Jalapeño Margarita That'll Set Your Taste Buds Ablaze

If you're hunting for a cocktail that puts the c in caliente, look no further than this jalapeño margarita.

Updated February 25, 2024
Jalapeño Margarita

There are two types of cocktails – the ones that help beat the heat and the ones that turn it up. The spicy jalapeño margarita is a fiery twist on a reliable favorite and is a drink that will make any gathering come alive. While the jalapeño margarita hasn't superseded the original's popularity, it's definitely coming hot on its heels. 

How to Make a Jalapeño Margarita 

If you've tackled the Hot Ones challenge without wiping a single bead of sweat from your brow, then this drink is made for you. Whether the recipe uses spicy tequila or freshly muddled jalapeños, this jalapeño margarita has been biting patrons back for decades. And it's coming for you next. 


  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 2-3 jalapeño slices
  • 1¾ ounces silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave nectar
  • Ice
  • Jalapeño slice and lime wedge for garnish


  1. To prepare the rim, rub the rim of a rocks glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, muddle jalapeño slices with a splash of tequila.
  4. Add ice, remaining tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave nectar.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into the prepared glass.
  7. Garnish with a jalapeño slice and lime wedge.
Quick Tip

If you can take the heat, use jalapeño-infused tequila and muddled jalapeño coins. But proceed with caution, because every version of this cocktail is fiery. 

Related: 6 Spicy Margarita Recipes That Sizzle With Flavor

4 Spicy Variations and Substitutions to Try 

This spicy margarita can be as sweet, sour, or hot as you want. Learn how to lean into the profiles you like most with these variations. 

  • Freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice adds a bright or juicy citrus touch to the heat.
  • Use simple syrup or honey in place of agave.
  • Add some chili-infused simple syrup to crank up the heat. 
  • Add additional agave, or another sweetener, for a sweeter spicy margarita.

Vibrant Garnishes to Pull Everything Together 

This fiery margarita's traditional topper is a jalapeño coin. but if you're feeling crafty you can try one of these vibrant garnishes instead. 

  • Use a lime slice or wheel.
  • Consider an orange or lemon wedge, slice, or wheel. The orange flavors add a juicy, sweeter touch, and the lemon adds a bright, slightly tart note to the spicy margarita.
  • Dehydrated citrus wheels, either lime, lemon, or orange, shake up the usual citrus garnishes.
  • Consider layering the jalapeño slice on top of the regular or dehydrated citrus wheel, piercing both with a cocktail skewer.
  • Skip the salt rim in favor of a sugar rim for a sweeter flavor or a tajin, chili powder, or paprika rim to boost the heat.
  • Coat only a small piece of the rim rather than the entire thing for a less tingly effect. 
  • Express a citrus peel over the drink or along the rim for a more pronounced citrus punch.

This Cocktail Puts the Hot in Caliente 

The jalapeño margarita is one of the most daunting and adventurous cocktail experiences anyone can have. Its spicy notes are an about-face from your usual sour or sweet cocktails, offering a change of pace (and temperature) to the usual fare. 

Jalapeño Margarita That'll Set Your Taste Buds Ablaze