Spice It Up: Four Ways to Recreate the Classic Margarita

The margarita is one of those cocktails that doesn’t take itself too seriously and can be enjoyed by just about anyone. You could drink one in a tuxedo or a silly hat, or both – it doesn’t really matter. And, if the world’s best cocktail lists are anything to go by, it seems most people enjoy this cocktail much more often than initially suspected.

Created in Mexico in the 1930s, today the tangy tipple is ranked as one of the world’s favourites. And with popularity comes reinvention as celebrities, home mixologists and professionals put their own spin on the Mexican classic. With so many quality margarita recipes out there, here are some of the best to spice things up and bring out for the holidays.

Spicy Watermelon Margarita

This spicy watermelon cocktail is summer in a glass. Spicy, sweet and a little salty. Craft one at home and dream of warm summer days spent with friends and family.


  • 2 red chiles or jalapeños, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 9 ounces tequila
  • 2 lbs. chilled seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 6 ounces freshly squeeze lime juice
  • 3 ounces Cointreau
  • Ice cubes
  • Extra lime wheels and red chiles or jalapeño slices, to serve
  • ¼-cup Bitterman Chile Lime Salt, for glass rims


To infuse tequila: pour tequila into a large mason jar and add chiles. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, or overnight. Strain to remove any pepper or seeds before continuing. 

Add watermelon cubes to a blender. Mix, in two batches, at high speed until liquified. Strain with a fine-mesh strainer into a 50-ounce pitcher, discarding any solids. 

Add infused tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau. Stir well and chill until ready to serve. 

To serve, pour Chile-Lime Salt into a shallow dish. Run a lime wedge around the rim of all glasses. Dip each glass and swirl to coat in the salt. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour margaritas. 

Garnish cocktail skewers with lime wheels and slices of red chile or jalapeño.

Source: Sur la Table

Spicy Pineapple Margarita

This mouthwatering (and irresistible) Spicy Pineapple Margarita is the perfect summer sipper. Mix one or several of these refreshing tropical cocktails at your next fiesta.


  • 2 cups frozen mango (or 1 16-ounce bag of frozen mango)
  • 6 ounces árbol-infused tequila (see ingredients and directions for infusion)
  • 1 cup pineapple or orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • Optional: chamoy and tajin for rim
  • Optional: Lime wheel and 1 dried chili de árbol for garnish


For infusion

  1. Remove stems from the chilis.
  2. Crack in half and remove most seeds.
  3. Place chilis into jar and fill with tequila.
  4. Let sit in cool dry place out of direct light for 4–6 hours.
  5. Strain tequila into clean jar.

For cocktail

  1. Rim glasses with chamoy and dip into tajin (or rim with lime slice and dip into tajin).
  2. In blender, combine mango, tequila, fruit juice, line, simple and ice.
  3. Blend until smooth and well incorporated, with no large bits of ice or mango remaining.
  4. If too thin, add more ice or frozen mango; if too thick, add more fruit juice.
  5. Serve in rimmed glasses, garnished with a lime wheel and whole dried chili.
Source: Grateful

Espresso Margarita

If you want your margarita to give you a little pick-me-up then, this is the recipe for you. An Espresso Margarita combines the classic margarita with the addition of coffee syrup, lemon and lime bitters and orange blossom.


30 ml tequila
30 ml triple sec
20 ml fresh lime juice
0.5 ml coffee syrup
1 tbsp orange blossom
1 dash of Angostura bitters


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add all the ingredients
  2. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels cold
  3. Sprinkle 75 per cent sugar and 25 per cent salt onto a small plate or saucer. Cover the rim of the glass in the mixture
  4. Strain cocktail mix into the prepared glass
Espresso Margarita
Source: Good Housekeeping

Frozen Berry Margarita

The perfect margarita recipe for a warm summer day. The frozen berry margarita adorns the classic cocktail with frozen berries to offer a sweet flavour and a refreshingly cool taste.


60 ml tequila
30 ml triple sec
20 ml lime juice
5 ml simple syrup
1/2 cup frozen berries
5 ice cubes


  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Pour into margarita glass
  3. Garnish with speared berries or lime
Frozen Berry Margarita
Source: Jamie Oliver

If you’re interested in other cocktail recipes, have a look at how to make a Christmas Cosmopolitan with Stanley Tucci.

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