Olive Garden Italian Margarita is a classic cocktail with a twist! Served on the rocks and with a side of amaretto, this drink is one to enjoy for any occasion.
Olive Garden restaurants may be famous for the American-Italian cuisine they serve, but if you check out the menu, there are some pretty unique cocktails on it as well. Take the Olive Garden Italian Margarita, for example. The chain puts an Italian spin on the classic Margarita with an additional shot of amaretto liqueur. This extra fruity, sweet and sour drink is definitely not for the lightweights with its three and a half ounces of booze in every glass. Not every location serves mixed drinks, so if you can’t order the drink at your local Olive Garden, why not try making a few at home?
What’s In the Olive Garden Italian Margarita Recipe?
Jose Cuervo Especial Silver
Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and is one of the world’s most popular liquors. At the heart and soul of a good Margarita, it is always nice to use the best quality tequila you can find. There are five different categories. Blanco tequila is the purest form because it doesn’t undergo any aging in oak barrels, and therefore has the mildest taste. Most bartenders prefer to use this category of tequila in the Margarita they make.
Jose Cuervo Especial Silver, often called Jose Cuervo Blanco, is a popular choice for tequilas because it is moderately priced and widely available. But you may use any Blanco tequila you have at home without affecting the cocktail’s taste very much.
Triple Sec is an orange-flavored liqueur originally from France. The bright citrus flavor comes from the peels of sweet and bitter oranges and other ‘secret’ ingredients blended with neutral spirits. The Combier brand was the first Triple Sec, but there are many different brands. Although formerly drank straight as an after-dinner digestif, Triple Sec today is more commonly added to cocktails.
If you don’t happen to have a bottle labeled “Tripe Sec” on hand, you can try substituting another citrusy spirit like Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao.
The Italian influence for this Margarita comes from Amaretto, an almond-flavored liqueur from Italy. There are lots of mixed drinks with Amaretto, but it’s also common to serve over ice on its own. Many brands produce a decent Amaretto, but Disaronno Amaretto Liqueur is probably the most famous in the US. Olive Garden serves its Italian Margaritas with a shot of Amaretto on the side, to allow the diner to add it. When you make the cocktail at home, you might as well mix it with the rest of the drink.
Fans of Amaretto drinks may want to try a few like Amaretto di Saschira or Lazzaroni Amaretto to find your favorite.
Perhaps a better name for sour mix might be a “sweet and sour” mix. It is essentially nothing more than simple syrup with some lemon and lime juice to balance the sweetness. You can buy sour mix in almost any supermarket, but it is simple to make at home, and it tastes much better than anything you can find on the shelf.
To make your sour mix:
- Combine one cup of water with a cup of white sugar in a small saucepan.
- Slowly bring to a boil while stirring.
- Once the sugar mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and add a half cup of fresh lemon juice and an equal amount of lime juice.
- Stir and let cool.
Tips for Making an Olive Garden Italian Margarita
- You got to move it, move it. Give your cocktail shaker more than a few shakes. Shaking helps to aerate the drink and bring out the flavors thoroughly. If you are ever confused about whether to shake or stir a cocktail, the rule of thumb is that anything with fresh ingredients like fruit juice or cream needs to go into the shaker.
- Choose your shaker wisely. There are two types of shakers: Boston and Cobbler. A Boston shaker is better at aerating, but it takes longer to chill. The extra time in the shaker may cause drinks to become more watery. On the other hand, a Cobbler shaker chills cocktails quicker but doesn’t incorporate as much air into the cocktails. Most bartenders prefer using a Boston shaker for making Margaritas.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Jose Cuervo Blanco or any white tequila
- Triple sec
- Orange juice
- Sour mix
How to Make Olive Garden Italian Margarita
- Cut a lime wedge and rim the margarita glass with the lime.
- Dip the wet margarita glass into a dish filled with sugar.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with tequila, triple sec, orange juice, and sour mix.
- Shake until blended.
- Pour into a margarita glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with orange and lime slices.
- Serve the margarita with the amaretto in a cordial glass.
- Pour the amaretto into the margarita and enjoy!
Love Olive Garden? Try these copycat recipes!
- Berry Sangria
- Best Olive Garden Soup
- Grilled Chicken Margherita
- Olive Garden Bread
- Seafood Alfredo
- Steak Alfredo Recipe
- Toscana Soup Recipe
Favorite Cocktail Recipes
- Beer Margarita Recipe
- Dole Whip Float
- Godfather Drink
- Mudslide Drink Recipe
- Presidente Margarita Recipe
- Washington Apple Cocktail
Olive Garden Italian Margartia
- 1 1/2 ounces Jose Cuervo Blanco Tequila you can use your favorite tequila
- 1 ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce orange juice
- 3 ounces sour mix
- 1 ounce amaretto this is served alongside the margarita
- sugar for rim
- orange slice
- lime slice
Cut two lime wedges and rim the margarita glass with one lime slice. Dip the wet margarita glass into a dish filled with sugar. Save the other lime wedge for garnish.
Fill a boston shaker with tequila, triple sec, orange juice, sour mix, and shake. Pour into a margarita glass full of ice.
Service with a cordial glass full of amaretto, it’s recommended to pour the amaretto inside the margarita glass before serving.