This Easy Spicy Margarita recipe takes your classic marg and gives it a little extra kick with no extra effort. It can be made ahead of time and is easy to make for a crowd!
Your Questions Answered
Simple Margarita Recipe
A classic margarita is pretty easy. Whether you’re making a single margarita or margaritas for a crowd, just follow this simple formula.
- 3 parts tequila
- + 2 parts lime juice
- + 1 part triple sec
- + 1 part simple syrup (optional)
- = classic margarita
How to Make a Margarita (for 1)
Put the following ingredients in a shaker with ice and give it a good shake. Then pour into a salt-rimmed glass over ice (one the rocks) and garnish with a lime wedge (optional). Please note this is a strong drink! Drink responsibly ladies and gents.
- 3 oz tequila (6 Tbsp.)
- + 2 oz lime juice (4 Tbsp.)
- + 1 oz triple sec (2 Tbsp.)
- + 1 oz simple syrup (2 Tbsp.)
How to Make Margaritas in a Pitcher (for a crowd)
If you’re making margaritas for a crowd, follow the recipe in this post (or double/triple/etc. it). Mix all ingredients in a pitcher or drink dispenser and let people serve up their own margaritas. To keep the margaritas extra cool, put ice directly in the pitcher/drink dispenser as well as in individual glasses.
- 24 oz tequila (3 cups)
- + 16 oz lime juice (2 cups)
- + 8 oz triple sec (1 cup)
- + 8 oz simple syrup (1 cup)
I love making margaritas for parties because it is so easy to make big a big batch and call it a day versus making guests individual drinks.
What is simple syrup?
Simple syrup is basically sugar dissolved in water to add sweetness to cocktails.
How to Make Simple Syrup
In a small pan mix together 1 part water + 1 part sugar (for example 1 cup water + 1 cup sugar). Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. That is it! Let the simple syrup cool completely before using it to make a margarita. You can even make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a few days.
How to Make Spicy Simple Syrup
To add a little kick, this recipe adds jalapeno to the simple syrup to make it slightly spicy. Once the simple syrup has cooled, you can either leave the jalapeños in the simple syrup or remove the jalapeños by straining the simple syrup before using it in your margaritas.
How many limes do I need for margaritas?
There are standard limes (large limes) and key limes (small limes). Some limes are juicier than others but on average…
1 Standard Lime = 1 margarita (or 4 Tbsp. juice)
2 Key Limes = 1 margarita (or 4 Tbsp. juice)
8 Standard Limes = 1 pitcher of margaritas (or 2 cups of juice)
16 Key Limes = 1 pitcher of margaritas (or 2 cups of juice)
How to Juice a Lot of Limes Quickly
Juicing a lot of limes may seem like a time consuming and tedious task but with a couple quick tips it truly only takes a few minutes.
Step 1 – Roll your limes. To get the most juice out of your limes place them on a hard surface like your kitchen counter and roll them back and forth with the palm of your hand. Obviously, you don’t want to crush the lime but use moderate pressure. This helps soften the skin and breakdown the lime to release more juice.
Step 2 – Juice your limes. Cut all the limes in half and juice them. You have three general options.
- Manually squeeze/juice the limes. I do not recommend this method unless you have incredibly strong hands and don’t mind getting sticky.
- Use a manual citrus juicer. This is my preferred method. You can pickup a manual citrus juicer for less than $10, is easy to clean and requires very little storage space. It also makes juicing limes super quick and easy as long as you get metal one. The plastic ones do not hold up and are a waste of time and money. I use this citrus juicer at home and it works like a charm.
- Use an electric citrus juicer. An electric juicer is more expensive and takes up more storage space but it makes juicing limes a piece of cake.
What kind of tequila do you use for margaritas?
There is silver (or blanco) tequila and gold tequila. Many say you should only use silver tequila for margaritas. However, I use whichever one I have on hand. To be honest I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.
So, if you are a margarita aficionado and only use silver tequila in your margaritas, that’s great! If you’re like me and just want to casually sip a marg while eating tacos on a patio with your friends, use whatever tequila you have!
Don’t want your margarita to be spicy? No problem!
If you prefer a classic margarita and don’t want to add any spice, simply omit the jalapeños altogether when making the simple syrup.
How to Make a Sweet Blended Margarita
I get it! The classic margarita on the rocks isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a sweeter blended margarita, you have to give my Strawberry Basil Fresh Fruit Margarita a try. It is a Zested Lemon favorite!
What to Eat with Margaritas
Vegetarian black bean enchiladas and crispy fish tacos are both perfect meals to serve with a batch of these spicy margaritas. If you’re just looking for a snack to munch on while sipping your drink, fruit and veggie loaded guacamole + spicy margs = a match made in heaven.
How to Make Spicy Margaritas
Easy Spicy Margaritas
Spicy Simple Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 jalapeños, sliced**
- 1 cup spicy simple syrup
- 2 cups lime juice***
- 3 cups tequila
- 1 cup triple sec****
Spicy Simple Syrup Instructions:
- Add the sugar, water and jalapeño to a small pan over medium to medium/high heat. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil until all the sugar has dissolved. Let the simple syrup cool completely before assembling the margaritas.*****
- Add the spicy simple syrup, lime juice, tequila and triple sec to a pitcher. Stir to combine.
- Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of a glass. Then dip the rim of the glass in salt, fill it with ice cubes and pour up a spicy margarita! Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.