Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Devil’s Margarita

devil's margarita cocktail next to limes and red wine bottle / Tim Nusog

A well-made Margarita is pure joy. That synergistic combination of earthy tequila, tart lime and sweetener (usually orange liqueur or agave nectar) hits all the right notes. But when you crave a more impish cocktail, the Devil’s Margarita is here for you. And you don’t have to wait until Halloween to drink it.

This tasty twist on the classic updates the traditional formula with a float of red wine—ideally a fruity medium-bodied wine such as cabernet franc—which adds a dash of depth and color. The Devil’s Margarita isn’t the only cocktail to request a red wine float. The New York Sour, which is a Whiskey Sour topped with red wine, dates to the late 1800s and is another pleasant means of mixing spirits with wine. So, this Margarita is in good company.

The recipe calls for agave-forward blanco tequila. The unaged expression lends notes of citrus and pepper, absent any of the oaky vanilla and caramel flavors found in aged varieties. Fresh lime juice is key to any good Margarita, so be sure that’s on your grocery list. And rather than orange liqueur or agave nectar, you will sweeten this drink with simple syrup to allow the other ingredients to shine.

Pro tip: Skip the salted rim. It’s a nice addition to most Margaritas, but in this case it clashes with the wine’s acidity. Plus, it looks too much like a halo for this devilish drink.


Click Play to See This Devil's Margarita Recipe Come Together


  • 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila

  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 1/2 ounce red wine

  • Garnish: lime wheel


  1. Add the tequila, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

  3. Float the red wine on top by slowly pouring it over the back of a bar spoon so it pools on the surface of the drink.

  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.