Backyard BBQ

5 Riffs on The Original Margarita That Are Perfect for Summer Grilling

Bookmark these for the Fourth of July weekend.

July  2, 2020
Photo by Apartment Bartender

We’ve partnered with Cointreau to share all the delicious ways you can riff on The Original Margarita—the iconic cocktail recipe that dates back to 1948. Bonus: a handful of our top grilled dishes to serve with them.

There’s nothing better than chillin’ poolside, grilling up some bites on the BBQ (currently dreaming of these spicy shrimp skewers), and washing them down with a delicious summer sipper.

This season, my go-to cocktail is a classic: The Original Margarita, made with just Cointreau (the essential orange liqueur), blanco tequila, and fresh lime juice. Refreshingly simple, this over-70-year-old recipe also happens to be easy to mix up for a small group, making it an excellent choice for celebrating the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

Of course, you can never have too many margarita options, and another perk of this cocktail is its riffability. Here are five summer-ready twists on The Original Margarita—from grilled peach to smoked blueberry—plus some of our favorite grill-able recipes that'll pair up perfectly with them ('cause you gotta eat, too).

1. The Roasted Strawberry Margarita

The only thing better than strawberries in a cocktail, is roasted strawberries in a cocktail.

Serve it with: Ian Knauer's Sticky Balsamic Ribs

The balsamic sweetness of these ultra-tender ribs pairs nicely with the charred fruit notes in The Roasted Strawberry Margarita.

2. The Smoked Blueberry Margarita

For even juicier blueberries, toss them on the grill and let ‘em get smoky for about 15 minutes—the extra step is oh-so worth it.

Serve it with: Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa

Everything in this recipe hits the grill, from the zesty corn salsa to the quick-smoked salmon.

3. The Grilled Watermelon Margarita

A grilled watermelon syrup—just freshly grilled watermelon blended with simple syrup, then strained—grapefruit juice and Cointreau team up in this supremely refreshing marg.

Serve it with: Jalapeño-Marinated Chicken Tacos With Watermelon Salsa

The best thing to pair with watermelon? More watermelon. These zippy chicken tacos normally come together in the oven, but would happily welcome a grilled preparation.

4. The Grilled Peach Margarita

Similar to The Grilled Watermelon Margarita, this drink calls on another grilled summer fruit: peaches. A garnish of mint sprigs and a grilled peach slice tie the whole thing together.

Serve it with: Grilled Scallops Skewers with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Chile Glaze

Juicy summer scallops get a bit of extra oomph thanks to a quick stint on the grill, and a chile-spiked grapefruit glaze.

5. The Spicy Honeydew Margarita

Freshly puréed honeydew melon and smoky ancho chile liqueur make the perfect balancing act in this piquant margarita.

Serve it with: Tangy Rose’s Lime–Glazed Wings

The lime and chiles in these sticky glazed chicken wings make a top-notch complement to all the fresh citrus in The Spicy Honeydew Margarita.

What’s your favorite dish to pair with The Original Margarita? Tell us in the comments!

In partnership with Cointreau, the essential orange liqueur at the heart of hundreds of cocktail recipes, we’re sharing our favorite summer-ready drinks and dishes—from creative riffs on The Original Margarita to grilled dishes you’ll want to keep in rotation all season long. Need to stock up your bar cart? You can buy Cointreau here on Drizly and have it delivered straight to your door.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Elliott Clark, also known as the Apartment Bartender, is a well-respected tastemaker, cocktail creator, spirits writer, and photographer in the spirits industry. What started out as a hobby for making cocktails at home has developed into a full-blown career that takes Elliott all over the world mixing drinks for some of the world’s most notable brands, and making the world of spirits more accessible to the at-home cocktail enthusiast.

1 Comment

Lucy F. July 2, 2020
I love all of these! Got to try a couple of these for the holiday weekend!