The pickle margarita is a sweet and sour shaken cocktail enhanced with fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and a tajin rim for a spicy touch. Serve this to pickle lovers at your next party!
You've heard of pickle shots or a pickleback, but have you tried pickle margaritas yet? Pickle margaritas are a delicious balance of sweet, salty, and sour flavors.
It's refreshing on a hot summer day and perfect for anyone who loves pickles. And if you're not a pickle lover, this may be the drink that makes you change your mind!
Why You'll Love This Pickle Margarita Recipe
- Quick & Easy. Simply combine, shake, and stir! You'll have cocktails ready to serve in just minutes.
- Unique. Bored with the standard drinks at the bar? Jumpstart your taste buds with this pickle juice margarita!
- Customizable. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a pickle margarita and we're going to find the flavor combination that works for you!
What is Pickle Juice?
Pickle juice is the liquid pickles sit in. It is actually pickle brine, a combination of water, vinegar, and salt. Sometimes herbs and spices are added. Brine preserves the pickles and also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
Pickle brine is packed with rehydrating electrolytes and minerals. Given these qualities, it has also been touted as a hangover cure.
Types of Pickles
Since this drink recipe is so pickle-centric, I figured I'd break down the most popular kinds of pickles so you can pick the best one for you!
- Dill Pickles. The most popular variety of pickles. They are brined cucumbers heavily flavored with dill herb. This is typically what you'll find at grocery stores, or get on burgers.
- Bread and Butter Pickles. These sweet pickles are brined with sugar.
- Sour Pickles. They are brined without vinegar.
- Gherkins. These pickles are characterized by their small size and bumpy exterior. They can be sweet or savory.
You're just a few ingredients away from the best pickle margarita ever!
- Tequila. I used a blanco tequila in this recipe which helped the taste to turn out "smooth". Use what they have on hand but I think any blanco would work best!
- Pickle Juice. This adds depth of flavor and a sour, tangy taste that complements the tequila.
- Lime Juice. Use ½ small lime for freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Sliced Pickles. Add 3-4 per to each cup.
- Tajin. This is the perfect accent for this drink. It's sweet, tangy, and salty, and adds a welcome bit of spiciness to the mix of flavors.
- Simple Syrup. Balance out those sour and salty tastes with a bit of sweetness.
- Small Gherkin Pickles. For garnish.
How to Make a Pickle Margarita
Once you make this cocktail, you'll feel like a professional bartender!
Prepare the Glasses with a Tajin Rim
Dress cocktail glasses by pouring tajin onto a flat surface. Then moisten the rim of the cocktail glass with water or honey. Carefully dip only the rim of the glass onto the tajin, covering the entire surface rim of the glass.
Add ice, tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, and pickle juice in a cocktail shaker, and then shake vigorously to combine.
Strain and Serve
Strain into a glass filled with more ice and add sliced pickles. Finally, garnish with gherkin pickles.
Tips and Tricks
- Use your preferred premium tequila.
- Use refrigerated pickle juice. It has a fresher taste than the ones you'll find on the grocery store shelves.
- Squeeze your own limes. It's cheaper and tastes better than lime juice. I recommend squeezing them a few hours ahead of time so the acidity mellows out and you're left with pure lime flavor.
Substitutions & Variations
- Tajin Rim. Don't have Tajin? Combine salt and chili powder and use that instead.
- Frozen Pickle Margarita. Serving this on a hot day? Throw it in the blender for a frozen treat.
- Virgin Margarita Pickle Juice. Replace the tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup with an equal amount of lemonade to make this a nonalcoholic beverage.
- Spicy Pickle Margarita. Add some heat to your margarita by using a jalapeno-infused tequila, a jalapeno simple syrup, or even adding some sliced jalapenos to the drink before shaking.
- Triple Sec. For a more citrusy flavor, add ½ an ounce of this.
Can I make pickle margaritas in advance?
You can make this ahead of time because it gets better with time! Mix the drink up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerate. Just add ice when you are ready to serve.
Is tequila good with pickle juice?
Absolutely! Pickle juice is often used as a chaser, after shots of either tequila, vodka, or whiskey. That is because the juice neutralizes the taste of the liquor and reduces the burning sensation, for a nice, smooth finish.
What is the difference between a pickleback, a pickle shot, and a pickle margarita?
A pickleback is a chaser, a pickle shot is equal parts alcohol and pickle juice, and a pickle margarita is a cocktail that includes pickle juice, tequila, lime, and sweetener.
Do you need triple sec for margaritas?
No. I don't use triple sec in this margarita recipe. If you use a good quality blanco tequila it isn't necessary.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS EASY PICKLE MARGARITA RECIPE!
- 1 oz Tequila
- 2 oz Pickle Juice
- ½ Small Lime juiced
- 3-4 cups Sliced Pickles
- 2 tablespoon Tajin
- 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
- 4-6 Small Gherkin Pickles for garnish
- Dress cocktail glasses by pouring tajin onto a flat surface. Moisten the rim of the cocktail glass with water or honey.
- Carefully dip only the rim of the glass onto the tajin covering the entire surface rim of the glass.
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, and pickle juice, shake vigorously to combine.
- Strain into a glass filled with more ice and add sliced pickles.
- Garnish with gherkin pickles on top.