411 margaritas

4-1-1 Margaritas

The weekend after my husband Jim retired, he and his brother Mark signed up for a “continuing education” class, at least that’s what they called it. They went to a bar in Denver to learn how to make margaritas. Even after taking a class, they still experimented with the recipe. It seemed the quality of the limes varied from pitcher to pitcher. They finally came up with a citrus mixture of 4 limes, 1 orange, and 1 lemon, hence the name 4-1-1 margaritas. My friend calls them 411C margaritas to give credit to the big dose of vitamin C. She considers it a health food drink.  

These margaritas are strong; they are two-thirds alcohol. They taste good and go down easy.  Sometimes one is not enough and two are too many.  Add some water if you’d like a weaker drink.  I like to serve them in a short glass, filled to the brim with ice. I’ve never been a fan of salted rims, but if you are, you know what to do. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes                      Total time: 10 minutes

Specialized kitchen utensils:

  • Electric Citrus Juicer or citrus squeezer. This recipe was one of the reasons that I could justify having an electric juicer in our one-butt kitchen. This one appliance can juice them all, instead of having 3 citrus squeezers: lime, lemon, and orange.  If you can’t fit an electric juicer in your limited space, you can get by with a lemon or orange squeezer. You’ll have to cut the oranges in quarters to squeeze them in a lemon squeezer, but it can be done.

Serves 10


  • 4 limes
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces, approximately) tequila 
  • 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces, approximately) orange liqueur


Juice the limes, orange, and lemon.  Add an equal amount of tequila and orange liqueur so that the end result is a mixture of 1/3 juice, 1/3 tequila, and 1/3 orange liqueur.  (For the orange liqueur, we prefer Grand Gala, but any triple sec or orange liqueur will do.) 

Taste and adjust as necessary. The quality of the citrus will have a big impact on the taste.  If they are too tart, add a little more orange or some agave. 

Serve over a full glass of ice.



  1. Marylin Warner

    Actually, I prefer the full name of these amazing margaritas: 411c (the c being for vitamin C).
    This is actually a healthy drink, Mary…and oh so good.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    • Mary Zalmanek

      Maybe I should change the name, Marylin. A friend recently looked at this recipe and said, “What? Does this make 411 margaritas? That’s way too many for us. I’ll make a smaller batch.” I’m changing 411 to 4-1-1 in an attempt to encourage drinking in moderation.

  2. These were wonderful, Mary! It was a good thing none of us had to drive immediately after, though!


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