There are nearly as many Margarita variations as people to make them. The classic recipe, composed simply of tequila, orange liqueur and fresh lime juice, has inspired countless takes over the decades and helped to cement the Margarita as one of the most popular drinks in the world. One of cocktail’s main selling points is that its ingredients are versatile and can be combined with numerous additions, from tropical fruits to spicy peppers.
Blogger and recipe developer Matt Armato employs both in his aptly named Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita. The fruit and pepper are muddled in the shaker to release their juices (you can control the jalapeño’s spice by choosing whether to remove the seeds before muddling) and then shaken with reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice and more pineapple juice.
Reposado tequila, used in place of the usual blanco expression, lends notes of sweet oak and spice to the drink, producing a slightly richer Margarita than the classic. In another fun addition, the resulting cocktail is served in a glass that’s been rimmed with a sugar-black pepper mixture to provide a sweet and savory kick with each sip.
The Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita is refreshing and satisfying, different enough from the traditional formula to entice drinkers who desire something new, while still respecting the original’s timeless blend of sweet, tart and earthy flavors.
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 ounce triple sec
- 1 1-inch pineapple chunk, cubed
- 1 jalapeño round, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 ounces Cazadores reposado tequila
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce pineapple juice
- Garnish: lime wedge
- Garnish: pineapple chunk
- Garnish: jalapeño round
Combine the sugar and black pepper in a shallow dish. Wet the rim of a rocks glass with the slice of lime, and gently rotate the rim into the sugar and pepper mix to coat the edge of the glass evenly. Set the glass aside.
Add the triple sec, pineapple chunk and jalapeño round into a shaker and gently muddle.
Add the tequila, lime juice and pineapple juice into the shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wedge, a pineapple chunk and a jalapeño round.