I am so excited about the change in seasons. It’s warm outside! Daylight savings is back! Light is streaming through my windows and I’m having so much fun capturing the rays and shadows in photos. I thought we could celebrate with some sweet and spicy margaritas. I know, I know, I was just going on about detoxing, but grapefruit is in season and it’s bursting with vitamin C, so that counts for something, right? Right.
When we were in Austin, I found grapefruits on special at HEB (six for a dollar!), which kick-started my grapefruit cocktail streak. Grapefruit, while not my favorite of the citrus family, is fantastic in cocktails. It really cuts the taste of alcohol and plays nicely with tequila, gin, vodka and whiskey.
I’m evidently on a mission to post every fruity margarita possible, so here we are with spicy grapefruit margaritas. They aren’t too far off from my fizzy serrano-spiced palomas, but they’re delicious in their own right. I muddled a tiny slice of jalapeño in my margaritas for some kick and mixed some chili powder into the salt mixture that goes around the rim.
You won’t find any orange liqueur in here because… I don’t like it. It’s expensive, syrupy sweet and I find that margaritas taste more clean and refreshing without it. Feel free to add a squeeze of orange if you want this margarita to taste just a bit more traditional, but I don’t think it’s necessary. ¡Salud!
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Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 margarita 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Cuisine: Mexican
These sweet and spicy grapefruit margaritas are so refreshing! You can leave out the jalapeño if you want a basic, fresh grapefruit margarita, but I love the kick that the pepper provides. Recipe below yields one drink, so multiply as necessary.
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 large lime, juiced)
- 1 teaspoon light agave nectar or 2 teaspoons simple syrup
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeño round (⅛th to ¼th inch wide, a little goes a long way!)
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice (about ½ large grapefruit, juiced)
- 1 ½ ounces 100% agave blanco/silver or reposado tequila
Chili-salt rims and garnish
- 3 parts kosher salt
- 1 part ancho chili powder or regular chili powder
- Lime wedges
- Small grapefruit wedges for garnish, optional
- First, prepare your glasses. Mix together the salt and chili on a small, rimmed plate. Run a lime wedge around the outer top edge of your glasses, then roll the edges in the chili-salt so it sticks. Place one big ice cube or a few smaller ice cubes in each glass.
- In a cocktail shaker or mason jar, add the lime juice, agave nectar and jalapeño slice. Use a muddler to crush the jalapeño. Pour in the grapefruit juice and tequila, then top off the shaker with ice. Fasten the lid on securely and shake well.
- Strain the mixture into your prepared glasses. If you want to be cute about it, garnish the drinks with a small wedge of grapefruit, sliced halfway through the middle so it rests on your glass. Cheers!
Recipe adapted from my skinny margarita recipe and spicy paloma recipe.
Tequila recommendations: My favorite brands are Espolón and Milagro.
▸ Nutrition Information
kristin | W [H] A T C H
i made spicy grapefruit margaritas this weekend! i made cayenne simple syrup. i think they might be my favorite margaritas.
Oh, cayenne simple syrup sounds great!
Tom ~ RYG
Grapefruit is the best and it’s totally in season and cheaper now. Love that tang. Wife doesn’t let me buy unless produce is on sale. Just kidding wife, hope you don’t see this.
Haha! Perhaps your wife would like an in-season margarita?
I don’t drink, but these look so cool!
Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife
You say margarita and here I come! This looks soooo good! OK, summer…we’re ready… xx
Sounds sooo super fresh, I love virgin mocktails so will give this one a tweak to try!
Kristin | Tasty Joy
I don’t usually bother with cocktails, but this looks worth the effort! It looks fantastic! I think this will be making an appearance at some point in the next few weeks… :-)
Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
Oooooo – so beautiful. Has me dreaming about lazy summer days sitting in the sun sipping one of these babies!
That sounds marrrrvelous!
Can I make this into a large pitcher for a party ? And what would be the ingredient measurements ?
I have to say, I’m intrigued. I’ve only had one margarita in my life and it was a bad experience. But this looks lovely and light and very creative and nothing like chlorinated pool water which is what the one bad margarita I had tasted like.
Only one?! Sounds like you got one of those bad, artificial sweet and sour margaritas. This margarita tastes nothing like those! Hope you’ll give margaritas another chance.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
I’m not the biggest fan of grapefruit either but I’m intrigued to see how it would taste in a margarita. Sounds so refreshing!
And you brought back memories for me by mentioning HEB. Did you get a chance to check out Central Market? It gives Whole Foods a run for it’s money!
You just might appreciate grapefruit in a cocktail! I can’t get enough of them. No, somehow we didn’t make it to Central Market, but I’ve heard great things!
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
Spicy margaritas are amazing. Have you tried using Tajin for them? It goes sooo well with most fruits! I ended up with a bunch of ripe mangos and papayas this week and lately dinner has been mangoes and papayas with lots of lime and Tajin….
Just googled Tajin and it sounds so good! I bet these margaritas would be fantastic with a Tajin and salt rim.
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
i was in Austin last weekend and had too many grapefruit based fuzzy drinks…totally worth it. i want to try this at home sometime soon.
Too many grapefruit drinks? Is that possible?! ;)
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I love this drink! The spice and the grapefruit sound so delicious!!!
Ohmygosh, those sound AMAZING! Grapefruit is my favorite, I will definitely try this!
Yayayayaay! Congratulations on the arrival of SPRING, lovely!!!! These cocktails are the perfect herald to sunshine, colour, short sleeved t-shirts and light, fresh meals (well, you have them all the time but you know what I mean!). I’m really digging spicy cocktails at the moment. I’m adding sliced jalapenos to my classic G&T’s and cracked pepper to all sorts of strawberry concoctions. Absolutely delish! These look great – I’m not a regular drinker of margaritas but I always think they sound ridiculously glamorous. Maybe I’ll find myself some heels and drink one tonight (it’s Friday after all!) xxx
Oooh, now I want to try adding cracked pepper to a strawberry cocktail. Could be interesting. Hope you’re well, Laura!
So we are making these in KC, yes?
Yep! Btw, my friend might not be in town after all. Let me know when you’re around!
Margaritas always remind me of hot sunny days on a patio. Such a simple idea adding the jalapeño. Will definitely have to try it out as I always have grapefruit and hot peppers on hand! Do you find the large ice cubes last longer?
Yep, the big ice cubes definitely last longer! I like that they don’t water down the drink too much.
Yes to margaritas! These sound like a perfect way to kick off the weekend.
These were a tasty twist to a margarita. The rim was the best part. Thanks for this great simple recipe.
Thanks, Jessica! So glad you enjoyed them.
I have to re-stock my tequila supply so I can make these. Yum!
These look so delicious! I love the spicy addition.
lynsey | lynseylovesfood
love the spicy hit on these! The light is beautiful in the shots. xo
If there is a spicy drink on a cocktail menu, I am ORDERING IT. Hands down. Or making it myself…case in point!
YUM! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thank you for sharing.
Hope you love the margaritas, Megan!
this is excellent – i love that it’s not very sweet. i added extra spice bc i love it realllllly spicy. this’ll be my new go-to drink!
Thank you, Bianca! Happy to hear it!
I have made a few things from your website and they have all been amazing. Thanks for recipes I can count on to be yummy. Enjoying this margarita and spicy sweet potato and green rice bowl.
Amanda, thank you! Delighted that you are enjoying my recipes. I bet the spicy margs and sweet potato bowl would be epic together.
I’m going to try this margaritas on cinco de mayo. So excited! Where did you purchase those cute glasses you have the margaritas pictured in?
Thank you, Courtney! The glasses are actually from Ikea and they are super cheap.
I’m not a margarita person but holy cow these are delicious!! I had a big bag of pink grapefruit and well what is a girl to do? Limes from our tree and well it was a mandate of sorts! I’m planning on drinking up before the doctor realizes that I should be on statins because then no more grapefruit!!!! Cheers!
Woohoo, glad to hear it! Cheers, Nancy!
i’m drinking grapefruit juice right now (!), and I have everything to make these later – yum! please share where you got the adorable cups and pitcher – the drinks wouldn’t be the same without them!
Oh goodness Kate – I am making a special Saturday night dinner, and made this drink (forgot the jalepeno!) but honestly, this was just SOOOO awesome! Waiting on my Kale Pesto Pizza. ;-)
I made these for my birthday dinner back in May, and three months later my friends are still talking about how good they were! (I served them with the poblano black bean enchiladas from the ATK vegetarian cookbook, which they are also still talking about.) Thanks for helping to make my birthday memorable :) I look forward to your posts every week.
That’s great to hear, thanks Danielle! Happy very belated birthday. :)
Juice is very good for health. I like drink it with sugar and ice
wow, It looks so good. Gotta try this recipe at home. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe, Kate. I tried it for the first time and added 2 dashes of orange bitters..made it so much better. :)
Yum! Orange bitters sound so good with this.
did you seed the pepper or leave them in?
I kept the seeds, but you can remove some if you would like.
Thanks for this receipe! It was the perfect balance of spicy and tangy, but not too sweet! This is my new favorite beverage!
Loved the grapefruit margaritas. No chili on rim, just salt. Thought is sounded delish. Added jalapeño is just right.
Add it to a girls night … perfect. Squeezed a tad of cara cara orange in there. Soooo yummy
We made these for a Fathers’ Day gathering: Total success! As my DaughterInLove said: “the perfect combination of fresh and spicy.” We juiced two oranges alongside all the grapefruits and limes….used the Milagro reposado and spicy rim salt as indicated. I had TJ liquid stevia instead of agave in mine. New fave margarita recipe–thank you!
I love it! Thank you for sharing, Cindy.
Great drink! One of our top favorites.
We buy grapefruits and lemons in bulk, squeeze, and freeze the juice in the appropriate size plastic containers, then keep them in the freezer.
We use serrano instead of jalapeño peppers.
Thank you for the recipe and the blog!