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Jalapeño Margarita Recipe

This Jalapeño Margarita recipe combines the traditional crispness of blanco tequila and the tangy zest of freshly squeezed lime juice with a daring kick of homemade jalapeño simple syrup, offering a spicy yet refreshing drink that’s impossible to resist. This Spicy Margarita recipe is a subtle variation of my dad’s famous classic margarita recipe.

Whether you’re looking to spice up your next gathering, enjoy a vibrant twist on the beloved classic, or simply to explore the thrilling combination of heat and sweet, this Jalapeño Margarita recipe is a perfect option.

Triple Sec or Cointreau introduces a subtle orange undertone that complements the bold flavors, while the jalapeño simple syrup—infused with the spicy essence of fresh jalapeños—offers a customizable heat level to suit any palate. Served it on the rocks, chilled, or frozen.

So, gather your ingredients, and let’s create a cocktail that promises to deliver a burst of flavor with every sip. Perfect for any occasion, this Jalapeño margarita recipe is sure to become a staple in your cocktail repertoire, pleasing both those who love spicy food and those new to the heat.

Cheers to a new twist on an old favorite!

The Ingredients in This Spicy Margarita Recipe

This spicy margarita recipe relies on the following ingredients for its classic, sweet enough but not too sweet, refreshing cocktail.

Ingredients
  • Tequila: Using a high-quality tequila, preferably a blanco for its clean, crisp flavor, will significantly improve the quality of your margarita. Blanco tequila compliments the freshness of the lime and the heat of the jalapeño without overpowering them.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is crucial for the best taste. Bottled lime juice can be a convenient alternative, but the fresh juice offers a brighter, more vibrant flavor that significantly enhances the cocktail.
  • Jalapeño Simple Syrup: Infusing traditional simple syrup with jalapeño is an easy way to add some heat and flavor to a classic margarita recipe. And, adjusting the amount of jalapeño allows you to control the heat level. Removing the seeds and pith can reduce the heat while still imparting the jalapeño’s flavor. Consider wearing gloves when handling jalapeños to avoid skin irritation.
  • Triple Sec or Cointreau: Both are orange-flavored liqueurs, but Cointreau has a higher alcohol content and a smoother, more balanced flavor than most Triple Secs. Choosing between them can depend on personal preference and desired sweetness level.
  • Ice: The quality of ice can affect the dilution and overall taste of the margarita. Using large, slow-melting ice cubes is best when serving on the rocks to minimize dilution.
  • Limes: To garnish and wipe the rim before dipping in salt.
  • Salt: for the rim. Use Himalayan Pink Sea Salt for the pretty color or kosher salt.

Jalapeño Simple Syrup

This super simple to make, Jalapeño Simple Syrup is the key to these spicy jalapeno margaritas.

  • Our recipe has you making traditional simple syrup, with equal parts sugar and water.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the sliced jalapeno (one jalapeno for mild heat and two for a bit more) and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the syrup from the heat and let the jalapenos infuse for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Then strain the jalapenos out of the simple syrup.
Jalapeño Margarita in a glass iwth a wedge of lime and sliced jalapeno.

Tips for Jalapeño Margarita Success

  • Simmering the jalapeños in the syrup infuses it with flavor and heat. The longer you let the jalapeños steep after turning off the heat, the more pronounced the flavor and heat will be.
  • The white, spongy part of the jalapeño called the pith is where the jalapeño is the spiciest. If you are looking for flavor but not heat then remove the pith and seeds first. The seeds will have some residual capsaicin (the heat) on them which adds to the heat as well.
  • The syrup is not overly spicy. Keep in mind the spice that is there will get diluted by the margarita mix so it becomes a subtle heat once in your margarita mix. If you are looking for extra heat, muddle some fresh jalapeños into your margarita just before serving and strain, or use hotter peppers to infuse into the original syrup like serrano peppers instead. Serrano peppers are 5 times hotter than the jalapeño.
  • Consider wearing gloves when handling jalapeños to avoid skin irritation.
  • Straining the jalapeño simple syrup mixture through a fine mesh sieve is crucial to remove all the solid parts, leaving a smooth syrup that blends well into the cocktail.
  • Chilling the glasses beforehand can add an extra refreshing touch to the served margaritas. For an aesthetic and flavorful boost, consider adding a small slice of jalapeño, a grating of lime zest, or a lime wheel as garnish alongside the traditional lime wedge.
  • Taste your margarita mix before serving. Depending on your ingredients’ freshness and quality, you may need to adjust the lime juice or simple syrup to achieve the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy.
  • When making a pitcher, gently stir the mixture to ensure the flavors are well blended without overly diluting the cocktail. Adding ice to the glasses instead of the pitcher will keep the margaritas from becoming too watered down over time.
Jalapeño Margarita in a glass iwth a wedge of lime and sliced jalapeno.

Agave Nectar or Simple Syrup

I’m a traditionalist with this recipe; I make it how my dad made it and he used simple syrup.

That said, you can substitute agave nectar for simple syrup in the Jalapeño Margarita recipe, and it’s a fantastic idea for a few reasons. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener derived from the agave plant, which is also the source of tequila, making it a harmonious choice for tequila-based cocktails.

Keep in mind that while agave nectar is a great substitute, it will slightly alter the taste profile of the drink. The result will be a spicy Jalapeño margarita that’s likely a bit smoother and might have a deeper sweetness compared to the bright sweetness of simple syrup.

You can still infuse the agave nectar with jalapeño to maintain the spicy element of the drink. Gently warm the agave nectar (do not boil, as it can become too thick or alter the flavor) and add the sliced jalapeños. Let them steep until the desired level of heat is reached, then remove the jalapeños and allow the mixture to cool before using it in your margarita.

Substitution Ratio

Agave nectar is sweeter than simple syrup, so you’ll want to use it in a smaller quantity. A general guideline is to use about 2/3 to 3/4 of the amount of simple syrup called for in the recipe. Start with less, as you can always add more to taste.

Jalapeño Margarita in a glass iwth a wedge of lime and sliced jalapeno.
Jalapeño Margarita in a glass iwth a wedge of lime and sliced jalapeno.

Jalapeño Margarita Recipe

lynn
Discover the perfect Jalapeño Margarita recipe: a spicy twist on a classic, blending tequila, fresh lime, and homemade jalapeño syrup for a bold sip.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Beverage Recipes
Cuisine Latin, Mexican
Servings 1 serving
Calories 331 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 ounces Tequila Chilled
  • 2 ounces Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice Chilled, (or bottled lime juice)
  • 1 ounce Jalapeño Simple Syrup See below
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • Ice
  • fresh lime for garnish and to rub around the rim before dipping in the salt.
  • kosher salt or pink Himalyan Sea Salt optional, for rim

Jalapeño Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 fresh jalapeños

Instructions
 

On the Rocks

  • Fill your shaker halfway full with ice.
  • Add tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and Triple Sec or Cointreau to the shaker and shake for 15 seconds.
  • Add fresh ice to the serving glass and strain the shaken margarita in the glass.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime.

Chilled, But Not Over Ice

  • Fill your shaker halfway full with ice.
  • Add tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and Triple Sec or Cointreau to the shaker and shake for 15 seconds.
  • Strain the shaken margarita into the serving glass.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime.

For a Frozen Margarita

  • Combine the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and Triple Sec (or Cointreau) in a blender.
  • Add Ice. Depending on how thick you like your frozen Margaritas, start with about 1 to 1.5 cups of ice per serving. Adjust to your preference.
  • Blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little more lime juice or simple syrup to thin it. If it's too thin, add more ice and blend again.
  • Pour the blended Margarita into the prepared glasses.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

Jalapeño Simple Syrup

  • In a saucepan, place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and simmer until the sugar is dissolved into the water and the liquid looks clear.
  • Slice the jalapenos and place them into the dissolved mixture and simmer for 5 min. Use one jalapeno for mild heat and 2 for sweet heat.
    *Note: The white, spongy part of the jalapeno called the pith,  is where the jalapeno is the spiciest. If you are looking for flavor but not heat then remove the pith and seeds first. The seeds will have some residual capsaicin (the heat)  on them which adds to the heat as well.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Let the syrup and jalapeno steep and cool for about 20 min.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a jar or container.
    *Note: The syrup is not overly spicy. Keep in mind the spice that is there will get diluted by the margarita mix so it becomes a subtle heat once in your margarita mix. If you are looking for extra heat, muddle some fresh jalapenos into your margarita just before serving and strain or use hotter peppers to infuse into the original syrup. Serrano peppers are 5 times hotter than the jalapeno.
  • Allow the mixture to chill before using it in your margarita mix.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Notes

To make a pitcher of Spicy Margaritas

This recipe will typically serve about 8 people.

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces (3 cups) Tequila
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) Jalapeño Simple Syrup
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Triple Sec or Cointreau

Instructions

  • Into a large (60-ounce)  pitcher, combine the tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and Triple Sec or Cointreau.
  • Stir well to blend all the ingredients.
  • Taste and adjust the sweetness or lime if necessary.
  • Once mixed, you can refrigerate the pitcher until ready to serve. This allows the flavors to meld together.
  • Right before serving, if you prefer your margaritas on the rocks, fill the glasses with ice.
  • Pour the margarita mixture over the ice and garnish each glass with a lime wedge and a jalapeño slice.
  • If you enjoy a salted rim, remember to prepare the glasses ahead of pouring by running a lime wedge around the rim and dipping it in salt.
A pitcher of Jalapeño Margaritas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving. It’s best to add the ice directly to the glasses rather than the pitcher to prevent dilution over time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 331kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 20mgPotassium: 90mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 28IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cocktail, drinks, jalapeno, margarita, recipe, tequila, triple sec
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4 Comments

  1. I am not yet mixing up a pitcher of Margaritas as it is only 11 am. But I did want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. You have chosen exactly the right topics to write about, and your instructions are very positive. Nice pictures and design too! I think that you must give many people hope that they can face the day. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    PS — your book reviews are interesting. If you want, I will send you some of mine.

    1. Good Morning Emilie,

      Thanks so much for message! I fell into this ‘job’ of mine after a career in banking and a second career as a mom. I started it on a whim and do projects and write about all the things that interest me. Luckily for me, there are a bunch of people with similar interests. And as much as I love doing projects, cooking and writing, this little job wouldn’t be nearly as much fun or rewarding without readers like you on the other end of my ramblings. So thank you! Thanks for reading and for writing in! Comments like yours keep me going.

      Have a fantastic day!

      Hugs, Lynn

      p.s. It’s never too early for a pitcher of Margaritas! You need to get your daily Vitamin C and it is just like a glass of orange juice, but with lime (oh, and just a dash of tequila! 😉)

      p.s.s And I’d love your book recommendations! I’m always looking to add to my queue.

  2. This sounds great! I had a similar one the other day with the addition of blended cucumber… and a slice, as well! Wowser!

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