Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Savory Bell Pepper Margarita

Savory red bell pepper margarita in rocks glass with ornate engraving, and lime wheel garnish, on tan background / Tim Nusog

The Margarita is one of the most popular and versatile drinks in bartending. While the classic recipe has changed little in the decades since it was first created, it does lends itself to all kinds of twists and additions. Fruits like strawberry, pineapple and watermelon are all common ingredients to include in a Margarita, though vegetables often remain underappreciated.

Though the Spicy Margarita famously utilizes muddled jalapeño to give a mild kick to the cocktail's classic lime-and-orange profile, bell peppers can create entirely new dimensions of savory flavor. The aptly-named Savory Margarita from bartending icon Charlotte Voisey uses fresh red bell pepper juice to impart maximum flavor, allowing more juice to integrate throughout the drink than simply muddling would provide. The result? A savory, zesty kick that's balanced with honey syrup and enlivened with fresh cilantro.

If you have a juicer, the fresh red bell pepper juice is easy to make—simply toss in three to four bell peppers and allow the machine to do its thing. If you don’t have a dedicated juicer, an ordinary blender can also fill in. Seed and dice the peppers before adding them to the blender, then pulse until liquified. You may need to include a splash of water if the resulting pepper pureé is too thick, but add it in small amounts to avoid over diluting the juice.

After blending, strain the resulting pulp through a fine-mesh sieve or cheese cloth into a clean glass jar or pint container. The juice will keep, airtight, for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can swap some or all of the red peppers for yellow or orange ones, but keep in mind that it will affect the sweetness of the drink, as well as its hue. Avoid green bell peppers, as they'll contribute overly vegetal notes that can throw off the flavor off the cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila

  • 1 ounce fresh red bell pepper juice

  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup

  • 1 handful fresh cilantro

  • Garnish: lime wheel


  1. Add the tequila, red bell pepper juice, lime juice, honey syrup and cilantro to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Can I Skip the Cilantro in a Savory Margarita?

Cilantro is used here as a final twist that gives the drink a bit of extra herbal oomph, but feel free to omit if you or your guests dislike the ingredient or find it evokes a soap-like taste to you. It's also worth experimenting with using other herbs that traditionally complement bell peppers, like fresh basil.