Tart Cherry Margaritas have all you expect from a refreshing cocktail: sweetness, tartness, and an alcoholic kick. Margaritas are a white canvas for creativity. As long as the soul of the drink is fired up by tequila and orange liqueur, you can embellish them with anything. Today it’s time for tart cherries to show they are margarita material.
This is an easy cocktail to make even though everything is fresh – no margarita mix here. You’ll also learn two different variations to keep your cherry margaritas fresh and new, and also two substitutions for grenadine if you thought you had some in your liquor cabinet and then realize you don’t.
Hello my friends. It’s time to make an original, thirst-quenching, happy hour cocktail ideal for warm afternoons hanging out on the porch or patio. Silver tequila, orange liqueur, and tart cherry juice are the main ingredients here. Grenadine adds some color and sweetness that’s nicely balanced by ruby-hued juice.
I published this recipe as one of our popular Friday Happy Hour cocktail recipes on Instagram, and soon became Geoffrey's favorite summer drink. Sweet, tangy, and fiery, these Tart Cherry Margaritas are game-changers for the category.
Video Tart Cherry Margaritas
Cherry juice is not often seen behind bars or in our kitchens. Even us home cocktail aficionados don’t usually keep it around, and that’s too bad because at least for me, it’s a fantastic alternative for cranberry juice, an ingredient widely used in classic drinks. Sweet and acidic, it has the precise profile that makes tart cherry juice so cocktail-friendly.
For today’s cocktail, we’re using tart cherry juice but I also have tried black cherry juice - the one on the non-refrigerated juice shelves. Just make sure to pick one as natural as possible.
To present the drinks, I like to serve these in tall glasses, and not in margarita ‘sombrero’ stemware, because the drink has a unique ruby color that I really want to display. Finish the drink with a cherry on top, it just feels right.
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These refreshing and unique cherry margaritas are the perfect cocktail to prepare in a pitcher for your next summer backyard parties at the pool. Of course, you will need to increase the quantities, so check out the multiplier feature in our recipe card for an easy way to calculate. This margarita recipe is packed with fruity flavor and perfect for a crowd!
Cherry Margaritas with Two Variations
As you have seen from our other cocktail recipes, we like to give a spin to drink recipes and this time is no exception.
Maraschino Cherry Margaritas
The first option is to substitute the orange liqueur for maraschino cherry liqueur. I will call this variation “maraschino cherry margaritas.”
Maraschino cherry liqueur has a characteristic aroma of marasca cherry. This Luxardo Maraschino liqueur results from distillation from the leaves, pits, stems, and skins of Luxardo sour marasca cherries, producing a complex liqueur with a lasting cherry aroma. The taste is smooth but sharp, with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, and orange marmalade. It's slightly bitter and has the general effect on a cocktail as a background punch of brightness.
Cherry Kombucha Margaritas
Another unique variation is to make cherry kombucha margaritas by just swapping the tart cherry juice for tart cherry kombucha. You have the option to use either the orange liqueur or maraschino cherry liqueur.
For our margarita recipe, you don’t need salt for the rim. Yes, no salt!
What to do if you don’t have grenadine?
Geoffrey and I make cocktails every other weekend for ourselves or when friends are coming over. We’re not bartenders or anything, but we do like to craft fun cocktails of all colors and flavors.
I remember the first time we made berry-flavored cocktails; we realized we didn’t have grenadine. Although available in all bars, it’s rare to have the sweet red syrup at home. We’ve managed to work our way around our dilemma, and I’d like to share with you some of our solutions.
2 Grenadine Substitutes
- Making your own grenadine when pomegranates are in season. Instead of removing all those small, juicy seeds, cut your pomegranates in half and juice them as you would juice an orange. Strain the juice and add equal parts of sugar. Dissolve the sugar without heating; it takes time but it’s totally worth it. Bottle, and store in the fridge.
- Substituting grenadine for something else, like jams and preserves. For today’s cocktail, I recommend something like Black Cherry Jam L'Epicurien you can buy in our online store. Cherry puree is sweetened with apple juice, with no added sugar, and vacuum-cooked to preserve the cherry’s flavor and color.
Now we’re ready to make ourselves some yummy Tart Cherry Margaritas. They’re ready in minutes, and trust me; you can’t get enough of them.
While you’re at it, please send us some pictures of your drinks! We’d love to see how you present them. Tag @Spoonabilities on Instagram or add a photo or comment on Pinterest, so we can find you! And we love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Your Recipe Concierge!
Do you want more fruity cocktails?
Here are a few related cocktail recipe ideas you might enjoy:Print
An easy recipe for a refreshing tart cherry margarita made with tequila, orange liqueur, and tart cherry juice. This easy summer cocktail is brightly colored and fruity. Warm-up those cocktail shaking muscles!
- Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake to chill.
- Strain into a glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry and/or slice of lime.
We partner (affiliate links) with Drizly delivery service, so if you don’t have the alcoholic ingredients, you can have them delivered.
Drink responsibly. If you are under the legal drinking age limit for your state or country, this recipe is not for you. Sorry.
- Luxardo Maraschino liqueur instead of the orange liqueur
- Tart cherry kombucha instead of the tart cherry juice
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: drinks
- Method: shaken
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: margarita recipe, cherry margaritas, Cinco de mayo cocktail, fruity drink, summer cocktail, fruity cocktail, cherry beverage, silver tequila recipe, kombucha margaritas, kombucha cocktail, kombucha beverage
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