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.
There’s no shortage of summer sipping options on this blog. As long as the liquor cabinet is stocked and the ice is plenty we’re mixing up Classic Moscow Mules and Mango Passionfruit Wine Slushies all summer long. Join us!
Spicy Pineapple Margarita
Summer is into full swing and if I was an optimist I’d say there’s about half of the season left. However, with summer half gone, I’m very thankful that this half includes National Tequila Day (July 24).
So, we’ll celebrate while we can and that means a round of sweet and spicy Pineapple Margaritas! The tart sweetness of the pineapple juice mixed with the smooth, caramel/vanilla reposado tequila is a darn wonder of it’s own.
Though pineapple and tequila were always meant to be together, the addition of a third bold flavour make this cocktail the ultimate spicy love triangle.
Today we’re spicing this baby up with tiny red Thai chilis because they’re cute with a fiery personality. Jalapeños will also get the deed done, though they may be a little milder in flavour.
Ingredients in a Spicy Pineapple Margarita
- Cointreau or Triple Sec
- Pineapple Juice
- Lime Juice
- Spicy Simple Syrup
- Kosher Salt
- Chili Lime Seasoning
While most margarita recipes call for tequila blanco, we prefer slightly aged smoother Reposado tequila. You don’t need to break the bank buying a good tequila, just get one that is slightly smoother than the ubiquitous tequila shot tequila. Shudder.
There’s a wide range of orange flavoured liqueurs on the market. We always buy Cointreau, a colourless orange based liqueur. However, Triple Sec, Curaçao, or even Grand Marnier (which is a Cadillac Margarita) will work in this cocktail.
As always, when it comes to fruit juices, fresh is best. Shelf stable pineapple juice and lime juice are absolutely fine as well.
There are several brands of chili lime seasoning available at your nearest Mexican/Latino market. The most popular brand is Tajin though there are several more generic brands. They all contain salt, so you may only have to add sugar to your rimmer. Another favourite American brand is Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning.
How Spicy is this Spicy Pineapple Margarita?
We love our spicy margaritas with a fair bit of fire power. That said, if you aren’t a fan of spicy flavors, there are several ways to customize the heat level.
The first and most obvious is to omit the chili lime seasoning from the rimmer and only use salt and sugar. It isn’t as pretty, but it turns the heat down.
The second is to alter the spice level in the spicy simple syrup by changing the pepper variety and/or removing seeds before steeping.
How to Make Spicy Simple Syrup
Hey, there’s a reason they call it ‘simple’ syrup. It’s literally just sugar dissolved in water. It KILLS me when I see people buying it in a fancy grocery or liquor store. Here’s how to make your own spice infused syrup at home.
To make spicy simple syrup, pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar in a saucepan. Slice two Thai chilis in half lengthwise and add to the pan.
Stir and heat the mixture on medium high heat until it simmers and the sugar has dissolved.
Allow the simple syrup to cool to room temperature and strain to remove the chilis before using in a cocktail. It will keep in the fridge for up to one month.
* To reduce the heat slightly, remove the seeds before steeping. To reduce the heat even more, use only one red chili or add jalapeño slices. Remove the seeds, then add to the syrup mixture.
How to Make a Spicy Pineapple Margarita
Though this Spicy Pineapple Margarita is quite similar to a regular Pineapple Margarita, there are a few extra steps involved. Once you have the spicy simple syrup on hand, all you need to do is get the glasses ready.
A salt rim is the most traditional way to serve a margarita, though we love to add a bit of sugar and spice to ours, especially for serving spicy margaritas.
For the rimmer: Mix 2 tbsp kosher salt with 2 tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tbsp chili lime seasoning. Spread the salt mixture on a small plate. Moisten the rims of two rocks glasses with lime juice, then rim glass by rotating each glass upside down in the mixture on the plate. That’s it!
Now onto the cocktail. Firstly, fill each glass with ice. Next, fill a Boston shaker halfway with ice then add tequila, pineapple juice, Cointreau, spicy simple syrup, and lime juice to the cocktail shaker.
Fit the shaker lid on tight, then shake vigorously until the shaker feels cold and is frosty. Strain the cocktail equally into each glass. Garnish the rim of the glass with pineapple wedges and an extra red chili or lime wedge and jalapeño slice.
Let’s Talk Tequila
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila….FLOOR! That’s how it goes when you’re on the margarita train. Look at it this way, tequila is one fun spirit to drink and to add to cocktails.
Plus, it has a really cool history and unique origin. Did you know that tequila is made from the piña of the blue agave plant? It is the succulent core of the blue agave containing all the sugar needed for fermentation.
Once the pina are harvested, they go through a unique process of roasting that helps to break down their complex sugars. After roasting, the fibres are shredded and pressed which releases their sweet juices.
The sweet agave juice then goes through a slight fermentation period before it is distilled into tequila. Traditionally, this silver (blanco) tequila is distilled twice and does not go through an aging period.
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