Bartender Top Tips For Making Frozen Margaritas At Home

Frozen margaritas are one of those drinks that can turn an average weeknight into something worth celebrating, yet knowing how to achieve the right blend can seem elusive if you're not fully prepared. While bartenders at restaurants and cocktail lounges manage to pour smooth, thick mixes that offer the perfect balance of booze, producing a similar drink at home can be a tricky task to master. Thankfully, Point Easy's bar manager Lex Madden gave Tasting Table several approachable tips to help aspiring bartenders serve frozen margaritas at home with the confidence of a professional.

From observing ingredient ratios to minding presentations, you, too, can pour a restaurant-grade frozen margarita — even if you are strapped for time and have to use a ready-made margarita mix. With these tips, your next attempt at whipping up a delicious avocado and cilantro marg is destined to become a frozen vision in a glass.

Nail the perfect juice to booze ratio

Whether you're craving a classic frozen margarita or looking to convert an on the rocks recipe (like our prickly pear margarita) into an icy concoction for tonight's happy hour, Madden suggests being mindful of the ratio of liquids you pour into your blender. When making frozen drinks, you'll need to add more juice compared to when mixing drinks that are served on the rocks or straight up.

Alcohol has a low freezing point (around -100 degrees Fahrenheit for tequila!), reminds Madden, so it can be helpful to keep an ideal ratio in mind when you're splashing shots into your blender. Though a standard margarita recipe calls for a 3:1 ratio, the better proportion for frozen drinks is closer to 4:1. Being aware of the amount of each liquid ingredient you use when creating your drink can help you build a frozen recipe that is just the right amount of boozy without melting too quickly.

Add ice to your frozen marg intentionally

Balancing ingredients is essential when making the perfect frozen margarita, so if you normally just chuck a few handfuls of ice into your blender without much thought, you'll reap significant benefits by getting strategic with the way in which you add ice to your recipe. By controlling the amount of ice in your drink, you'll have a better shot at creating that perfectly smooth texture you're aiming for. 

Madden adds ice not once, but twice to drinks: First blending her margarita ingredients with a small amount of ice on high speed to cool the mixture before tasting and making any adjustments needed to the ratio. After nailing the flavor balance, the bar manager adds the rest of the ice — "an inch and a half or so above the liquid level," says Madden — and gives the whole thing a second blend. This results in the perfect texture without compromising on flavor.

Chill your glass

For the absolute best frozen marg, Madden recommends your final step be to pour it into a chilled glass. A frosty glass is the mark of a practiced professional, and it's a ridiculously easy step you can take at home to elevate the quality of your drink.

In an ideal scenario, you'll have placed your glasses in the freezer well in advance, but if your margarita-making moment has taken you by surprise there's no need to skip this pro tip. For the fastest results, simply wrap a wet paper towel around your cocktail glass and place it in the freezer to chill. If you are whipping up your frozen margs somewhere with no freezer, you can also fill the glass with ice and water while you're blending up your boozy treat. (If you're a fan of fancy cocktails, you've likely seen bartenders using this method to keep the glasses as cold as possible while mixing your drink.) It's worth noting this glass chilling method will take a bit longer than the paper towel trick.