If you like heat in your drink, you’re going to love this serrano grapefruit margarita! It combines spicy serranos, sweet simple syrup, tart grapefruit and lime juices, and sweet orange juice with blanco tequila. It’s super easy to make, and incredibly (but spicily) refreshing.
are serrano peppers spicier than jalapenos?
Yes. Serranos are spicy … like really spices in some cases. They can be upwards of ten times as hot as a jalapeno, but usually they’re about three times as hot. Either way, with that being said, please proceed with caution! 🙂 Can you substitute serranos with jalapenos for this recipe? YES! Absolutely. You’ll still get the heat, but it won’t be nearly as intense. Use two thin slices of jalapenos instead of the one slice of serrano if you go that route.
what is in this serrano grapefruit margarita?
I tested a few different versions of this recipe, and this is the winner. It’s simple, it uses 100% fresh squeezed juice, and a touch of simple syrup. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- grapefruit juice (fresh)
- lime juice (fresh)
- orange juice (fresh)
- blanco tequila (silver tequila)
- serrano pepper slice
- simple syrup
For the rim, I use:
- ancho chili powder
- kosher salt
- sugar (granulated, moreno, etc.)
I usually like to add agave to my tequila-based drinks, but we are using simple syrup in this one. Why? While agave is delicious, it sometimes doesn’t blend with other liquids as well as simple syrup. The heat in this drink needs a thoroughly integrated sweetness, so simple syrup wins this battle.
how do I make simple syrup?
Simple syrup is incredibly easy to make. Combine one part sugar with one part hot water, and mix until dissolved. You can do this one of two ways:
- Combine both into a glass jar, seal with a lid, and shake to combine.
- Combine both in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved into the water.
It doesn’t get much easier than that!
what other margarita recipes can I make?
Here are some other margarita recipes for you to try, if you’re not into the spicy thing!
- skinny blackberry margarita
- skinny fresh lime margarita
- blueberry cilantro margarita
- grilled pineapple + jalapeno margarita
These are all perfect for enjoying on the patio with friends, or by the pool. Or on your couch, with your cats. Just really wherever your favorite place is. 🙂 Be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see your margaritas! And as always, feel free to reach out to me anytime with any questions you may have. Cheers!
serrano grapefruit margarita
for rim ::
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
for margarita ::
- 1 slice serrano pepper about 1/4" thick
- 3/4 ounces simple syrup
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice strained
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice strained
- 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice strained
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- pinch kosher salt
to rim glasses ::
- Combine the three ingredients together in a shallow dish. Mix to blend thoroughly.
- Run a small slice of lime over the rim of each glass. Dip the rims into the salt/ancho chili/sugar mix to coat them entirely. Fill the glasses halfway with ice, and set aside.
for the spicy serrano margaritas ::
- Add the serrano slice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker, and muddle together.
- Add the strained citrus juices, tequila, and a little pinch of kosher salt to the shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, and secure the lid. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into the rimmed glasses.
- Garnish with a small grapefruit or lime wedge, and serve immediately.
FOR SIMPLE SYRUP: (2 different versions, same results:)
- Combine 1/2 cup each of HOT water and sugar into a glass jar, seal with a lid, and shake to combine.
- Combine 1/2 cup each of water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved into the water.