This Spicy Skinny Margarita Recipe is made with jalapeno, fresh lime and orange juice, and tequila for a refreshing twist on the healthier margarita!
Why this recipe works
My skinny margarita recipe has been tested, loved and approved by many friends and family. This spicy version is another often requested cocktail recipe of mine!
If that’s not enough proof for you, this skinny margarita recipe is:
- Simple, fresh, and few ingredients.
- Low calorie without sacrificing the flavor.
- More tart and fresh than using orange liqueur, and a little spicy!
- Lower in alcohol, meaning you can enjoy more!
What is a Skinny Margarita?
A skinny margarita is a low-calorie version of the typical margarita. A traditional margarita consists of fresh-squeezed lime juice, orange liquor (cointreau, triple sec, or grand marnier) and tequila. A traditional skinny margarita replaces the orange liquor with fresh squeezed orange juice. This twist adds muddled jalapenos to add spice.
There are three main kinds of tequila: blanco, reposado, and añejo. Of those, there are two types of tequila to use in a margarita: reposado or blanco. Because reposado tequila is aged longer than blanco, it adds an extra dynamic flavor. However, blanco tequila is also ideal because it has a light flavor. Either are a great option and depend on your taste preference and what is available.
Añejo tequila is best for sipping neat, and extra añejo is for special occasions (at least at my home!). I would refrain from using this kind of tequila when making any type of tequila mixed drink.
Substitute for: mezcal for a mezcal margarita, or vodka for a vodka margarita.
Fresh limes are absolutely essential for any margarita and add that tartness. I do not recommend using store-bought lime juice for margaritas since they have such few ingredients. Substitute for: lemons, but it will be a tad sweeter.
To make this cocktail what it is, you need fresh oranges. Use any type of orange, you can even use blood oranges!
Substitute for: orange liqueur - like Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec.
To make this margarita spicy, muddle some jalapeno slices before adding orange and lime juices. Other options to make drinks spicy are to add a spicy infused liquor, add a spicy liqueur, or use a spicy jalapeno simple syrup.
Substitute for: serrano pepper for added heat. If you want a non-spicy margarita, try a classic skinny margarita.
Step One: Muddle jalapeno and add ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
The first step to making the perfect spicy margarita is to muddle jalapeno slices in the cocktail shaker. To do this, cut a jalapeno into slices and add 2-3 into the cocktail shaker. Muddle using the bottom of a wooden spoon or a muddler, to release liquids.
Next, squeeze the limes and oranges to create fresh juice. Add these juices to the cocktail shaker - I always add the cheapest ingredients first in case I mess up!
After, add the tequila. I recommend using blanco or reposado tequila depending on your preferences!
Finally, add ice into the cocktail shaker. This helps instantly cool the ingredients when you shake it!
Step Two: Shake!
To combine the ingredients, you’re going to shake the cocktail shaker for about 15-seconds. The shaker should feel frozen to the touch.
Step Three: Strain and enjoy!
Finally, you strain your spicy margarita into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a jalapeno slice, or lime and/or orange wedge and enjoy immediately!
Quality tequila: Don’t underestimate a quality tequila for making any tequila cocktail. Because this margarita recipe has such few ingredients, there’s not much to mask a low-quality tequila. I personally swear by Don Julio Blanco or Casamigos Blanco tequilas when purchasing for myself. This is not the time to use your top-shelf añejo tequila (like a Don Julio 1942), a blanco or reposado tequila in the $30-45 range is a great start.
Salt rim: A salt rim is by no means a necessity, but it definitely is a must in my books! I find the salt is a great balance with the natural sweetness of the juices. You can always add chili lime seasoning, lime zest, or orange zest into your margarita salt to add extra flavor! The steps to adding the best salt rim can be found in my skinny margarita recipe.
Frozen margarita: To turn a skinny margarita into a frozen version, simply add all ingredients into a high-powered blender with 1-1.5 cups of ice. Blend until smooth and serve in glasses.
An even lighter cocktail: To create an even lighter cocktail, try topping off the drink with sparkling mineral water. To do this, make sure you use a tall glass instead of a shorter old fashioned glass.
A skinny margarita is basically a low-calorie version of a classic margarita. It typically swaps orange juice for orange liqueur and does not include a sweetener.
They call it a skinny margarita because it’s a lighter, skinnier version of a traditional margarita.
Absolutely! Just double, triple, quadruple (etc.) the recipe for however many servings you need! Then stir and serve from the pitcher into a glass filled with ice. Just remember that shaking the cocktail one-by-one does combine the flavors a little bit better, and to remove jalapeños from the pitcher so that the margarita doesn't get too spicy.
I love serving the classic tortilla chips and guacamole combination. Other fun ideas are fried fish tacos, shrimp tacos, or other mild dishes.
- Skinny Margarita
- Skinny Cranberry Margarita
- Sangria Margarita
- Frozen Blackberry Margaritas
- Ranch Water Cocktail
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below so I know what you think! Follow Elise Tries to Cook on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and Subscribe via email to receive the latest recipes!
Spicy Skinny Margarita
- Cocktail Shaker
- 2-3 jalapeno slices
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 2 ounces tequila
- Place jalapeno slices in bottom of a cocktail shaker.2-3 jalapeno slices
- Using a muddler or bottom of a wooden spoon, muddle gently until juices are released.
- Pour lime juice and orange juice into cocktail shaker.2 ounces orange juice, 2 ounces lime juice
- Finally, add tequila.2 ounces tequila
- Add ice and shake for 15 seconds, until frozen to the touch.
- Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with lime wedge, orange slice, or jalapeno slice.