Ina Garten’s Refreshing Margaritas Recipe Has 1 Surprising Ingredient

Ina Garten has the perfect summer cocktail that’s a fun twist on the typical margarita. The Barefoot Contessa star uses pink grapefruit juice in her margaritas recipe for a refreshing drink you’ll want to sip when the temperature heats up.

Ina Garten holds a cocktail during 'Seth Goes Day Drinking with Ina Garten' on Late Night With Seth Meyers
Ina Garten | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten explained the inspiration for her unique margarita recipe

Garten’s grapefruit margaritas recipe comes from her How Easy Is That? cookbook and it couldn’t be easier to mix together.

“In the summer I’m always looking for a refreshing cocktail to serve at parties,” Garten noted in her book. “Something traditional but with a nice twist.”

“I played around with pink grapefruit juice and came up with a margarita that hit all the right notes — salty, sweet, and tart,” she continued.

Garten added, “A big bowl of chips and some guacamole wouldn’t hurt, either.”

How to make Ina Garten’s pink grapefruit margaritas

Rather than just adding lime juice, Garten uses pink grapefruit juice as well for her delicious margaritas recipe.

She combines grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange liqueur, and ice in a blender and purees everything until it’s smooth. Garten pours the juice and orange liqueur mixture into a pitcher and adds the tequila, stirring it to combine everything.

Garten recommends stirring a ¼ teaspoon of salt into the pitcher if you’re not salting the rims of the glasses. She keeps the cocktail in the refrigerator until she’s ready to serve the drink.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.

Ina Garten puts a slight twist on traditional margaritas, too

Garten’s more traditional margaritas add a small change-up as well. “I do it with lime and lemon and I think it’s really good,” she explained during an episode of Barefoot Contessa.

“And this is the secret to my margaritas, is a lemon — the juice of one lemon,” she explained. “And for some reason, it just gives it much more depth of flavor. I love it.”

Garten also shared that using very expensive tequila isn’t necessary for the best flavor. “The curious thing about margaritas, I found, is they don’t come out very good if you use really good tequila,” she revealed. “You know, that dark, golden tequila. You have to use inexpensive tequila and then they come out great.”

Garten combines lemon juice, lime juice, triple sec, tequila, and ice in a blender and keeps the cocktail in a pitcher in the refrigerator. When her guests arrive, she shakes individual portions in a cocktail shaker with ice and pours the drink into martini glasses.

Ina Garten’s easy guacamole pairs well with margaritas

As Garten noted, her margaritas go great with chips and guacamole. Garten’s guacamole recipe is easy to make with just a handful of flavorful ingredients. While demonstrating the recipe on Barefoot Contessa, she explained her tip for preventing the guacamole from turning brown. “People ask me all the time what’s the best way to keep the guacamole green and there’s really one key ingredient: lemon juice,” Garten said.

“There are all these theories about having the seed in it … forget it,” she added. “It’s really about fresh lemon juice. And it’s got to be freshly squeezed lemon juice.”

She also adds hot sauce, red onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and tomato to her guacamole recipe. Garten prefers to cut through the ingredients with a knife in the bowl and keep the avocado chunky, which she says is “the secret to really good guacamole.”

You can find Garten’s guacamole recipe on the Barefoot Contessa website.

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