Strawberry Margaritas

The seasons seem to start a little earlier in France than elsewhere, or maybe that’s just me. I tend to want to jump the gun as soon as I see strawberries or cherries at the market every spring. But I know that if I wait a few weeks, they’ll be a lot more abundant, and a lot better. Not to mention less-expensive, too.

Once they go from “rarity” to available everywhere, I tend to go nuts, buying as much fruit as I can. I often joke that as a Californian, I am genetically-wired to eat fruit all the time. During that brief period when the last of the apples and pears depart, and there’s nothing but pineapples and apples from who-knows-where at the market, I fall into a fruitless funk until strawberries appear. Then I know that everything is going to be okay.

As much as I like fruit, I’m not a big fruit-in-cocktail drinker, more inclined to shake or stir up a Manhattan, a Black Manhattan, or a Martini. Or Chin Up or Hanky Panky.

But I do like a good Margarita now and then, and when I found myself with a colander of strawberries that I’d washed for another project, I popped a few into a cocktail shaker, muddled ’em up, and shook up a couple of Strawberry Margaritas.

I find as I get older, I’m less interested in those icy, frozen drinks, and prefer my cocktails up. (Is that because it’s a more direct route?) If you like your cocktails up, too, this margarita recipe makes a fine candidate for one.

But because I’m a man of different (and sometimes conflicting) opinions, which generates a variety of curious looks from my partner, I also like Margaritas over ice. Just be glad you don’t live with me, although there are some benefits; ice cream, cakes, cookies, and an occasional cocktail or two, so I’m not a total bust.

After shaking one of these margaritas up, you might want to strain the mixture through a wider strainer than the one on your cocktail shaker, so its best to remove the entire lid and either pass it through a julep strainer, or a coarse mesh strainer if serving it up. Or just pour it in the glass, without too much of a fuss, holding back the ice with a spoon.

Strawberry Margaritas
Print Recipe
1 cocktail
Inspired by Apartment Bartender
3 ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 teaspoon agave nectar or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau
lime wheel, for garnish
1. Muddle strawberries in a bottom of a cocktail shaker with the agave nectar or sugar, until the berries are almost completely liquified.
2. Add the tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur. Fill the shaker about halfway with ice, and shake for 15 to 20 seconds, until the mixture is very cold.
3. Remove the lid and strain through a julep strainer or coarse mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass, or short tumbler half full of ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

A great cocktail to celebrate spring and summer berries, the Strawberry Margarita!

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  • natacha
    May 22, 2018 8:41pm

    It’s almost strawberry season in Vermont!
    I can’t wait to try this drink!

    As always,
    Thanks, David.

  • JuliaKateLucy
    May 22, 2018 9:10pm

    This reminds me that I need to get my bum out of bed early on Sunday morning to go to the local farmers’ market and get some locally grown strawberries, which tend to be smaller and sweeter than the ones found in the grocery store.
    Once when my daughter was young, she and my husband drove to Half Moon Bay for the day and came home with two flats of strawberries, which were extremely ripe. I quickly learned how to make jam and strawberry panna cotta.

  • Claire
    May 22, 2018 9:14pm

    I’m not a fan of fruity drinks either, but will enjoy a strawberry margarita straight up – not frozen. Most recipes make a pitcher and I’m rarely that thirsty! This is perfect. Thank you.

  • Terra
    May 22, 2018 9:14pm

    I’m not usually a tequila drinker, but this looks amazing! Will be making this after I visit the fruit market on Saturday. Thanks for sharing!

  • Deborah
    May 22, 2018 9:40pm

    Woo boy -nearly 4 ounces of booze in this baby!

    • serina
      May 26, 2018 6:07am

      looks like only just over 2.5oz’s?…

  • Alex S.
    May 22, 2018 9:46pm

    You always make me smile. I’m also a Californian, but a Strawberry marg? I’d rather eat those luscious berries naked :)

  • romy
    May 22, 2018 10:27pm

    Can you buy tequila in France? Is it in the hyper/supermarkets?

    • May 23, 2018 5:49am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, they sell it in supermarkets, although the better liquor stores have a more curated selection of them. There’s a bar in Paris called Mezcaleria that specializes in mezcal, which is on my list of places to try, and the Distillerie de Paris makes an agave-based liquor, too!

  • May 22, 2018 10:53pm

    Thx for the link to the Chin-up. I’d forgotten about that and will make one tonight. No decent strawberries in seattle yet.

  • patty unterman
    May 22, 2018 11:10pm

    no salt on rim? could be sublime

    • May 23, 2018 5:55am
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t mine (and like) salt on the rim of regular margaritas, to balance out the acidity of the lime juice, but it doesn’t work as well with strawberries, so I leave it off. If I would going to add some, I might add a touch of red chile powder to the salt, to give it a little “zing.”

  • Gloria
    May 23, 2018 2:11am

    My husband and I just returned from Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta and It was difficult to get a get a great margarita – in my mind- one that isn’t bitter! This was true even in the 5 start restaurants we enjoyed! I can’t wait to try this one! Thanks, as always for your inspiration, Daveed!

  • Louise
    May 23, 2018 3:39am

    You sure know how to live David. Here’s to you!

  • May 23, 2018 7:11am

    I simply LOVE margarita! This strawberry margarita looks and sounds so refreshing and delicious! Can’t wait to try your recipe – perfect in these hot days!

  • May 23, 2018 8:05am

    We have a favorite local grower–thank goodness, because ants eat all the strawberries in our own garden–but sometimes the strawberries are all gone before we even get home.
    I’d kind of forgotten about strawberry margaritas, what with wine, wine, wine, but this sure sounds good.

  • May 23, 2018 10:22am

    What a pretty Spring drink! I always wait before buying the early berries here. If only I’d gone to last weekend’s PERIGORD A MONTMARTRE! Their berries from Perigord are perfect et pas cher.. too many things to do in Paris..hard to keep up.

  • Carl
    May 23, 2018 10:48am


  • Jennifer
    May 23, 2018 11:30pm

    Tried these last night David! Yum!
    Love reading your blog!
    Jennifer in WA

  • Jo-ann
    May 24, 2018 6:32am

    I was one happy puppy when I realized I had all the ingredients to make this tonight. Delicious! Light and refreshing, just perfect, but with a kick that I’m just now feeling. LOL! Thank you David for a great recipe. This could be trouble this summer in Seattle.

  • Colleen
    May 25, 2018 3:30am

    David, if you have not tried the red and black from Smitten Kitchen, you should. Strawberries, lime, tequila, and black pepper.
    It has been a slow spring here in Boston, but those are on my list for the first day of strawberry picking.

  • Jennifer Hadfield
    May 26, 2018 12:41am

    Just delicious. And couldn’t agree more you, about losing taste for slushy versions. Cannot say I am a daiquiri fan, but I ran to pick up strawberries after reading that post, and the drink did not disappoint! Very refreshing on a warm evening! Thanks David

  • cathy
    May 27, 2018 5:18am

    Ahhh. SO good. Thanks, David, for providing the perfect recipe for an amazing night.

  • Ttrockwood
    May 27, 2018 5:32am

    This was really wonderful, even with some organic not local berries- they’re not ready at the farmers market yet but I will certainly make this again!
    California raised myself and I totally understand the daily fresh fruit urgent need- even worse since i hate bananas and during the long winters in nyc any fresh fruit is worse for wear

  • duygu
    May 31, 2018 4:01pm

    hello, could you make this drink with a substitute for tequila? maybe martini bianco? thank you :)

    • June 1, 2018 12:26pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes. You might need to adjust the quantities of other ingredients but feel free to give it a go…

  • Tommy
    June 2, 2018 8:39pm

    Oh david these are delicious… easy to drink lots and lots of them! I have a bottle of Partida Tequila Reserva I bought at Costco…..never had before, the whole think was excellent, no strong tequila taste or burn and after I strained the strawberrries, I ate them after the ice melted, they were excellent too. I saw your apple Tart best of, I’m still looking for an apple cake, with apple brandy or calvados, cake is dark in color, almost custardy inside. I had it at the Henry Ford estate museum in Detroit. They sent me the recipe which was not what they served. Could have had some marzipan in it too. What’s your favorite apple cake, I’m sure with dark brown sugar in the batter…..You continue to be the best. You should go on Ina Garten’s show, you two are a match made in heaven.

  • Joan
    June 3, 2018 2:18pm

    While the recipe sounds delicious and I’ll have to try it, I must say, the accompanying photos are absolutely mouthwatering! Looks like you’ve mastered your new mirrorless camera. Just beautiful!