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Spicy Margarita

May 23, 2024

A spicy margarita recipe with juicy lime, good tequila, just a hint of serrano chile and finished with Tajin seasoning! In other words, a perfect spicy marg.


A spicy margarita with juicy lime, tequila, a hint of serrano Chile with a Tajin seasoning rim and a lime and Serrano garnish
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Ever, Super Fresh & Juicy Spicy Margarita Recipe!

While there’s always a special place of honor for an OG margarita recipe, we also cannot deny the allure of spicy margaritas! Cool and icy, with a solid tequila burn and a lime juice zing—plus a salty rim, because you’ve gotta—classic margaritas are a thing of beauty as-is. But add a hit of chile pepper heat and they come to life in a whole new way! For lovers of chiles, hot sauce and all things spicy, it simply doesn’t get any better than a spicy margarita. Pair your perfect spicy margarita with a big bowl of salty chips and creamy guacamole and you’ll be in full-blown cocktail hour heaven. For a lighter refresher, try Ranch Water, for something sweeter, check out our Frozen Strawberry Margarita, or for an n/a Mexican quencher, check out how to make agua frescas!

limes, serrano pepper, tequila, tripe sec, cilantro, angostura bitters and Tajín on the counter to make a spicy margarita

Spicy Margarita Ingredients 101

The best margarita recipe in the world—and, TBH, ours is way up there—is only going to take you so far. What will ultimately decide the quality of the drink you imbibe will be the quality of the ingredients. Fresh lime juice is a must! No pre-squeezed nonsense, OK? And for this spicy margarita recipe.

  • Tequila. You should use a great tequila, honestly. But the good news, price-wise, is that you don’t want the pricy aged tequilas (reposado and añejo tequilas). For a margarita, blanco tequila is the name of the game! Look for 100% agave tequila, and when in doubt, ask someone for guidance. Familiar brands like Espolòn or Hornitos are always a good bet.

  • Triple Sec. Triple sec can be really good—think Cointreau or Combier—or it can be kind of yucky. You just need to not buy the absolute bottom shelf, here, but you don’t have to totally break the bank.

  • Bitters. Not just any bitters, but the OG, the classic, the one and only Angostura bitters. Do not substitute those weird bitters that your mother-in-law gave you for your birthday last year. It’s gotta be Angostura, end of story.

  • Tajín. OK, this is our own favorite little trick—not a must, exactly, but guaranteed to make your spicy margarita the BEST spicy margarita that your friends have ever sipped. What is Tajín? It’s a glorious Mexican seasoning blend that includes chile powder, salt and dehydrated lime—tangy, spicy and a bit salty. In other words, it perfectly echoes and enhances this spicy margarita! Yes, you could just do a salt rim (or none at all), but where’s the fun in that?

sliced serrano pepper being muddled with lime juice in a cocktail shaker for a spicy margarita
muddled serrano pepper and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with tequila, triple sec, cilantro and bitters
the rim of a rocks glass dipped in Tajín seasoning next to a plate of Tajín seasoning and lime wedges for a spicy margarita
a spicy margarita in a cocktail shaker being poured into a rocks glass with a tajín seasoning rim

How To Make a Spicy Margarita

Round up your very favorite people—all of them—and mix up a big batch of these spicy margaritas! And then do it again the next weekend. And then the next weekend and the next, and you know what? Now that we mention it, why not just call it a standing plan, all summer long? Standing in the sunshine, sipping this margarita with your best friends—what could possibly be better than that? And best of all, these are really easy to mix up! Even if you’re new to DIY cocktails, a margarita is a great place to start because it’s such a simple cocktail. Just a few ingredients, and no fussy techniques—just combine, shake, strain, sip! Here’s how:

  1. Muddle the chile pepper into the lime juice. Muddle is just fancy cocktail-making talk for ‘smash’. Smash that serrano until all that lovely heat swirls into the lime juice.

  2. Add the tequila, triple sec, cilantro, bitters and ice, close the shaker and shake like CRAZY until you can feel the shaker get frosty.

  3. Strain the spicy margarita over fresh ice in your Tajín-rimmed glass. Sip away!

a spicy margarita in a rocks glass with a tajín seasoning rim next to a plate of lime wedges and serrano peppers for garnish
A spicy margarita with juicy lime, tequila, a hint of serrano Chile with a Tajin seasoning rim and a lime and Serrano garnish

A Quick Note About “Skinny” Margaritas

So, a fresh, homemade margarita is inherently “skinny”—as in, not incredibly high in calories or whatever. We’re not sure how margaritas came to be thought of as ultra caloric or super high in sugar, but when they are made properly—as in, not with a store-bought mix—they’re really not un-skinny at all. OK we’re going to stop using the word “skinny” now because honestly come on, it’s 2022 we probably can grow past the whole idea that a cocktail that we’re excited to drink needs to be “skinny”. How about instead we say “oooo yay fresh margaritas!” and relax and enjoy our cocktail. Balance, health, and fun! And even moderation in moderation. So yeah, you could probably call this recipe “skinny” if you want to, because it’s just a good, classic margarita without any added junk that it shouldn’t have to begin with, like high-fructose syrups or whatever other junk you might have encountered in a store-bought mix. So mix up a big batch of margs and invite your favorite people over and have a party! And let’s never talk about ‘skinny’ drinks ever again, OK? YAY. Cheers!

2 spicy margaritas in rocks glasses next to a cocktail shaker and a plate of tajín seasoning and limes garnishes

Tools You’ll Need:

More Classic Cocktail Recipes to Try

2 spicy margaritas in rocks glasses next to a cocktail shaker and a plate of tajín seasoning and limes garnishes


Mix up our spicy margarita recipe, and then let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Spicy Margarita

  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 188


  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced
  • 1½ ounces fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco
  • ½ ounce triple sec (we like Combier or Cointreau)
  • 3 sprigs fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Tajín seasoning, for serving
  • Lime wedge, for serving


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the serrano pepper (reserve one slice for serving) with the lime juice, about 30 seconds. Add tequila, triple sec, cilantro and bitters. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 30 seconds.
  2. Place the Tajín on a small plate. Rub the rim of a rocks glass with the lime wedge, then dip the glass rim into the Tajín to coat. Fill the glass with ice and pour in the margarita. Garnish with the lime wedge and reserved pepper slice. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories188
  • Protein0 g
  • Carbohydrates31 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium31 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Spicy Margarita

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    Loved the spicy kick in this.

    Thanks Jenn!