I’m not really a big alcohol drinker, so when I come across a drink I love, it’s a big deal. Enter, the Blood Orange Jalapeño Margarita. The flavor of the blood oranges shines when paired with the tequila and jalapeño peppers. The balance of sweet and spicy make for a very memorable bold and refreshing cocktail.
I’ve mentioned before in my post on Blood Orange Cranberry Bread that blood oranges are my favorite variety of oranges. They give the citrusy refreshment with a berry-like sweetness. If you’ve never tried one, please do. In this cocktail, that combination comes to life against the subtle spice of the jalapeño peppers. Whenever I can get that sweet/spicy balance just right, it makes me (and my mouth) extremely happy.
This recipe is using fresh limes. Please always use fresh limes for your cocktails. The bottled stuff is just disappointment in a bottle.
Notice I said subtle spice. We aren’t adding jalapeños to get a 5 alarm thrill here (unless that’s your thing). It’s just a nice extra kick. To get this flavor I’ve muddled my jalapeño with the tequila just before mixing the other ingredients. However, if you want a more in your face spiciness, you can let the jalapeño steep in the tequila for about an hour after muddling.
Traditionally, margaritas use white tequila. I chose to go with an aged tequila (specifically Casamigos Reposado), mostly because I prefer my alcohol pretty smooth, even in a cocktail. If you want a more tequila forward cocktail, I’d suggest going in the white tequila direction.
I traded the usual triple sec (typically Cointreau) for Grand Mariner. To me, this give the drink a little more depth due to the cognac. The two orange liqueurs are very similar, so either will give you a good flavor here.
Lastly, I didn’t use a sweetener. Like I said above, the blood oranges have a berry-like sweetness. So combined with the smoothness of the aged tequila, I find that the drink doesn’t need anything else. However, if you find the drink too tart or a little too strong, feel free to sweeten to your taste. I’d suggest using something like agave nectar over simple syrup. It pairs a little better.
Blood Orange Jalapeño Margarita
- 1 whole jalapeño, chopped
- 4 oz tequila
- 6 oz blood orange juice (juice of about 3 oranges)
- 2 oz lime juice (juice of about 2 small limes)
- 2 oz Grand Marnier
- In a shaker combine jalapeños and tequila. Muddle.
- Prepare 2 glasses. Rub lime around rim of glasses. Dip into salt or sugar. (add ice if desired)
- Add blood orange juice, lime juice, Grand Mariner, and ice. Shake until shaker is cold.
- Strain cocktail evenly into glasses. Garnish with oranges and jalapeños.