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How many margaritas does a gallon of mix make?

Quick Answer

A gallon of margarita mix will make approximately 16 to 20 margaritas, depending on the strength of the drinks. Most commercial mixes are designed to make about 16 standard 5 oz margaritas per gallon when using a 1:1 ratio of mix to tequila. This can be stretched to make up to 20 weaker 4 oz margaritas. The exact yield will depend on factors like the specific recipe, alcohol content desired, glass size, and how strong the drinks are made.

What Determines How Many Margaritas You Get from a Mix?

Several factors impact the number of margaritas that can be made from a gallon of premixed margarita base:

Strength of the Margaritas

The strongest factor is how strong you make the margaritas. Most commercial mixes are designed for a 1:1 ratio of mix to tequila or other 80 proof spirit. This makes a standard margarita with around 4-5 oz of mix and an equal amount of tequila per drink. If you use less alcohol and make weaker drinks, you can stretch the mix further. However, the flavor and potency will be diminished.

Alcohol Content

Another consideration is the alcohol proof you use. Most recipes are based on 80 proof tequila. If using a lower alcohol content spirit like 70 proof tequila or 60 proof triple sec, you may need more to achieve the desired alcohol level. This would decrease the yield per gallon slightly.

Glass Size

The typical margarita glass holds around 5-7 oz. Smaller 4 oz glasses will allow you to make more drinks from a gallon of mix. Conversely, larger glasses like pint glasses will result in fewer portions. Standard 5 oz glasses are assumed for a 16 drink yield.

Specific Recipe

Recipes can vary, affecting the mix to alcohol ratio. Some may use more sweet & sour mix than others. More mix means you can make more margaritas, while more alcohol content decreases the yield. Most commercial mixes aim for a typical 1:1 ratio.

Drink Strength Preferences

Personal preferences can also impact the strength you make them. If you prefer lighter 3 oz margaritas, you can make over 25 drinks per gallon but they may taste weak. Making 6-7 oz strong drinks yields closer to 12-14 portions. The 16-20 range suits most average 5 oz margaritas.

Standard Margarita Recipe & Yield

The standard margarita recipe is:

– 2 oz tequila
– 1 oz orange liqueur like triple sec
– 1 oz fresh sour mix (equal parts lime juice & simple syrup)
– 1 oz sweet & sour mix
– Salt on the rim

This makes one 5 oz margarita. The sweet & sour mix dilutes the drink slightly. Given a typical gallon of commercial mix has about 128 oz, this would make around 16 standard margaritas using a 1:1 ratio, allowing for some wastage.

Here is a table showing the approximate yield based on different glass sizes and ratios:

Glass Size Mix to Tequila Ratio Approx. Yield per Gallon
4 oz 1:1 20 drinks
5 oz 1:1 16 drinks
6 oz 1:1 12-14 drinks
5 oz 1:0.75 18-20 drinks
5 oz 1:0.5 22-24 drinks

Tips for Making Gallons of Margaritas

Here are some tips for successfully making margaritas in large batches:

Use a Big Mixing Container

It’s easier to mix and pour from a large drink dispenser, pitcher or bowl rather than individual glasses. Glass drink dispensers work well for visibility.

Mix the Sweet & Sour Separately

Combine all the sweet & sour mix in a batch first before adding alcohol. This helps evenly distribute the sweetness and ensures consistent flavor.

Add Tequila Last

Only add the tequila or alcohol right before serving. This retains the flavor and avoids dilution over time.

Use Measuring Cups

Use measured cups for accurate portion control rather than free pouring alone, especially for large batches.

Keep Pre-Mixed Portions Refrigerated

Store any pre-mixed batches in the fridge until ready to serve to keep cool and fresh.

Replenish with Fresh Ice

Refill serving containers frequently with fresh ice to avoid drinks getting watered down as ice melts.

Garnish Individual Drinks

It’s easier to salt rims and garnish each drink individually than doing batches. Provide lime wedges for squeezing.

Use spill-proof containers

When transporting or serving self-serve style, use lidded drink dispensers or bottles to avoid spilling.

Properly mixing, portioning and serving will help your gallons of margarita mix go the distance for parties, events or personal use. With these tips and recipe guidelines, you can determine how many drinks a bottle or mix will make. Enjoy experimenting to find your perfect ratio for margarita success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you add water to margarita mix?

Most commercial margarita mixes are pre-formulated and balanced, so adding extra water is not necessary. Simply follow the package instructions. If making mix from scratch, you can adjust consistency and dilution as desired.

Can you freeze margarita mix?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze margarita mix for later use. This can help batches last longer. Just pour the mix into ice cube trays or popsicle molds before freezing. Thaw before using.

Is margarita mix the same as sweet and sour mix?

No, margarita mix contains more ingredients than just sweet & sour juice. It also includes flavors like lime and orange plus salt, sugar and stabilizers. Simple sweet & sour can be used in margaritas, but you’ll need to adjust the recipe.

What is the shelf life of commercially bottled margarita mix?

Sealed, refrigerated bottled margarita mix typically lasts 4-6 months past the printed expiration date before quality declines. Opened mix should be used within 4-6 weeks. Homemade mixes last 3-4 weeks refrigerated.

What is the best margarita mix brand?

Some top margarita mix brands include Jose Cuervo, Margaritaville, Bacardi, Chi-Chi’s, Mr & Mrs T, Margarita Rebel, On The Rocks and Trader Joe’s. High quality mixes offer balanced flavor and a smooth blend.


Determining margarita yields per gallon depends on several factors. Standard recipes and mixes are designed to make around 16 five ounce drinks at a 1:1 ratio of mix to tequila. Adjusting the glass size, recipe strength, alcohol content and personal taste preferences allows you to stretch or shrink this as desired. With high quality ingredients and proper mixing technique, gallons of margaritas can liven up any party without a hitch. Sip responsibly and enjoy!