I shared an Agua de Jamaica post a couple of days ago, so I thought it appropriate to update an old blog post which features it. Jamaica Lime Margaritas make great use of the refreshing iced tea, and it couldn’t be easier to make. As with all of my cocktails, I intend for this recipe to be used and enjoyed by those of legal drinking age. Since I also want you to stick around for many more recipes, please enjoy responsibly.
What is a Jamaica Lime Margarita?
Margaritas are tequila-based cocktails which were first made in Juaréz, Chihuahua, Mexico. Juaréz is sister city to El Paso, which is apropos for me since I first drank jamaica in El Paso. A traditional margarita (which is spanish for daisy) contains tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Margaritas are often served in a coupe-style glass which is rimmed with (or without) salt.
A Jamaica Lime Margarita does away with the orange liqueur and replaces it with the agua de jamaica. I still use lime juice and a high-quality tequila, though. An old-fashioned glass stands in for the traditional coupe glass. Finally, sugar- or a salt and sugar mix- rims our drinking vessel.
What is in a Jamaica Lime Margarita?
Agua de Jamaica is the most important ingredient in this cocktail. Likewise, also of importance is a high-quality tequila. I recently picked up a bottle of Dwayne Johnson’s new tequila blanco and I’m pleasantly surprised by it. Fresh lime juice is what I’m substituting for orange liqueur. I add agave syrup to this drink to balance the tartness from the jamaica and the lime juice. You may or may not need it, however. Finally, a sugared, or salt-and-sugar rim, is used to finish our cocktail.
Let’s get started.
How do I make Agua de Jamaica?
I go in-depth on how to make agua de jamaica in this post. But, in case you need a quick recap: bring a gallon of water to a boil with 12 ounces of dried jamaica leaves and two cinnamon sticks. Once the water comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat. Allow the leaves to steep for 20 minutes before straining. Leave the jamaica to cool completely (putting it in the fridge helps). Once cool, sweeten the jamaica to taste with a raw sugar simple syrup. A couple of tablespoons of lime juice are then added to brighten the flavor.
Chill the concentrated agua fresca thoroughly by adding ice cubes. You’re now ready to prepare your margarita.
First, sugar (or salt) the rim of your glasses
First, start by rimming your drinking glasses with sugar, salt, or a combination of both.
Run a lime wedge around the rim of a double old-fashioned glass. If you want to keep it traditional, use a margarita (or coupe) glass. After wetting the rim, press the glass into the sugar. These wooden bowls, which I picked up at Home Depot of all places, are perfect for rimming glasses because they’re shallow and flat at the bottom.
Sugar or salt or both? I use turbinado sugar to rim my glasses here, but I often alternate between it and salt. If you are undecided or can’t make another choice today, combine the sugar and salt and keep it moving. Mix the two together in the rimming bowl and you now have the best of both worlds.
Once the rims are garnished, set the glasses aside to allow the juice to dry and the sugar to set.
What type of tequila is in a margarita?
Tequila blanco is the preferred tequila to use in this jamaica lime margarita recipe. Because I want the flavor of the jamaica to come through, I use a sipping tequila. Any bottled labeled “mixto” or any that doesn’t say “100% agave tequila” is one you need to pass up. Tequila mixto is 51% blue agave tequila that’s been cut with 49% other stuff- usually sugar cane liquor. As a result, the liquor is inferior when compared to the pure, unadulterated 100% blue agave tequila. The latter is smoother, crisper, and can often be sipped like an aged scotch. You’re drinking mixto if a sip of it has to follow a lick of salt and chased with lime to ease the burn. It also muddies the flavor of the jamaica. No one likes to drink a cocktail that tastes like lighter fluid.
In short, choose a 100% blue agave tequila like Teremana Tequila.
Where can I find Teremana Tequila?
Teremana Tequila is a celebrity liquor from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. While I love me some “The Rock”, I am not one of those folks who buys something just because I’m a fan. Well, okay, I did buy it because it was his tequila, but only to see if it was any good.
Y’all. It’s good.
It is a true sipping tequila, but one that has an underlying smokiness that makes it amazing in this cocktail. I was able to find a bottle at my local Spec’s and- judging by his world-tour to promote the tequila- I’m pretty sure it’s in most stores nationwide.
Once you grab your sipping tequila pour it into an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
My cocktail recipes are not for the faint of heart. This is, yet, another reason why I implore you to drink responsibly. I pay for my liquor and, as a result, when I mix my own drinks, I’m not stingy. That said, you may not have lived your whole life around the military and in the hospitality industry, so your tolerance for alcohol may be lower than mine. Feel free to reduce the amount of tequila you add to your cocktail. No one’s going to judge you.
What can I use to sweeten my margarita?
Build a balance of sweet and tart by adding anywhere from 1 to 2 tablespoons of agave syrup. Honey or simple syrup will also work. Hector (my husband) prefers his with less sweetener, but, since I’m the one mixing the drink, he’s going to get his with 2 tablespoons of agave syrup, and he’s going to like it.
Adjust the sweetener to your preference, though. One-and-a-half tablespoons works well.
Now add the agua de jamaica.
What kind of triple sec is in a margarita?
A typical margarita contains orange liqueur. If you want to maintain the authenticity of the drink, you can reduce the amount of lime juice to 2 tablespoons and add 2 1/2 tablespoons of triple sec or orange liqueur. My preferred triple sec is actually orange curaçao. Another alternative is triple sec. Juárez in the brand I use.
I honestly think this jamaica lime margarita is perfect with just the lime juice, but I appreciate change.
Add the lime juice (or orange liqueur) to the cocktail shaker.
Did you know that if you cap the shaker completely (with the knobby top thingie) it’ll explode through the side seam? Yeah. I didn’t know that until this shot, either. So, cap the shaker, then place the knobby-top-thing on and then shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Once the shaker frosts over, you’re ready to pour.
How should I serve my Jamaica Lime Margarita?
Well, you should pour your perfectly blended jamaica lime margarita over a big ol’ hunk of ice in your rimmed old-fashioned glass.
Can I make this a pitcher Jamaica Lime Margarita?
You absolutely can!
Whenever you’re hosting a party, feel free to quadruple this recipe to make it crowd friendly. Rim all of the glasses ahead of time and set out a bowlful of lime wedges in case your guests want to garnish their glasses. The great thing about having a bunch of retired and active duty Soldiers and Airmen as friends is they don’t waste time with garnishes.
Set out the pitcher of premixed jamaica lime margaritas and let them serve themselves.
Make it a MOCKtail!
To make a virgin jamaica lime margarita, simply omit the tequila! Jazz it up by adding soda water instead.
How should I store this Jamaica Lime Margarita?
I’ll address this question in case you actually want to know- just strain it (so the ice is no longer diluting it) from the shaker into a jar or something and refrigerate it.
But, I mean, really. Who has leftover cocktails?!? Not me. Not ever.
No matter what, be sure to pin this recipe to your cocktails or drink board and share it with your friends! Let me know how you liked the cocktail down below, too!
Jamaica Lime Margarita
- 1 lime cut in wedges
- 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar or rimming salt (or 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp cane sugar mixed)
Jamaica Lime Margarita
- 3 ounces (1/3 cup) tequila blanco
- 1 ounce (4 1/2 tablespoons) lime juice or triple sec
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup or similar sweetener, or to taste
- 8 ounces (1 cup) jamaica tea chilled
Rim the Glasses
- Use the wedge of one lime to moisten the rim of your cocktail glass. Dip the rim of the glass into either the sugar or the salt (or both). Repeat with the second glass. Set the glasses aside to dry. Use the remaining wedges as garnish.
Prepare the Jamaica Lime Margaritas
- Fill a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.
- Add the tequila, agave (or other sweetener), lime juice, and jamaica to the cocktail shaker.
- Cap the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker frosts over.
- Add a large ice cube or two to your rimmed glasses before pouring the Jamaica Lime Margarita into the glasses.
- Serve immediately and enjoy responsibly!
- 2 cups tequila blanco
- 3/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 6 cups jamaica tea