice: We used Pom, which offers the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness.
- Real Maple Syrup: A festive and warmer flavor alternative to simple syrup, or agave nectar. We used Crown Maple Bourbon Syrup and it was amazing!
- Silver Tequila: Choose the best tequila that suits your palate, whether it's blanco, anejo, or gold.
- Cointreau: Love it, or your choice of triple sec or other orange liqueurs.
- Angostura Bitters: Just a dash to add a layer of classic cocktail complexity.
- Ice Cubes: Enough to chill the mix to perfection, and additional for serving.
- Garnishes: Pomegranate arils (seeds), a lime wedge, and a cinnamon stick to enhance the visual appeal and flavor.
- Sweet Salt Rim: Maple syrup dipped rim, coated in kosher salt & sugar mixed with cinnamon, and a pinch of ground clove.
See the recipe card below for quantities and instructions all in one place.
Begin by preparing the rim of the glass. Dip the rim in maple syrup, followed by a small plate with a mix of kosher salt, cinnamon, and ground clove.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the squeezed fresh lime juice, pomegranate juice, maple syrup, silver tequila, Cointreau, and a dash of Angostura bitters with a few handfuls of ice cubes.
Shake until well-chilled, then strain into the prepared glasses filled with ice. Garnish with pomegranate arils (seeds) and a lime wedge to serve.
- Swap out silver tequila as needed; just keep it light like Espolon Blanco.
- If you don't have Cointreau, any triple sec or orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier, will do the trick.
- Agave nectar or a little simple syrup can be substituted for maple syrup if needed.
- Cocktail Shaker - A sturdy cocktail shaker to combine your ingredients to perfection.
- Cute Glasses - Margarita glasses or rocks glasses to serve up your creation.
- Citrus Juice Press - We love our KitchenAid handheld version, but any juicer or press will work.
Make it Frozen
Transform your pomegranate margarita into a frozen delight, perfect for those who enjoy a slushy twist on their cocktails. For a frosty batch, add all the same ingredients into a blender. Toss in a cup of ice cubes and blend until smooth.
To create the perfect big pitcher of pomegranate margarita, you'll want to quadruple (which would make 8) the exact amounts listed on the recipe card.
In a large container, stir together the fresh lime juice, pomegranate juice, tequila, and orange liqueur. Add a dash of Angostura bitters for complexity and maple syrup for that sweet but seasonal touch. Once everything is mixed, cover and chill the pitcher in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.
Rim your glasses ahead of time as well! This can take a bit more time once you realize when you are in hosting mode. Our rimmed glasses stayed in perfect shape for hours with no dripping! Just be light with your maple syrup dip.
The bitters elevate the flavor profile of this cocktail significantly counteracting the sweetness and adding the lightest touch of clove. Don't skip on this if you can help it!
Are you looking for other recipes like this? Here are some more of our favorite cocktails plus tips and tricks for making your next cocktail.
As you head into the holiday season, here are more tips, tricks, and recipes that will help you crush this time of year.
Cinnamon Sugar Rim
- 2 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 pinch Ground Clove
- Fresh Lime Wedge
- Pomegranate Seeds
- Cinnamon Stick
- Begin by preparing the rim of the glass. Dip the rim in maple syrup, followed by a small plate with a mix of kosher salt, cinnamon, and ground clove.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the squeezed fresh lime juice, pomegranate juice, maple syrup, silver tequila, Cointreau, and a dash of Angostura bitters with a few handfuls of ice cubes.
- Shake until well-chilled, then strain into the prepared glasses filled with ice.
- Garnish with pomegranate arils, a cinnamon stick, and lime wedge to serve.
Top Tips for the Perfect Pomegranate Margarita
- Best Tequila: For a truly perfect cocktail, choose a high-quality silver or blanco tequila. Its clean, crisp profile complements the fruity flavors without overwhelming them.
- Freshness Counts: Use fresh lime juice rather than bottled for a zesty, fresh flavor profile. A little effort in squeezing limes goes a long way in flavor.
- Pomegranate Perfection: Opt for fresh pomegranate juice if possible. The tartness and depth it brings are unmatched compared to store-bought versions.
- Chill Out: Always start with a chilled cocktail glass. This keeps your margarita colder for longer, enhancing the drinking experience.
- Shake It Up: When using a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously. This not only chills the drink but also ensures all the flavors are well-combined.
- Rim It Right: For the salt rim, mix in the cinnamon and clove evenly on a small plate. When rimming the glass, ensure it's just the outer edge to prevent the spices from overwhelming the drink.
Presentation and Garnish
- Garnish Game: Add a lime wedge and fresh pomegranate arils to each glass for a visually stunning and tasty garnish, and cinnamon sticks can be used as string sticks!
- The Right Ice: Use large ice cubes or ice balls in your margaritas. They melt slower, preventing dilution and keeping your drink strong and flavorful.
- Batch Ahead: If you're preparing for a party, mix your margaritas in a big pitcher but leave out the ice until serving time to prevent dilution.
- Customize Your Sweetness: Adjust the level of maple syrup or agave nectar to your preference. Some like it sweeter; others may prefer the tartness to shine.
Hosting a shindig with tasty margaritas like our Pomegranate Margarita is much fun, but ensuring everyone enjoys responsibly is key. Here's how to keep the spirits high and the driving risks low:
- Dry Options: Offer non-alcoholic options as well. It's not just about courtesy; it's about caring and meeting people where they are. Plus, everyone gets to clink glasses, even the designated drivers!
- Be Aware: Keep an eye out for your guests. If someone's had a bit too much, don't hesitate to call them an Uber or arrange a ride. They'll thank you later.
- Breathalyzer: This little gadget that could make all the difference. We have an at-home breathalyzer - it's a small step towards making big, safe decisions. Encourage your friends to give it a try. Keep it light-hearted and fun. It's not just smart; it's friendship at its finest.
- Sleepovers: If it's feasible, offer your couch or spare room. Turn the nightcap into a sleepover; breakfast the next day can be a new tradition!