Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Spicy Margarita

Fresh jalapeños are the key to this wildly popular riff.

Spicy Margarita in ice-filled rocks glass with half salt rim and jalapeno coin garnish, shot on wooden surface / Tim Nusog

The classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. Despite having no clear provenance, the combination of tequila and lime juice, plus agave syrup and/or orange liqueur, has charmed drinkers since its inception, circumnavigating its way around the globe to become one of the most ubiquitous drinks today—one that has spawned countless variations.

The Spicy Margarita is one variation that has taken hold and never released its grip. It succeeds where so many of its siblings fail. That is to say, it refocuses the classic recipe without losing what’s essential to its success: a timeless blend of sweet, sour, and earthy flavors.

Blanco tequila remains the star of this show, imbuing the drink with its vegetal agave notes. For the best results, choose one that is made with 100% blue Weber agave. An equal split of orange liqueur and agave syrup adds sweetness, while fresh lime juice provides balance and that characteristic acidity you can’t achieve with bottled sweet-and-sour mix.

The key to the Spicy Margarita’s heat is fresh jalapeños, which are muddled in the shaker before the other ingredients are added. Two jalapeño coins, with their seeds removed, will yield a conservatively spicy drink. For a more fiery Spicy Margarita, throw in a third coin—or as many as you can handle.


Click Play to Learn How to Make a Spicy Margarita Cocktail


  • 1 lime wedge

  • 2 jalapeno coins, seeds removed

  • 2 ounces blanco tequila

  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur

  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce agave syrup

  • Garnish: salt rim

  • Garnish: jalapeno coin


  1. Rub the rim of a rocks glass with a lime wedge, dip the rim in salt to coat, and set aside.

  2. Add the jalapeño coins to a shaker and gently muddle.

  3. Add the blanco tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup, plus ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  4. Strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.

  5. Garnish with a jalapeño coin.

Spicy Margarita Variations

To make the drink even spicier, you can simply muddle an additional jalapeño coin or two (or as many as you’d like!) in step 2. To make this drink a Tommy’s Margarita riff, which slightly cuts down on the drink’s sugar content and puts the focus on tequila, omit the orange liqueur in the recipe, and only use agave syrup.

What’s the Best Tequila for a Spicy Margarita?

A blanco tequila, which can be aged for up to two months and is often unaged, is the traditional choice for Margaritas, as its crisp citrusy notes play well with sour-style cocktails. Look for one that is labeled 100% agave, meaning it is distilled with only the fermented sugars of the blue Weber agave plant and doesn’t rely on artificial sugars or additives like glycerin.