A Virgin Margarita is a beautiful composition of lime, agave syrup, tonic, and pickle juice. It is a great drink to serve guests who don't drink alcohol. It tastes deliciously tangy, looks just like a classic Margarita, and makes everyone feel part of the party - that definitely is what we want from a mocktail.
Quick Facts Virgin Margarita
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: tangy
- How to serve it: over ice
- Best glassware: margarita glass
- Alcohol content: 0%
Competing with a drink as sensational as a regular Margarita is a challenge. We make sure you offer something that actually passes for an adult drink and not just a juice with a fancy name.
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 Citrus Juicer
- 3 oz Indian tonic
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.25 oz agave syrup
- ½ tsp pickle juice
- Sea salt / Fleur de Sel
- Moisten the rim of your glass with a lime wedge and dip it in fleur de selSea salt / Fleur de Sel
- Add lime juice, lemon juice, agave syrup, and pickle juice into your shaker along with plenty of ice.1 oz fresh lime juice, 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp pickle juice, 0.25 oz agave syrup
- Shake until well chilled and strain over ice into your prepared glass
- Top up with tonic water3 oz Indian tonic
Ingredients of a Non-Alcoholic Margarita
Generally, we suggest keeping as many ingredients from the original as possible. You really only need a few ingredients for a standard Margarita: Tequila, Triple Sec, syrup, lime juice, and salt. So how to best replace those and make the perfect non-alcoholic version of a Margarita?
We recommend using lime juice, syrup, and salt like the original and replacing the boozy parts with tonic water and pickle juice:
- Regarding the citrus part of the alcohol-free Margarita, you can stick to lime juice only, as we recommend for the classic Margarita. But we prefer half lime and half lemon juice. Either way, make sure it's freshly squeezed.
- Ideally, you use agave syrup for the sweet part of your mocktail. With agave being the plant tequila is made from, this brings in some flavors you know from the spirit and helps when aiming to replace it.
- For the salt rim of your Margarita, you can never go wrong with Fleur the Sel. That's as valid for the non-alcoholic as it is for the alcoholic version.
Tonic Water to Substitute Triple Sec
Tonic water brings the bitter notes you usually would get from triple sec - an orange-flavored liqueur with French roots. It usually contains between 20 and 40% vol.
For a non-alcoholic drink, you best stick to Indian tonic water. The pronounced bitterness from the quinine works well for replacing the bitter notes from Triple Sec.
The intense citric flavor that's characteristic of Triple Sec can be achieved by adding a splash of lemon juice in addition to the lime (like mentioned above).
Pickle Juice instead of Tequila
Ultimately, we also need something to mimic the bite of the alcohol. That's where the pickle juice comes in. It might sound odd, but the vinegary, salty taste of the unusual ingredient brings the edge we need.
Of course, you won't achieve the alcoholic flavor you know from alcohol with a non-alcoholic ingredient. Still, we promise, the pickle juice really does some magic here.
Nonetheless, if the idea of pickle juice freaks you out, a Virgin Margarita can also do without. It will be better and taste closer to the original with the savory, spicy liquid, though.
By the way, if consuming pickle juice in drinks doesn't appear to be such an odd thing to you after all: how about a Dill Pickle Martini next time you want a drink with alcohol?
Tipps for the Perfect Virgin Margarita
To create the perfect non-alcohol Margarita, you need a Margarita glass, a shaker, a jigger, a strainer, and a citrus juicer. - Just like for the regular version.
- Before beginning to mix, take a lime wedge and run it along the rim of your glass. Then dip it in the Fleur de Sel and set it aside for a minute.
- Squeeze your lemon and lime and pour the fresh juice into your shaker.
- Now, strain the drink over ice into your prepared glass and top it up with tonic water. - Don't add that to the shaker because it will lose its fizz.
- Ensure the tonic comes straight out of the fridge and is ice cold.
Extra Tipp: If you want to make more than one Virgin Margarita or other cocktails that include lemon or lime, you can squeeze a large amount prior to prepping the cocktails. The juices will stay fresh for quite a while. -Did you know that you even can age lime juice?
Other Non-Alcoholic Drinks
If you're looking for more non-alcoholic drinks for yourself or to serve to your guests, you can check out this list of low calory mocktails. It also includes a healthier version of the queen of all mocktails - the Shirley Temple.
Further, during the past years, non-alcoholic spirit alternatives entered the market. -For instance, non-alcoholic whiskey or alcohol-free gin from brands like Seedlip or Lyre. These spirit substitutes are also worth looking into when you want to create non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails.