Thai Lemongrass Margaritas! Who’s ready for an easy-to-make-cocktail that’s refreshing and fun to serve all year long?! It fits right in with summer meals but can easily find a spot next to a spicy warm curry dish or stew.

Flavored with fresh lemongrass, ginger and cilantro (or Thai basil), this Thai-inspired cocktail is definitely a surprising departure from the flavors of a classic margarita. Nonetheless, it’s one that has become a regular in our house.

The ginger adds a spicy punch of flavor while the lemongrass is mildly herbaceous, and the cilantro, well cilantro is always good with tequila.

Photograph of a margarita set on a white marble table garnished with a lime wedge and lemongrass.

For most of my cocktails I like to naturally sweetened them (just a bit!) as often as I can. This lemongrass margarita does have a bit of orange liqueur but is mostly sweetened with natural agave nectar.

What’s agave nectar?

Agave nectar is made from the agave plant. It’s poisonous raw but once baked or made into a syrup it can be used in a variety of applications such as cocktails, desserts and more. Additionally, agave is what tequila and mezcal are made from. You can find agave nectar in most grocery stores now next to the honey or maple syrup.

What is lemongrass and where can I find it?

Lemongrass is a classic herb used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. It’s a long, thin stalk (looks like a reed) and is light grayish-green with a white, woody base. It has a mild lemony flavor that can best be described as sour-lemon and herbal.

Most grocery stores sell them in small 2-inch pieces in plastic clamshell herb containers but I prefer to stop by my local Asian (or Thai) market instead. The lemongrass offered at most Asian markets is much fresher and in their full-stalk form. However, whatever you can find will work for this recipe.

Photograph of ginger, lime wedges, lemongrass and fresh herbs arranged on a white speckled plate

What to serve with Lemongrass Margaritas

Although these margaritas are Thai-inspired, they still go really well with all kinds of foods. From tacos to salads, grilled fish and of course Thai food, these margaritas are very versatile.

That all being said, I did develop these with a menu in mind. Check out my Curry Night Menu! This curry dinner menu is great for busy weeknights as well as if you’re planning a dinner party!

Thai Lemongrass Margarita

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Yield 2 margaritas
Category Cocktails / Drinks
Cuisine Thai
Author Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen

Description

Lightly sweetened, this flavorful margarita is a Thai-inspired take on the classic tequila cocktail. Flavored with fresh ginger, lemongrass and cilantro (or Thai basil), this marg is easy to make and fun to serve!

Ingredients

For the rim:

  • 2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon curry powder
  • Lime wedges

For the margarita:

  • ½ ounce agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
  • 1 sprig cilantro or Thai basil (regular sweet basil also works)
  • 3 ounces lime juice
  • 3 ounces tequila blanco
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur

Instructions

For the rim:

  • Combine salt and curry powder in a shallow dish. Cut a small slice horizontally through flesh of lime wedge then run around rim of a rocks glass; lightly dip rim in salt mixture then fill with ice.

For the margarita:

  • Muddle agave, ginger, lemongrass and cilantro in a shaker until thoroughly smashed, about 1 minute.
  • Fill shaker halfway with ice, add lime juice, tequila, and liqueur secure lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
  • Strain margarita into prepared glasses, top with a splash of club soda and garnish with lime wedges, lemongrass and cilantro or Thai basil (optional).

Notes

If you like sweeter cocktails, increase the agave to 1 ounce or add an additional ½ ounce of orange liqueur.

Nutrition

Serving: 1margaritaCalories: 124kcalCarbohydrates: 6gSodium: 340mgSugar: 5g
Keywords Naturally sweetened cocktail, Thai Drinks
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
Photograph of a margarita set on a white marble table garnished with a lime wedge and lemongrass.

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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.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were probably the best margaritas I have EVER had—better than any restaurant! I let the mix soak with the muddled lemongrass and ginger over night and it was just so good! Paired this drink with some Thai red curry and plan to do it again!!

    1. Love the note on letting the ingredients soak a bit—genius!! SO glad you enjoyed this, sounds like a delicious dinner!

  2. Would you recommend using ginger and lemongrass paste vs. the fresh ingredients? If so, would you alter the ratio? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Caitlin, great question, I haven’t tested this recipe with either ginger or lemongrass paste, but I imagine it would work well. I would start with 1 teaspoon of each (or 1.5 if you like it bold) and see how they turn out. The paste is much stronger than simply muddling chopped ginger and lemongrass, so I would start with a little and adjust as needed.
      Hope that helps!