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Spicy Serrano Margarita Recipe

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There is nothing like the slightly spicy Serrano Margarita. Even beginner mixologists can master this refreshing drink! Learn how to make this classic margarita with a kick with just 5 simple ingredients.

Woman holding a margarita garnished with a slice of lime.
This classic margarita is given a spicy kick with the addition of Serrano pepper.

I love a good margarita, don’t you? This Spicy Serrano Margarita recipe is a twist on the classic and is perfect for those wanting to try something a little more adventurous without straying too far from the original. 

*Tequila and recipe provided by Deleon Tequila.

Why This Recipe Works

The addition of Serrano peppers takes this classic tequila cocktail and makes it even better!

Fresh lime and tequila always pair well (even when keeping it simple with a Tequila and Soda) but the heat and flavor of the Serrano takes things up a notch.

With just a hand full of ingredients, you can create a spicy margarita that you and your guests will love!

I love to use the Deleon Blanco Tequila in this drink because the flavor is super smooth. You know it’s smooth when you take it with you to share with your friends while watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, without all the accessories like lime juice and salt, and all of you drink way too much of it.

If you are a margarita fan, try this recipe! Drink responsibly. And do not drink on an empty stomach.

And take whatever hangover precautions you can because you are going to like these. A lot.

Serve it at your next Chicks and Salsa girl’s night in, a party, or weekly happy hour!

And if you like spicy drinks, also try a Jalapeno Mexican Mule!

Ingredients

Serrano Margarita ingredients on a white table outdoors.

Just a few good quality, fresh ingredients make this Spicy Serrano Margarita recipe a quick and easy drink to make when happy hour rolls around. 

To make your own serrano cocktail you’ll need:

  • fresh lime
  • cilantro (optional but very delicious)
  • tequila (I used Deleon)
  • Serrano peppers
  • agave sweetener
  • salt or Tajin (to rim the glass, optional)

Directions

Woman slicing a serrano pepper on a wooden cutting board.

Slice a Serrano pepper into coins. The amount you will use depends on how much spice and flavor you want to come through in your cocktail.

I use about 2 slices to make one cocktail. That would make it a little bit spicy and you won’t get a ton of pepper flavor. Use more if you want to make it more bold.

Add the slices to your cocktail shaker, then add fresh lime juice.

Muddle the Serrano and juice together.

Woman opening a bottle of DeLeon tequila to make a spicy margarita..

Next, add tequila and agave syrup.

Woman adding cilantro to a cocktail shaker.

Add a few sprigs of cilantro then ice to the cocktail shaker.

Shake well. Strain into a glass (with or without rim – totally up to you).

And enjoy!

Tips

I don’t love salt or sugar rims on my cocktails but this one would be fantastic with a Tajin rim!

You could also consider using the serrano to make a spicy simple syrup, (minus the seeds if you don’t want it super spicy), to get a more pronounced flavor, or even infusing the tequila.

If you don’t have agave syrup you can use simple syrup instead. Since tequila is made from agave, it makes sense to keep it in the same family but it won’t ruin anything to use something else.

If you want to make it “skinny” you can leave out the agave and if you need to, add a little sparkling water to cut the tequila if you don’t love how strong it is.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best tequila for margaritas?

Using good tequila (this one sent to me by DeLeon) is key. Because the ingredients are few, the taste of the tequila will really stand out. So you want to make sure it’s flavorful and something you enjoy.

I prefer to use silver or blanco tequila, but you could also use reposado.

Read more about what I think the best tequilas for margaritas.

Can you use Serrano peppers in margaritas?

YES! The Serrano pepper has a really nice flavor and I much prefer it to jalapeno which has a stronger, green bell pepper vibe that stands out a lot. The Serrano has a little bit less of a pepper flavor but still makes it spicy. It’s my go-to pepper for spicy drinks.

How to make your drink more or less spicy?

The heat comes from the seeds and membranes inside the peppers. If you want a less spicy drink, be sure to not get too many of the seeds or the white bits from the pepper in the cocktail shaker.

To make the drink spicier, don’t worry about removing the seeds and membranes. And if you let the sliced peppers and lime juice sit for about 15 minutes before making the rest of the cocktail, it can pull

Is cilantro good in a cocktail?

I think cilantro IS good in a cocktail. But I know not everyone does. I think it pairs really well with flavors like lime and tequila. But if you don’t love cilantro, you can absolutely leave it out of the this recipe.

Spicy Serrano Margarita garnished with lime and ice on a wooden board next to a silver cocktail shaker.

I just know you’re going to love this spicy Serrano margarita! It’s easy to make full of flavor and not your run-of-the-mill tequila cocktail!

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Spicy Serrano Margarita garnished with lime and ice on a wooden board next to a silver cocktail shaker.

Spicy Serrano Margarita

A spicy delicious version of your favorite margarita made with serrano peppers for an extra kick! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 138kcal
Servings: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Rim a highball with Tajin, if using.
  • Muddle two pieces of serrano pepper and clap 5 pieces of cilantro in a tin.
  • Add tequila, agave and ice and shake well.
  • Strain into a glass over fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a serrano pepper and sprig of cilantro

Notes

I don’t love salt or sugar rims on my cocktails but this one would be fantastic with a Tajin rim!
You could also consider using the serrano to make a spicy simple syrup, (minus the seeds if you don’t want it super spicy), to get a more pronounced flavor, or even infusing the pepper in the tequila.
If you don’t have agave syrup you can use simple syrup instead.
If you want to make it “skinny” you can leave out the agave and if you need to, add a little sparkling water to cut the tequila if you don’t love how strong it is.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Servings | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CupcakesCutlery or tag #cupcakescutlery!

This post was originally published on August 3, 2015, and has now been updated with updated links, and more information and instructions!

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2 Comments

  1. Add me to the list of crazies because cilantro tastes like soap to me! Other than that, this sounds like a tasty drink, even for a non-spicy food fan like myself. Gorgeous images!

    1. I wish I could share one of these with you! I don’t like spicy food, at all! But I love a little spice in my chocolate and cocktails. So crazy!

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