Frozen or On the Rocks: The Great Margarita Debate

The refreshing taste of a cold perfectly blended margarita on a hot summer day…there truly is nothing better. When the bartender mixes the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice just right, it’s like you’re instantly transported to paradise. When you picture this perfect margarita, is it frozen or on the rocks? It’s one of the biggest debates in Tex-Mex food, but we’re here to help settle the score. 

Ice Cold

Surprisingly, one of the most polarizing ingredients in the Great Margarita Debate is ice. Everyone knows that in a frozen margarita, the ice is blended into small beads that spread out throughout the drink, while in an on-the-rocks margarita, the drink is poured over ice cubes. Whether you prefer frozen or on the rocks margaritas may very well have to do with your ice preferences.

Frozen margs have little blended ice beads. This gives a frozen marg a texture that just isn’t present in an on-the-rocks margarita. The evenly distributed pieces of ice also ensure the entire margarita is ice cold. However, the small beads cause the ice to disintegrate faster, melting your drink more quickly. 

With the signature square ice cubes in an on the rocks marg, the ice melts much more slowly. This allows for continuous cooling of your drink without watering it down. You also don’t have to worry about getting brain freeze with an on-the-rocks margarita. However, it is not initially as cold as a frozen margarita, because the ice is not blended within the drink. 

Taste and Alcohol Content

As margarita experts will tell you, you get a much stronger lime/citrus flavor in on the rocks margaritas, due to the aeration process when the cocktail is shaken. Additionally, because frozen margaritas are made in a big blending machine, you may get slightly less tequila than you would in a precisely measured-by-the-drink on the rocks margarita. 


In this Instagram age, the garnish is everything. It’s safe to say for adding all sorts of fruits and (sometimes) vegetables to the top of a drink, a frozen marg is the way to go. Its stronger surface tension allows the bartender to add whole slices of fruit and umbrellas as garnishes, without them sinking, to later be fished out when the drink is gone. Extravagant garnishes make for the best pictures, and to this end, you’ve got to go with frozen. 

The Great Margarita Debate Results

At Guadalajara Restaurants, we love all kinds of margaritas—both frozen and on the rocks. We’re not here to judge you if you prefer one over the other, our goal is to make delicious refreshing drinks you’ll love. From our Cervezarita to our Strawberry Swirl Margarita and everyone in between, you can trust that you’re getting the freshest, highest-quality ingredients possible. 

To let us know how you feel about the Great Margarita Debate, visit us on Facebook or Instagram. To see our drink menu, visit, or stop by one of our four convenient Houston-area locations.