How to Make Applebee's Perfect Margarita

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Applebee's Perfect Margarita

With this Applebee's Perfect Margarita recipe, you can recreate Applebee's delicious and refreshing concoction easily at home. The cocktail is fairly simple to make, and it can be served as an accompaniment to nachos, chips and salsa, or a Mexican flavored entree like Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken. While Applebee's does not distribute the actual recipe it uses for their "perfect" libation, the version here has the same flavor as the one served up at Applebee's and promises to become your new favorite alcoholic beverage. The drink combines high end liquors, like 1800 tequila, cointreau, and Grand Marnier, with Rose's lime juice and sour mix. While the Applebee's says its drink is "perfectly blended", other think it's perfect because the drink's ingredients create a high end version of a traditional recipe, and other maintain that it's one special add-on that makes this Applebee's drink "perfect." In addition to the expected lime wedge, the Applebee's version of this classic tequila drink also includes a green olive as a garnish.

The first Applebee's restaurant was opened in 1980 by Bill and TJ Palmer in Atlanta, Georgia, as Applebee's Rx for Edibles & Elixirs. In 1986, the restaurant's name was changed to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar. This is also the year that the first franchise was opened. The chain has over 1500 company-owned and franchise locations, including stores in Singapore and China.[1]

Serves: 1

Applebees.jpgCreative Commons image by The-Lane-Team
Offered by Applebee's
Customer service phone 888-592-7753[2]
Served as Alcoholic beverage
Main ingredients Tequila, lime juice, Grand Marnier
Cooking method Mixed and shaken
Similar to T.G.I. Friday's Ultimate Margarita
Author Susan MacDowell

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Applebee's Perfect Margarita Ingredients

For each drink:

  • Coarse salt[3]
  • 2 fresh lime wedges
  • 1 1/4 ounces 1800 Reposado 100% Blue Agave tequila[4]
  • 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 4 ounces sweet and sour bar mix
  • Green Spanish olive, stuffed with pimento[5]
  • 1 1/2 ounces bottled Rose's lime juice
  • Crushed ice

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Applebee's Perfect Margarita Recipe

  1. Chill a margarita glass in the freezer. Let it stay there until the glass is very cold and frosted, about 20-30 minutes.[6]
  2. Thread one lime wedge and the olive onto a long toothpick, and set aside
  3. Pour a layer of coarse salt into a saucer larger than the rim of the glass.
  4. Remove the glass from the freezer.
  5. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, moistening it well.
  6. Turn the glass rim side down and place on the saucer containing the salt.
  7. Twist the glass so that the salt sticks to the lime juice.
  8. Turn the glass right side up, and set it aside while you mix the drink.
  9. Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice.
  10. Pour the tequila, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Roses's, and sour mix into a the shaker.
  11. Put the lid on the shaker, and shake well
  12. Strain the drink into the prepared glass.
  13. Add the lime and olive toothpick as a garnish.
  14. Serve immediately.[5]

Freezing the Applebee's Perfect Margarita

You can substitute the ingredients of the Applebee's drink instead of using those listed in the video to create a frozen version of the Applebee's Perfect Margarita.


  • For a restaurant-style presentation, use a slightly smaller glass, and make sure the toothpick is long enough to rest across the glass. Any extra drink can be served in a side cocktail shaker, the way they do at Applebees.
  • Roses's lime juice is a commercially prepared sweetened lime juice. You won't get the same results by using ordinary lime juice, which is much tarter. If you don't have Roses's you can make your own sweetened lime juice at home by combining 1 1/2 ounces lime juice and 1/2 ounce simple syrup. EIther bottled or freshly squeezed lime juice can be used - the key is the sweetness of the sugar in the simple syrup.[5]
  • If you don't have a margarita glass, any stemmed glass can be substituted, like a martini glass or a wine goblet.
  • While the Applebee's Perfect Margarita is typically served strained in a margarita glass, it can also be enjoyed on the rocks, or blended with crushed ice for a frozen drink.
  • Applebee's serves several variations of this drink. In addition to the original recipe, guests can select from pomegranate, strawberry, mango, raspberry, and kiwi versions. These are made by combining the respective fruit syrups with the other ingredients in the cocktail shaker. A maraschino cherry replaces the olive in the flavored 'ritas. While any cherry can be used, a stemmed maraschino will most closely duplicate the restaurant version.
  • The Applebee's preparation has 243 calories.[7]

Also See: How to Make Applebees Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip, How to Make Applebee's Spinach Pizza, How to Make Vegan Applebees Spinach Pizza, How to Make Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken, How to Make Applebee's Chipotle Lime Chicken, How to Make Applebee's Cinnamon Apple Turnover, How to Make Applebee's Potato Twisters


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