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Spicy Skinny Margarita Recipe

The perfect cocktail recipe doesn’t have to taste bland, but sometimes you just want something a little different.

A lot of times when I am looking for an alternative drink, I look to my favorite cocktail recipes.

I love making these drinks because they don’t require a ton of ingredients and often end up being more flavorful than their traditional counterparts.

But what if you really wanted your margaritas to stand out from all the rest?

What Is The Difference Between A Spicy And Skinny Margarita?

A skinny margarita is one that uses less sugar compared to its regular counterpart.

This can mean using either agave syrup instead of white sugar or even water instead of simple syrup.

The difference here is that this type of margarita tends to use more lime juice which gives it a tangier flavor.

Because of this, many people prefer them over the standard ones.

They are also typically made with only a small amount of alcohol so as not to overpower the drink too much.

A spicy margarita on the other hand contains a higher percentage of liquor like tequila or mezcal.

It usually adds some kind of chile pepper to give it a kick.

If you are wondering why there isn’t any salt added to both types, it is simply due to tradition.

Salt is traditionally used in Mexican cooking but it wasn’t always the case.

Some believe that before Spanish settlers came along, the Aztecs who lived in Mexico were accustomed to eating salted fish and therefore decided to add salt to everything else.

Others say it was actually the Mexicans themselves that introduced this practice.

Either way, it became a habit that stuck around long enough to make its way into our culture today.

Spicy Margarita Recipe


  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers (you can substitute green chili pepper flakes if you desire)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 shot of silver tequila
  • Ice cubes


  • In a shaker filled with ice, combine lime juice, jalapeño peppers, agave nectar, salt, and tequila until well combined.
  • Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Pour strained liquid into glass over ice.
  • Serve immediately.

How Much Tequila Should Be Used In A Spicy Margarita?

You may think you need to use a whole bottle of tequila to make this drink stand out, but it actually only takes half a shot (a shot is one ounce) of tequila to make a great drink.

This is not to say that using too much will ruin the drink, but if you are going to go with a spicier flavor profile, then you might as well go big on it.

You can always add some lime juice to help balance things out.

  • 1 ½ ounces tequila
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper [no longer available]
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ cup ice

If you do decide to increase the amount of heat, the easiest thing to do would be to get yourself a good hot sauce, such as Tabasco, Crystal, or even Cholula.

If you find yourself getting tired of the same old flavors, try mixing them together for a unique twist.

What Is The Best Way To Rim A Glass For A Spicy Margarita?

A great trick to add flavor to any drink is using a citrus wedge (or rind) on top of the rim of the glass.

You can use a lemon slice, lime slice, orange slice, grapefruit section, etc.

It adds acidity and freshness to cocktails like mojitos and martinis as well as margaritas and even shots with booze mixed into them.

The best part about this technique is that it only takes minutes to prepare, so make sure you get some lemons around before heading over to the bar.

To create a spicy margarita, you will need the following items:

  • 1 1/4 cups of light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup silver tequila

First off, measure one ounce of silver tequila by pouring it directly into a measuring cup.

Next, put two ounces of water in another measuring cup and microwave it until boiling.

Then pour the hot water into the measuring cup containing the tequila to cool it down quickly.

Once cooled, combine the three other ingredients together in a bowl and stir until all are combined evenly.

Pour the mixture over the inside of the rim of the glass and then run your finger along the outside edge of the glass while holding the tequila mixture at the same time.

Repeat this process until the rim is completely coated.

Once done, dry the rim thoroughly with a paper towel.

Now you are ready to enjoy your spicy margarita.

What Type Of Tequila Should Be Used In A Skinny Margarita?

A good rule of thumb is to use a light-bodied tequila like Sauza Mezcalero Blanco Tequila in place of triple sec (or Cointreau).

The reason why this works so well with most recipes is because it is less sweet than other types of tequilas.

You can also try using a reposado such as El Jimador Reposado Tequila which will add some complexity to the flavor profile, although it may not give you quite as tasty results.

It is important to note that while there are many varieties of tequila on the market today, that does not mean that every bottle tastes alike.

There are hundreds of different brands and flavors available, each one unique and delicious in its own right.

So keep experimenting until you find the perfect mix for yourself.

How Much Lime Juice Should Be Used In A Skinny Margarita?

When it comes to this recipe, there are two things that need to be kept in mind.

The first thing is that you can use any kind of citrus fruit you like with the exception of grapefruit.

If you do choose to use grapefruit, make sure that you only add half of one grapefruit (or one-third of a regular sized orange) into the mix.

The second thing is that you will need to adjust how much lime juice you add depending on which brand of tequila you decide to use.

As you might expect, each brand of tequila is slightly unique so it will take some trial and error before you get the right amount of lime juice.

You may find that you need less lime juice in your skinny margarita than you would in a normal margarita.

That said, here is how much lime juice you should put in your skinny margaritas based on three popular brands of tequila:

  • Cazadores Reposado Tequila – 1/4 cup
  • Ancho Ancho Reposado Tequila – 3 tablespoons
  • Herradura Gold Label Blanco Tequila – 2 ounces

Using fresh limes

If you plan ahead, you can also try using fresh limes instead of bottled lemon juice.

To do this, cut off both ends of the lime, then squeeze as much juice out of them as possible by pressing down firmly on the sides of the lime until the skin starts to tear.

It may help to roll over the top of the lime several times while squeezing.

Once you have squeezed enough juice out of the limes, chop them into quarters and remove the seeds.

Then simply add the chopped limes to the other ingredients and mix well.

What Is The Best Way To Rim A Glass For A Skinny Margarita?

Rimming a glass with salt or sugar will help keep moisture away from the glass so that it can hold ice better.

It also helps add flavor to the glass by bringing out the natural flavors of citrus fruits.

If you aren’t using fresh fruit, then dried herbs or spices will work well as long as they are compatible with alcohol.

A great tip for rims is to use a small amount of sugar instead of salt.

Sugar dissolves into liquid faster and creates a thicker layer on top which makes it easier to control how much water gets added to the beverage without diluting the effect of the alcohol.

For this recipe, I chose to add a few drops of orange oil to give my drink a subtle hint of sweetness while still keeping the flavor profile intact.

  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 mL) of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 mL) of orange essential oil

To make the syrup, combine both the sugar and the orange essential oil in a bowl until combined completely.

Place 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the mixture onto each side of the inside edge of the glass before adding ice cubes.

Then fill the glass halfway up with crushed ice and finish filling the glass with another 2 cups (500 mL).

What Are Some Garnish Ideas For A Spicy Margarita?

If you are looking to add some flavor to your next margarita, there are many great options.

Some suggestions include lime wedges, olives, jalapeño peppers, cilantro leaves, fresh basil sprigs, or even hot sauce!

But perhaps the most popular option is adding crushed red pepper flakes.

If you like your margaritas with a kick (and who doesn’t?), then this is the right choice for you.

You can also use chili powder in place of the red pepper flakes if you prefer milder flavors.

Try experimenting with other spices such as cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, ground cardamom pods, peppercorns, or any combination of those three!

You could also try using orange slices instead of lime wedges.

Orange juice adds a nice citrusy flavor without overpowering the overall flavor profile.

Oranges can be added whole or cut into halves depending on how much you like them.

Some people will find themselves eating the entire slice while others may only eat half of one before passing it off to someone else.

These tips should help get you started when creating your own unique spicy margarita.

Next time you make a batch, give yourself a pat on the back for coming up with something new!

What Are Some Garnish Ideas For A Skinny Margarita?

If you are still looking for ways to add flavor to your skinny margaritas, then here are some of the best garnishes you can use with this type of drink.

  • Mint leaves – When you are making mint-infused vodka, be sure to infuse it in larger quantities so that the fresh herbs won’t wilt over time. If you aren’t using mint leaves as a garnish, try adding them into your drink instead.
  • Cilantro sprigs – Cilantro may not seem like a good idea for a garnish since most people associate cilantro with Mexican food. However, cilantro works well with other flavors such as lime juice, tequila, and salt. You will find that its refreshing qualities make it great for any occasion.
  • Lime wedges – While we are on the subject of citrus fruit, lime wedges work very well with both sweet and savory dishes alike. They also go perfectly with tequila.
  • Rimmed glass – As mentioned above, rims are important when it comes to cocktails. The rimming process adds another layer of flavor by coating the glass with sugar crystals. It also helps give the proper shape to your drink, which makes it easier to pour.
  • Sliced cucumber – In addition to being delicious, sliced cucumbers provide texture and balance to your drink, especially if you use a light-colored liquor. Be careful about how much you slice though, otherwise the slices might fall apart too easily.
  • Tomato – Tomatoes are one of those things that make me think “why did I ever stop eating tomatoes?” Tomato juice goes great with almost anything, including tequila. Just remember that tomato juice should never be added directly to alcohol without first boiling off the water content, otherwise you run the risk of getting sicker than normal.
  • A few drops of hot sauce – Hot sauces are one of my favorite additions to almost everything I eat. Adding them to alcoholic beverages gives them even more flavor. Try adding a drop or two to your margarita, depending on how spicy you would like yours to be.


Spicy Margarita Recipe with Cilantro Lime Salt

  • 1 ½ ounces tequila blanco (white) liquor
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3-4 cilantro leaves
  • Cilantro Lime Salt

Combine everything in a shaker except for the salt and shake vigorously.

Strain into ice filled glasses and top each glass with a pinch of cilantro lime salt.

Spicy Skinny Margarita Recipe

A skinny margarita is one that uses less sugar compared to its regular counterpart.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Spicy Skinny Margarita Recipe
Servings: 1
Calories: 239kcal


  • 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


  • A lime wedge should be used to rub the glass’s rim before it is coated with salt and left aside.
  • Coins from jalapenos should be added to a shaker and carefully mixed.
  • Shake the ice-filled shaker with the blanco tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup until thoroughly cold.
  • Over new ice, strain into the prepared glass.
  • Add a coin of jalapeo as garnish.



Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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