Posted by Spirits Kiosk on 21 Feb 2023
Craft your own Spicy Margarita and get the perfect balance of sweet, sour and earthy flavours!
The Spiced Margarita is, arguably the biggest trending drink since the world resurfaced from lockdown.
Its rise in popularity is unsurprising either - the classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world already and as a variation, Spicy Margarita merely re-calibrates the recipe towards a new flavour zone without getting in the way of what works so well about the cocktail’s structure – the balance of sweet, sour and earthy flavours.
Here’s how to make one:
60ml Tequila Blanco
35ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15ml Chili syrup (recipe follows)
Rim a rocks glass with salt and set aside to dry. Add the ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake away. Strain into the salt-rimmed glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a chilli pepper and savour!
Take a cup of water, one cup of caster sugar and a handful of chillies. Slice the chillies (remove the seeds) and combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until sugar dissolves and then remove from heat. Allow to cool in pan, letting the chillies infuse and once cool, strain into a sealed container like a jam jar or bottle.
The type of chili you use defines the heat level so up to you for how spicy you want to make it.
Can’t be bothered and want something epic and pre-made?
Fiery and complex, Ancho Reyes is a brilliant Mexican liqueur. It’s made using chiles that have been sun-dried for up to 20 days to become ‘ancho chiles’ and developed a rich, smoky flavour. Alternatively, try their Verde edition – filled with bright and herbal taste with notes of golden pineapple and a savoury acidity finishing with the crisp, fresh heat of the poblano chili.
Both are excellent offerings and will have you spicing up cocktails of all kinds once you see how much depth they can bring to the glass.
Top tips when making a Spicy Margarita:
Remember that while it’s a spicy liqueur that you are adding, it’s still a liqueur, meaning it’s also sweet. You need to balance this out using the fresh lime juice. If you want to add more of the spiced liqueur (be it home-made or something like Ancho Reyes) reduce the amount of Orange Liqueur (Cointreau or other) and keep the overall total to 30ml.
Your aim for the spice is to harness the piquancy of the chili to enhance the earthiness of the tequila’s agave core. Yes it contrasts the citrusy sweetness of orange liqueur but that other connection shouldn’t be forgotten about either. Keeping it mind will help you keep your creation to a Spicy Margarita, not a chili sour with Tequila in it.
It goes without saying but fresh lime and fresh chilis like habanero make for the best combo – you want that characteristic acidity you can’t achieve with bottled citrus juices.
Look for a Blanco tequila to use in this cocktail. Something where the vegetal notes of the agave are on display.
SAVOURY LOVERS LOOK HERE!
The Spicy Margarita offer the opportunity to add fresh herbs into the mix as a garnish. Cilantro (coriander) makes for a fantastic second garnish in a dual pair up with a slice of chili. Aromatic, fresh, herbal, it acts as a bridge to the tequilaand seems to bring the whole ensemble together.
We’ve talked a lot about the role of salt and how it works to enhance the drinking experience. You can find articles for how to make your own salted rim, or add a dash of saline solution here (as well as why you should bother).
Nothing beats the classic Margarita, but with the perfect balance of sweet, sour and earthy flavours, this variant of the classic is sure to be a hit.
We hope you follow our recipe to craft your own Spicy Margarita, adapt it to suit you preferences for an extra kick, and don’t forget to add some fresh herbs for a unique twist.