If you love a margarita but are always looking for ways to mix it up, then you’ve gotta try this lemon margarita! When they’re in season, we like to use Meyer lemons, but regular lemons will work just fine too. The key to make the best lemon margarita lies in making a lemon-infused honey simple syrup that is truly infused with lemon through and through. The rest of the cocktail is simple—tequila, lemon juice and the infused simple syrup. 

What Is a Lemon Margarita? 

At its simplest, it’s a margarita that’s made with lemon juice instead of lime juice. 

For a more traditional recipe, make a lemon margarita by shaking together the following: 

  • 1 ½ ounces tequila blanco 
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur 
  • ¾ ounce lime juice 

And while this is delicious, we don’t think it’s overly “lemony.” The orange liqueur distracts from the lemon. We’re biased, but we like our recipe better. 

lemon margarita in a rocks glass set on a white counter

How To Make a Lemon Margarita 

  1. Make the simple syrup by combining lemon juice, honey and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer then cover the pan, remove from heat and allow the mixture to steep until cool. 
  2. Strain the simple syrup (or don’t if you like a bit of pulp!). Store the simple syrup in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
  3. Add tequila, lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill then strain over ice in a rocks glass. 

Honey Simple Syrup

A traditional simple syrup is made with sugar and water. And while you can use a regular simple syrup, we think a lemon-honey simple syrup is superior to marking the most flavorful lemon margarita. 

Not only is the simple syrup infused with lemon like our French 75, but it also has the added floral flavor of honey, which only enhanced the lemon flavor. 

To make a lemon honey simple syrup, use equal parts honey and lemon juice, plus a minced zest of one lemon (use a micro plane). 

lemon margarita in a rocks glass on a white background

What Type of Tequila to Use 

To keep the lemon and honey flavors in the forefront, we recommend using blanco tequila. It’s clean, crisp flavor only adds to the lemon flavor, it doesn’t fight it. 

More Margarita Recipes to Try 

Try the Tommy’s Margarita, which is one of the simplest cocktails you can make. Tequila, agave and lime juice. 

If you like things smoky, give this mezcal margarita a try! And if you like things smoky and spicy, try our Spicy Mezcal Margarita

Another unique Marg that needs to be on the menu: our Italian Margarita. It’s a fan favorite, and deservedly so!

Or try our Rhubarb Margarita which is a showstopper!

Tart cherry juice is the perfect tart addition to our Cherry Margaritas. It’s impressive!


What is the best way to garnish a margarita?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but in our opinion the best garnish is something that’s already in the margarita recipe. So a lemon wheel (in this recipe) or a lime wedge for a traditional margarita. We garnish our Carrot Margaritas with a carrot green and we garnish our Mezcal Margarita with a sprig of sage because we use a sage-infused simple syrup in the cocktail. When it doubt, just rim the glass with kosher salt and call it a day!

Do all margaritas have to be made with triple sec?

No! This Lemon Margarita is a great example of a margarita that doesn’t have to be made with triple sec. Orange liqueur, whether that be triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier, is traditional in a cocktail, but there are ways around it. For example, Tommy’s Margarita uses agave syrup and our Italian Margarita uses Amaretto. You can also make a skinny margarita which is made with tequila. lime juice and orange juice.

What is your favorite lime-based cocktail, and why?

There are so many great options, and a margarita is definitely in the running for my favorite. But you can’t beat a Caipirinha—it’s simple, tart and so delicious!

Should anejo/aged tequila be used in a margarita?

Depends on the type of margarita you’re making. We don’t recommend using añejo in a Lemon Margarita because it will compete with the lemon flavor. However, we love the idea of using it in our Italian Margarita. It’s toasty flavor pairs well with the other bold ingredients.

Lemon Margarita Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 1 cocktail (syrup makes enough for 5 drinks)
Category Cocktails / Drinks, Drinks
Cuisine Mexican Inspired, Mexican/ American


A bright and citrusy lemon margarita made with lemon juice, lemon simple syrup and blanco tequila.


Honey-Lemon Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)
  • minced zest of 1 Meyer lemon (or regular lemon zest)

Meyer Lemon Margarita

  • ounces tequila
  • ¾ ounce Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)
  • ¾ ounce Honey-Lemon Simple Syrup


Honey-Lemon Simple Syrup

  • Bring ¼ cup honey, ¼ cp lemon juice, and lemon zest to a simmer in a small saucepan.
  • Cover, remove from heat, and let mixture steep until completely cool.
  • Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve (or skip this if a bit of pulp doesn't bother you).
  • Store simple syrup in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Meyer Lemon Margarita

  • Combine 1½ ounces tequila, ¾ ounce lemon juice and ¾ simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake to chill then strain over ice in a rocks glass.



When meyer lemons are in season, give them a try! But they are absolutely not essential, you can use regular lemon juice!


Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 11gSodium: 5mgSugar: 11g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
lemon margarita in a rocks glass on a white background

Pin This Recipe

Love this recipe and want to save it? Pin this recipe!

Pin This Recipe
Get our FREE 20-Recipe Digital Cookbook
Subscribe and receive our popular SOUP-er Simple digital cookbook with 20 soup recipes that require just 10 ingredients and are ready in 45 minutes or less.

Share it with the world


About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?