Pitcher Perfect: The Best Big Batch Margaritas

A blue pitcher in the background with a rocks glass of margarita sitting on colourful napkins and limes beside the glass

Why make cocktails any other way? 

by Erin Henderson

As much as we love a good cocktail, we'd rather spend our time drinking one, not making one – much less dozens for party guests.

Well-made drinks, the kind that are memorable, thoughtful, and craved, require shaking, stirring, and, at the very least, two or three ingredients.

Let's be real: a great cocktail takes time. If you have invited a small group of six to swing by for apéro, and each cocktail takes two minutes, you're away from the party, shaking what your mama gave ya, for12 whole minutes. By the time you finally emerge from behind the bar, the first drink is empty, and you must start all over again. A Sisyphean task if there ever was one. 

This is why we champion pitcher drinks. Make a batch or two ahead of time, keep them in the fridge or freezer, and pour when ready. Large scale cocktails are even something I employ at home for single use throughout the week; when I walk in the door exhausted after a long day, I can simply pour and relax, not start measuring and squeezing. Some people meal prep, I cocktail prep. 

A few cocktail enthusiasts complain that freshly squeezed citrus can start to taste metallic or flat after a day or two in the fridge, and I sort of agree. Generally, with all the other ingredients, it isn't so noticeable unless you have the most sensitive of palates, but even so, for big batch daiquiris, gimlets, and margaritas like the recipe below, I use them up within a day or two. 

Big Batch Margaritas

Makes: 1 litre (about 8 drinks)
Bartender Level: Easy

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups white/silver tequila
  • 1 cup orange liqueur 
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 10-12 limes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

How you Make It: 

  1. Wash limes well then zest. Mix zest with Kosher salt and set aside. 
  2. Juice the limes (this is tedious, but necessary. Don't skimp and use the fake stuff. You will taste the difference.)
  3. Mix lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, water, and simple syrup in a large, empty pitcher. 
  4. Store pitcher in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be done a few hours ahead of time. 
  5. Run a cut lime around the edge of a rocks glass, and dip in the salt/lime zest mix. 
  6. Fill rimmed glass with ice and pour in chilled margarita.
  7. Grab your drink, find a hammock, and relax.

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