Add This Soda To Your Next Margarita For A Sweeter Cocktail

If you think "margarita" when you think "cocktail," you're not alone. The tequila, lime juice, and triple sec combination is not just a classic, it's an icon, and, according to research by the CGA Cocktail Sales Tracker, it was the most ordered tipple in the United States in 2023. It's no wonder, either — a perfectly balanced margarita is tart and bright, a little sweet, a little sour, a little acidic. It screams "summer!", making it an instant pick-me-up even in the winter, and margaritas pair beautifully with cuisines from Mexican to Thai. You might think a staple like this should not be messed with, but the simplicity of a margarita invites all manner of fresh updates and different approaches from essential frozen margs to savory or spicy renditions. The upgrade we've got an eye on now would enhance the margarita with sweetness and effervescence. 

That upgrade is 7UP soda. 7UP is a sweetened lemon-lime soda, so its citrus profile flawlessly complements that of the margarita, but it adds a more rounded, sweet-but-not-cloying element. Plus, its carbonation brings a new twist of bubbles to the margarita, making its flavors sing with that dry, zippy mouthfeel. For a subtly sweeter, sparkling margarita, 7UP recommends using 2 ounces of tequila, ½ ounce of simple syrup, ½ ounce of orange liqueur, 1 ounce of lime juice, and ½ cup of the soda. Shake all that up in a cocktail shaker, pour over ice, garnish with a salted rim and lime slice, and consider your go-to margarita recipe transformed for extra refreshing results.

Why 7UP is a game-changing addition

That bolstering of the lime brightness in a margarita by 7UP promises to be delicious, as does the easy-drinking carbonation. 7UP is also a great add here because it's made with natural flavors and isn't caffeinated, so you're not combining stimulating caffeine with alcohol. 

7UP is actually quite the versatile upgrade. Celebrity chef David Chang even uses it in his recipe for water kimchi, because the carbonation nails that natural fermentation profile, and the soda's flavors bring both sweetness and tartness to the tangy, funky vegetables. 7UP has a recipe for carnitas where the pork is marinated in the soda, a recipe for pineapple sheet cake with 7UP, one for guacamole using 7UP, and many more.

When it comes to cocktails, specifically, 7UP is an effortless refresher for the margarita and beyond. You can use it to brighten tiki drinks, reinvent the pisco sour, fizz up the tequila-centric snakebite orpaloma, and mix it into punches. It's long been a necessary part of the whiskey-based 7 and 7, and the vodka-based Lucky 7. It can also star in the tinto de verano, a thirst-quenching take on red wine using lemon soda. Alternatively, you can take a non-alcoholic route with a 7UP-infused mango mint cooler or blueberry smash, or swap out the sparkling wine in a mimosa for the soda. The possibilities are endless, but you won't regret starting with the 7UP margarita.