I was recently one of the hostesses for a bridal shower and the theme was (the bride’s favorite) Margaritas! I volunteered to make my copycat version of Frontera Grill Margaritas for a crowd from a recipe I acquired decades ago. I modified the recipe so it was easy-to-make and easy to transport to the party!
Based On Frontera Grill Margaritas
Over 30 years ago, I started a graphic design business in Chicago in a location that seemed to be way too far west of Michigan Avenue and too far North of the Loop. However, this was the perfect urban pioneer location for a graphic design studio. My business partner discovered a cool and different Mexican restaurant right around the corner from our studio called Frontera Grill. The chef who owned it (yes, this was Rick Bayless) was milling around the kitchen and his wife was there to greet and seat us. We liked this restaurant so much, we found ourselves having lunch there almost every week, and often chose it as a place to bring our clients or to get treated by salespeople. We also discovered that besides the food being so fresh, the margaritas were delicious and amazing too.
Soon the restaurant became so popular to avoid waiting in line we would often sit at the bar to order. There we became friends with one of the bartenders, and he shared the recipe with us for the fabulous Frontera Grill Margaritas! He gave us a large batch recipe that had 40 limes and multiple cups of sugar and we made it for one of our office parties. It literally made 4 gallons. The key ingredients that make Frontera Grill Margaritas extra special are fresh limes and Gran Torres Orange liquor instead of the usual Triple Sec. However, I found even if you don’t use Gran Torres or the finest tequila, these margaritas are still delicious!
I thought we were privy to a secret recipe (and perhaps at the time, we were) but you can easily find many versions of the Fonterra Margarita recipe, but not to make enough for a crowd. That’s why I put together this recipe.
The Best Margaritas For a Crowd
Back to the Margarita bridal shower, I only needed make around 40 margaritas for this event. I made the margarita recipe earlier in the day, kept it refrigerated and brought the batch in the perfect-size Rubbermaid 1 Gallon pitcher I found at a grocery store. When I got to the party, I simply dumped the pre-mixed margaritas into a glass dispenser filled with ice! Glasses were lined up, with and without salt, and everyone at the party helped themselves to the pre-made margaritas. They were a hit and life was easy for the hosts! Here is my recipe.
Margaritas For a Crowd Recipe
Makes approximately 40 6 oz cocktails
3-1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 21-24 large limes
2-3/4 cups sugar
7 cups blanco tequila
5 cups water
2 cups Gran Torres orange liqueur or triple sec
Coarse salt to rim glasses
Lime wedges for garnish
1. Juice the limes, and combine the lime juice, sugar and water in a large glass or plastic mixing bowel.
2. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
3. Add the tequila and orange liqueur and pour the contents into a large 1 gallon covered pitcher. Store for no more than 12 hours.
4. Pour over ice in a 1.5-2 gallon beverage dispenser, or into a punch bowl filled with ice to serve!
Margaritas for a Crowd
- 3-1/2 cups fresh lime juice, 21-24 large limes
- 2-3/4 cups sugar
- 7 cups blanco tequila
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups Gran Torres orange liqueur or triple sec
- Coarse salt to rim glasses
- Lime wedges for garnish
Juice the limes, and combine the lime juice, sugar and water in a large glass or plastic mixing bowel.
Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add the tequila and orange liqueur and pour the contents into a large 1 gallon covered pitcher. Store for no more than 12 hours.
Pour over ice in a 1.5-2 gallon beverage dispenser, or into a punch bowl filled with ice to serve!
Do you have a favorite drink recipe that makes enough to serve a crowd?
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