Easy Italian Margarita Cocktail with Amaretto

An Italian Margarita puts a sweet and nutty spin on the standard margarita cocktail!  The addition of Amaretto, and a little more orange flavoring, to the familiar tequila and lime of the classic Margarita, makes you feel like you are in sunny Italy.  Like in our Cranberry Margarita and Apple Cider Margarita, we have made a few delicious tweaks to the original but we have not lost what we love most about the Margarita.

Once you try this Italian twist, it will become your favorite happy hour cocktail! When it comes to summery cocktails you will love a refreshing Hugo Spritz, Northern Italy’s version of the traditional Aperol spritz.

Oranges are synonymous with Sicily, where they are infused into the food and culture. So if you love the way Sicilians use oranges in their cuisine you will love its subtle flavor in a bittersweet Black Manhattan AKA Sicilian Manhattan.

An Italian Margarita in a highball glass filled with ice and orange and lemon slices on the rim.

This Italian version of the classic cocktail is my new poolside drink of choice!  The slightly nutty sweet flavors of almonds and oranges make a regular margarita just a little more sophisticated.  They also perfectly balance the tartness from the limes.  This is truly one of the best cocktails I have ever had!  

You may have come across an Italian Margarita at the Olive Garden, where they serve it with a shot of amaretto on the side.  Don’t worry, I am not judging anyone for their choice in Italian restaurants, especially because the Olive Garden Margarita is a spectacular cocktail!  But why not just add that deliciously sweet amaretto right in with the other ingredients and make life simple?  That is just what I did in this delicious cocktail recipe, along with a few other tweaks! 

A good classic margarita is hard to beat, but I think my recipe for this Italian style margarita is a worthy contender!   This is easy to make and there is no need for simple syrup, sour mix or any other special ingredients.  The amaretto takes care of all of that. One word of warning though, this amaretto margarita packs a punch!

Ingredients needed to make an Italian margarita cocktail with labels.

What Ingredients Go In An Italian Margarita?​

  • Tequila: You simply can’t make a margarita without Tequila.  Select the best Tequila for your taste.  There are 3 main types of Tequila to choose from but you only need one:
    • Blanco Tequila :  Also known as silver Tequila, is aged for about 60 days.  It will usually have a bit more bite to it and is the go-to for mixing cocktails.
    • Reposado Tequila:  Reposado which means “rested” sits in the barrel for 2-11 months.  It has warmer tones and a smoother finish.  This is my choice for most cocktails that call for tequila.
    • Añejo Tequila :  Añejo means “old” and that is the perfect description for this type of tequila because it is aged for 1-3 years in oak barrels.  This has a very smooth finish, so it is reserved for sipping straight up.  You would not normally use this in a mixed drink, but of course if that is what you like, go for it!
  • Amaretto:  This is sweet almond flavored liqueur that originated in Saronno Italy.  This is a silky liqueur that is perfect for sipping as an after-dinner drink either straight up or on the rocks.  It also perfectly complements other liquors in mixed drinks, such as my Sicilian Kiss Cocktail
  • Triple sec or Cointreau: This is an orange flavored liqueur.  It is often used in mixed drinks such as margaritas, cosmopolitans, and Long Island Iced Tea.  You can substitute another orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or If you want to keep the Italian theme going, you can use Gran Gala.  Gran Gala is an Italian liqueur made with 3 varieties of Sicilian oranges (Sicilian Blood Oranges, Tarocco and Moro).
  • Fresh lime juice and orange juice.  I recommend using fresh squeezed juice to get the freshest flavors in the cocktail.

How to Make the Perfect Cocktail​

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.   
  2. Give it a really good shake and strain into a prepared glass filled with ice. 
  3. Garnish with orange slices or a lime wedge.  You can also add salt to the rim of the glass.  If you like your cocktail with additional sweetener, you may want to try a sugar rim!  
A cocktail glass with a orange colored drink over ice with orange and lime sliced on the rim.

How to Add a Salt or Sugar Rim to a Glass

  • Add water to a rimmed plate and pour salt or sugar into another rimmed plate.
  • Hold your cocktail glass upside down and dip the rim of the glass first in the water and then in the salt or sugar.

What to Serve With This Italian Margarita Recipe​

This cocktail is perfect for a party!  So make a big batch and pair it with any of your favorite snacks and appetizers even if they aren’t Mexican or Italian. But if you are looking for some Italian recipes to inspire you for your next party, you may want to try my Italian Nachos, Arancini (Italian Rice Balls), a charcuterie board featuring Sicilian Eggplant Caponata, or an antipasto with Grilled Eggplant.  This refreshing cocktail is also great with Grilled Lollipop Lambchops or Garlic and Herb Grilled Shrimp with Honey. Really the possibilities are endless.

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A cocktail glass with a orange colored drink over ice with orange and lime sliced on the rim.

Italian Margarita Cocktail

This Italian inspired version of a classic margarita is flavored with oranges and almonds. One sip will instantly transport you to sunny Italy! Make one or make a pitcher to share with your friends!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 1 servings
Calories 197 kcal


  • oz Tequila
  • oz Amaretto
  • oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • oz Orange juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 oz Lime juice fresh squeezed
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange and lime slices for garnish optional
  • Salt or sugar for rim optional


  • Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.   
  • Shake and strain into a prepared glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with orange slices or a lime wedge.  You can also add salt to the rim of the glass.  If you like your cocktail a little sweeter you may want to try a sugar rim!  


Serving: 1servingsCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 61mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 33IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Amaretto, Orange,Tequila, Lime
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