Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe

Make a fun twist on a classic cocktail at home with this Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe. Made with tequila, triple sec, orange, and citrus notes, this Italian margarita recipe is full of simple ingredients with fruity flavor.

A Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe with a side cordial of Amaretto on a counter.

Why You Will Love This Cocktail

Olive’s Garden Italian Margarita takes the classic margarita cocktail and adds some Italian flare. These Italian elements are the main difference to a classic margarita.

Using sweet Italian liqueur and some orange, alongside amaretto, this alcoholic drink is popular in Olive Garden restaurants.

Ingredients

Full quantities can be found in the recipe card below.

Let’s talk about what we are using for this Olive Garden margarita:

Tequila – a silver tequila (tequila blanco) is traditionally used in restaurants, and reposado is a popular choice for margaritas. Añejo tequila tends to not be worth the extra cost because of the mixing with other ingredients. But use whichever variety you consider the best tequila for a margarita. (The restaurant uses Jose Cuervo blanco tequila).

Triple Sec – an orange liqueur commonly used in margaritas

Sweet and Sour Mix – either store bought or homemade sour mix of fresh citrus juices is great based on preference

Orange Juice – adds a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor

Disaronno Amaretto – an almond liqueur, this sweet amaretto is a big part of what makes this an Italian margarita. Serve it on the side like the restaurant, or add it as a floater right on top!

Orange Sugar – the restaurant uses colored sugar for the rim. You can use a citrus flavored sugar, buy a colored sugar, or just use regular granulated sugar.

Fresh Lime Wedge

Fresh Orange Wedge

We do not need simple syrup for this recipe but if you prefer for it to be sweeter, you can add some as preferred.

A Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe with a side cordial on a counter.

Instruction Overview

Just like a traditional margarita, put all liquids (except the amaretto) in a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake until very cold.

To make the sugar rim, wet the rim of the glass with a wedge of lime or orange and then roll in the sugar for it to stick. (Or make a salted rim if preferred!)

Fill the glass with ice and strain the cocktail into the margarita glasses.

Serve with a shot of amaretto liqueur on the side. The nutty amaretto is a perfect pairing! I like to pour it right on top as a floater.

Make a Pitcher

This cocktail is a great drink that can easily be made into a big batch!

Pitcher sizes vary with how much they can hold, but this is how to make an 8 drink batch.

Fill the pitcher half way with ice. Add some lime slices and orange slices.

To the pitcher, add 1 1/4 cups tequila, 3/4 cup triple sec, 3 cups sour mix, one cup orange juice. Stir to combine.

Serve either alongside the amaretto (3/4 cup needed for 8 drinks) or you can mix the amaretto into the pitcher along with everything else! Serve alongside prepared glasses.

FAQs

What is an Italian margarita made of?

An Italian margarita is made with tequila, triple sec, and citrus. It is unique from its addition of orange and amaretto.

What kind of tequila does Olive Garden use?

Olive Garden uses Jose Cuervo Especial Silver as its standard tequila.

Is Cointreau or triple sec better for margaritas?

You can use either Cointreau or triple sec for margaritas. Cointreau has a higher alcohol content, and a rounder flavor compared to a strong orange flavor of triple sec. They are both considered orange-flavored liqueur.

What liquor is best for margaritas?

Tequila is the classic liquor in margaritas. Silver (white/clear) tequila is standard. You can also use reposado tequila for a little depth from barrel aging if desired.

Why do you need triple sec for margaritas?

Triple sec adds a touch of sweetness and orange flavor, with a little boost of alcohol.

A Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe on a counter with fresh citrus around it.
Pin for Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe with title at top.

More Copycat Cocktail Recipes

Copycat Cocktails

A collection of copycat cocktail recipes from your favorite restaurants!

A Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe with a side cordial on a counter.

Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe

This Copycat Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe is a replication of the popular restaurant cocktail! A classic tequila margarita made Italian with Amaretto and orange.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Italian, Mexican
Servings 1 drink

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Jigger
  • Margarita Glass

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¼ ounces tequila
  • ¾ ounce triple sec
  • 3 ounces sweet and sour mix (also called sour mix)
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ¾ ounce amaretto
  • lime wedge for garnish
  • orange wednge for garnish
  • sugar for sugar rim

Instructions
 

  • To make a sugar rim, run a citrus wedge around the rim of the glass. Run the wet glass rim through orange sugar.
  • Fill the glass with ice. Add the tequila, triple sec, orange juice, and sour mix. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the amaretto in a side cordial or shot glass. Garnish with an orange and lime wedge. Serve. (The amaretto can either be floated on top or mixed into the drink).

Notes

Large Batch Instructions: 
Keyword Citrus, Copycat, Large Batch, Summer, Tequila

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