White Christmas Margarita

published Dec 14, 2023
christmas
White Christmas Margarita Recipe

Cream of coconut and fresh lime juice make this festive margarita rich and flavorful.

Makes1

Prep10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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margarita with cherries and lime garnish in glasses
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

You likely don’t associate margaritas with Christmas, but if you think about it, there really isn’t a reason not to. Sure, it’s nice to enjoy a classic margarita on the rocks during warm summer months, but it’s also fun to mix up the flavors depending on the season. That said, the idea of a Christmas margarita recipe seems totally fitting this time of year!

One of the many great things about a margarita is that its foundational ingredients are familiar to most, yet variations on flavors present lots of opportunities for creativity. Whether you prefer lime, strawberry, pineapple, or even cranberry margaritas, there’s always ample room for mixing up something new.

What Is a White Christmas Margarita?

When thinking of the ultimate Christmas-inspired spin on the traditional margarita, I wanted to create something that not only had familiar flavors, but also looked incredibly festive. This white Christmas margarita recipe is the epitome of a winter holiday celebration, without any of the stress of planning a Christmas party. The drink is inspired by both the classic 1954 Christmas movie-musical, White Christmas, and the magical experience of seeing homes blanketed in freshly fallen snow during the holiday season.

If you don’t live in an area that gets super cold in the winter, let alone experience any snowfall, don’t fret! Consider this drink your plane ticket to a bustling ski lodge in a decorated Vermont town or a glamorous winter vacation in Aspen with friends. Either way, you’ll be experiencing the Christmas spirit in just a few sips!

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Ingredients in a White Christmas Margarita

  • Tequila: In this case, it’s best to use blanco tequila in order to maintain the white hue of the drink. Plus, blanco tequila tends to have a more mild flavor, which works best for this kind of margarita.
  • Triple sec: The most popular varieties include Cointreau and Grand Marnier, and both would be fine for this recipe.
  • Lime: Make sure it’s freshly squeezed, so you get a fresher lime flavor.
  • Shredded coconut: This recipe for a white Christmas margarita uses very finely shredded coconut (sometimes called desiccated coconut) in place of the salt that usually goes around the rim of the glass. This adds to the coconut flavor of the drink, along with a bit of subtle sweetness. If you can’t find very finely shredded coconut, you can chop store-bought sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Coconut milk: This is where the “white” part of the drink comes into play. Opt for canned coconut milk as opposed to coconut milk beverage, which is commonly used as a dairy alternative for things like coffee. Canned coconut milk has a more natural coconut taste and has the perfect amount of fat content in it to make the drink rich.
  • Cream of coconut: This is exactly what it sounds like: a cream made from coconut milk that is sweetened and thickened. Cream of coconut has a very viscous consistency that is between a syrup and a paste. This is one of the popular ingredients used to make classic drinks like the piña colada. Because this ingredient is already super sweet in addition to having a vibrant coconut flavor, you don’t have to worry about using a simple syrup, like you commonly see with margaritas.

White Christmas Margarita Recipe

Cream of coconut and fresh lime juice make this festive margarita rich and flavorful.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup

    desiccated or finely shredded dried coconut

  • 1

    medium lime

  • Ice

  • 2 ounces

    unsweetened full-fat canned coconut milk

  • 1 1/2 ounces

    blanco tequila

  • 1 ounce

    cream of coconut, such as Coco Real or Coco Lopez

  • 1 ounce

    triple sec, such as Cointreau

  • 3

    fresh or frozen cranberries

Instructions

  1. Place 1/2 cup desiccated dried coconut onto a small, flat plate and spread it out into an even layer. Halve 1 medium lime, then halve one of the pieces. Cut a thin slice from 1 lime quarter and reserve for garnish.

  2. Moisten the rim of an old-fashioned glass with a lime quarter by rubbing the cut part on the rim. Invert the glass into the coconut, turning it as needed, to coat the rim. Fill the glass with ice.

  3. Juice the remaining lime pieces until you have 1/2 ounce. Add the lime juice, 2 ounces coconut milk, 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila, 1 ounce cream of coconut, and 1 ounce triple sec to a cocktail shaker. Add enough ice to fill the shaker halfway. Seal the shaker and shake until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 30 seconds.

  4. Pour the cocktail through a strainer into the glass. Garnish with the reserved lime slice and 3 fresh or frozen cranberries.