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Refreshing Aperol Margarita Recipe

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This Aperol Margarita recipe is the perfect cocktail to sip when you want to branch out from the standard Aperol Spritz. The color is vibrant and the taste is one you’ll love and crave!

An orange margarita in a glass next to a bottle of Aperol.
Let’s make this easy Aperol Margarita recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Aperol Cocktail

An Aperol Margarita is super refreshing, has a great vibrant color and is a great twist of a beloved tequila cocktail.

I didn’t start out as a fan of tequila cocktails, but over the years I’ve learned they are my favorite!

I like to keep my home bar small and make sure I’m getting the most use out of each ingredient. This easy recipe gives us another idea for using Aperol that isn’t an Aperol Spritz.

The bitter orange flavor of the Aperol (an Italian aperitif), pairs perfectly with tequila.

If you’re a fan of a classic Margarita cocktail, this one kicks it up in the flavor department and has the most brilliant orange color that looks fantastic in a glass.

Aside from a cocktail shaker, you don’t need any special tools to make this margarita with Aperol. It’s perfect to serve to company because it’s unique and seems more “craft” than it really is!

A margarita made with Aperol is perfect to serve any time of year! So grab that bottle of Aperol and shake one up!

Ingredients

Ingredients to make a margarita with Aperol liqueur on a counter.
What you need to make Aperol margaritas.

To make this easy Aperol Tequila Margarita, you need a bottle of Aperol, Triple Sec and your favorite tequila.

I picked up Trader Joe’s Tequila to try last time I was at the store. I love to try new tequila. But this one is not my favorite. It is not a tequila I would want to sip on its own. And while I don’t often sip tequila straight, you should choose one for your cocktails that you like the flavor of.

I used Blanco tequila but you could also use a reposado if you prefer. Or even a Joven like I did in my Ginger Tequila Lemonade.

I also used fresh orange juice and lime juice (lime not pictured) to brighten the flavor because the bitterness of Aperol sometimes needs a little extra sweetness the citrus provides. Anytime I can add fresh ingredients to a drink recipe, I will. It makes all the difference.

I also rimmed my cocktail with spiced sugar (not pictured) but you can use salt, Tajin or something else. Or skip it. Up to you.

Scroll to the recipe card for full quantities (or you can always use the “jump to recipe” button under the title of my blog posts).

How to Make an Aperol Margarita

Woman adding Aperol to a cocktail shaker.

Step 1

To the cocktail shaker, add the Aperol.

Woman adding triple sec to a cocktail shaker.

Step 2

Add the Triple Sec.

Woman adding tequila to a cocktail shaker.

Step 3

Add the tequila.

Woman adding fresh orange juice to a cocktail shaker.
Woman adding fresh lime to a cocktail shaker.

Step 4

Add the orange juice and lime juice.

Woman shaking a cocktail in a cocktail shaker.

Step 5

Add the ice after all the ingredients right before shaking to cause the least amount of dilution.

Straining an Aperol Tequila Margarita into a stemless margarita glass.

Step 6

Strain the Aperol Margarita over fresh ice in a margarita glass. These glasses shown are my FAVORITE (plus, I use them for other types of drinks too).

NOTE: If you want to rim your glass, you would need to do it before you strain in the finished drink.

Related: How to Rim a Glass

With a rimmed glass, I don’t usually add any other garnish. But if you don’t rim the glass, a small wedge of orange or a lime wheel would be nice.

Variations

There are so many ways to customize a margarita and this Aperol Margarita is no different.

  • Spicy – muddle some serrano or jalapeno (like in my Serrano Margarita) in the bottle of the cocktail shaker then add the ingredients and make as noted above.
  • Deluxe – swap out the Triple Sec and use a nicer orange liqueur instead. Cointreau or Grand Marnier are great options.
  • Sweeter – Need it a little bit sweeter, use agave or simple syrup.
  • Mixed Fruit – Muddle in some blackberries to make a flavor mash-up. Just about any berry or citrus fruit would work.
  • Fall-ify – A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg will take that bitter orange flavor and make it feel fall-friendly. Like my Spiced Clementine Margarita, this one can be perfect for that transitional weather between summer and fall.

Top tip

If you are just starting out with making cocktails at home, you can shake the drink and take a straw full straight from the shaker before straining it into a glass.

Just insert the straw into the liquid then put your finger over the top of it to cause suction, then put the drink side into your mouth before taking your finger off. That way, you can add more of this or that, if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put Aperol in a Margarita?

You betcha! Aperol in a margarita is a delicious treat. The bitter orange flavor pairs perfectly with lime and tequila. It’s a great variation to try if you’re looking for another way to use that bottle of Aperol sitting in your cupboard.

Can you use Aperol instead of Triple Sec?

I think it could be interesting to use Aperol in place of Triple Sec in cocktail recipes. In this Aperol Margarita, though, I use both! Triple Sec is lightly sweet with an orange flavor. Aperol has a more bitter flavor that also has hints of barks and spices like you might find in bitters. In most cases, I think you could use either, for a slightly different flavor profile.

What does Aperol taste like?

It has a bitter orange flavor that has sweet undertones and veers towards the bark and spice notes you find in cocktail bitters. It pairs well with lots of other ingredients.

Can I drink just Aperol?

You can drink Aperol on its own. It’s sweet enough that the bitter notes aren’t too overpowering. But I like to drink Aperol and Soda to make it a little bit more refreshing! It’s great when mixed with other things but not my favorite when sipped on its own.

A bottle of Aperol on a small tray next to a cocktail glass with an Aperol Margarita.

If you have a bottle of Aperol on your bar and you haven’t made an Aperol Margarita yet, what are you waiting for?

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An Aperol Margarita in a stemless margarita glass on a small tray next to a bottle of Aperol.

Aperol Margarita Recipe

This bitter orange twist on a classic margarita is one you'll love! Make an Aperol Margarita as soon now. With tequila and fresh lime and orange juices, this easy recipe comes together fast and is a great way to use that bottle of Aperol on your bar that isn't a spritz.
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Calories: 374kcal
Servings: 1 cocktail

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker add Aperol, Triple Sec, Tequila, orange and lime juices.
  • Add ice and shake well.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass with fresh ice.
  • Can garnish with a lime wheel or orange wedge or rim the glass with salt or spiced sugar.

Notes

If you are just starting out with mixed drinks you can always pour a small taste from the cocktail shaker after you’ve shaken it with ice to test the flavors. Then add anything you think you need to, to balance the flavors to your liking before straining into the glass. 
Easy variations to the recipe:
  • Spicy – muddle some serrano or jalapeno (like in my Serrano Margarita) in the bottle of the cocktail shaker then add the ingredients and make as noted above.
  • Deluxe – swap out the Triple Sec and use a nicer orange liqueur instead. Cointreau or Grand Marnier are great options.
  • Sweeter – Need it a little bit sweeter, use agave or simple syrup.
  • Mixed Fruit – Muddle in some blackberries to make a flavor mash-up. Just about any berry or citrus fruit would work.
  • Fall-ify – A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg will take that bitter orange flavor and make it feel fall-friendly. Like my Spiced Clementine Margarita, this one can be perfect for that transitional weather between summer and fall.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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