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spicy serrano grapefruit margaritas

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serrano grapefruit margaritas :: a spicy twist on a grapefruit margarita

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.  

awesome grapefruits and other fresh citrus mixed with tequila blanco, simple syrup, and tequila blanco for a spicy twist on a grapefruit margarita

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.

awesome grapefruits and other fresh citrus mixed with tequila blanco, simple syrup, and tequila blanco for a spicy twist on a grapefruit margarita

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.

spicy grapefruit margarita with serrano peppers

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:

  1.  Combine both into a glass jar, seal with a lid, and shake to combine.
  2. 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!

serrano grapefruit margaritas :: a spicy twist on a grapefruit margarita

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!

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!

xx Sara

spicy grapefruit margarita with serrano peppers
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

serrano grapefruit margarita

a spicy margarita made with fresh citrus juice, serrano pepper, simple syrup, and tequila blanco
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grapefruit margarita, grapefruit serrano margarita, serrano grapefruit margarita, spicy grapefruit margarita, spicy margarita
Servings: 1 margarita
Calories: 211kcal
Author: sara a.
Cost: $2

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

The photos have two serrano slices as garnish ... this is an option, but the peppers will directly touch your lips as you drink, and they can be very spicy.  I recommend a small slice of lime or grapefruit for garnish instead!

FOR SIMPLE SYRUP: (2 different versions, same results:)
  1.  Combine 1/2 cup each of HOT water and sugar into a glass jar, seal with a lid, and shake to combine.
  2. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 211kcal
spicy serrano grapefruit margaritas
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check the "about me" page for more information on Sara.
    • Sam
    • June 17, 2020
    Reply

    5 stars
    Wow these margaritas will be perfect for this weekend! I am loving all the different citrus flavours you have in there. Also, your photos are gorgeous!

    1. Reply

      Thank you so much, Sam! I hope you love these margs – the different citrus juices make it so refreshing and fun! 🤤

  1. Reply

    5 stars
    Those margaritas look delicious and refreshing! I think I may have found my new favorite drink!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Dennis! I hope you love them as much as I do!

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