This cocktail will always remind me of our honeymoon in Jamaica in 2019, because that’s where I came up with the idea! Toward the end of our trip, we had exhausted the drink menus. So, we would sit at the bar, just playing around with new ideas and seeing what we and the bartenders could develop. When I suggested hot sauce, I got some funny looks, but it really worked! So these Spicy Pineapple Margaritas were born.
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Since then, I’ve played around with the balance to get this recipe just right. Working with spice can be fun, but challenging. You want there to be enough for that extra kick, but not so much that it overwhelms the other flavors. Since everyone reacts differently to heat, you may find that you need to make your own adjustments there.
What You Need to Get Started
- From the Bar: Reposado tequila (I like Hornitos), Orange liqueur (I like DeKuyper O3)
- Produce: Lime
- Pantry: Scotch bonnet hot sauce, Pineapple juice
- Spice Cabinet: Salt, Cayenne
- Equipment: Cocktail shaker, Citrus press, Glasses, Saucer
How to Make a Spicy Salt Rim for Margaritas
One of the fun parts of making margaritas is the salt rim. There is so much you can do here to add subtle (or not-so-subtle) flavors to your drinks. In this recipe, I decided to go fairly simple, adding just a dash of cayenne to accentuate the heat in the drink itself.
To get the salt to stick to the glass, you can use many different things: water, caramel (like I do in these chocolate turtle martinis), or the choice typical for margaritas: lime juice. If you remove two wedges from a lime, you’ll have just the right amount leftover to make the cocktails, and you get the bonus of having them for the rim and a garnish. Win-win-win!
Cut a small slit into the middle of each lime wedge. This will help it get the rim nice and moist, and also make it easier to stay on later. Then just place the wedge on the rim, and slide it all the way around, so it’s fully coated.
On a small plate or saucer, mix together the salt and cayenne. You can use table salt or sea salt here, but not anything too coarse. Use a fork or gently shake the plate to combine, and then spread out the salt mixture. Place the glass upside down and turn it around to coat in salt. Then flip upright, place the lime back on the rim and add ice.
Let’s Make a Spicy Pineapple Margarita
Once the glasses are ready to go, you can mix up the cocktail. It’s super easy to make this kind of drink, because all you have to do is put everything into a shaker together. No muddling, no floats, nothing layered – so simple!
When it comes to ingredients, you can use your favorite brands, but I suggest using a reposado style of tequila and a premium orange liqueur in this drink to add some extra flavor. For the hot sauce, I used one we picked up at a resort gift shop that’s hard to find, but there are tons of varieties out there!
The tequila, orange liqueur, pineapple juice, hot sauce, and the juice of the rest of the lime go into a cocktail shaker with some ice. Then shake it with some vigor for about twenty seconds. The metal shaker should feel ice cold, which is how you know the drink is the perfect temperature.
Strain into the glasses. Be careful when filling them. You don’t want the salt to get knocked or washed into the drink. It’s more delicious to lick a little bit of salt off the rim with each sip.
Spicy pineapple margaritas are sweet and refreshing, with a little extra kick! Perfect for summer sipping.
How to Serve Pineapple Margaritas
Drink these with a friend or significant other, sipping them on the porch together, enjoying some sunshine. This recipe makes two cocktails, but to make more, mix them up in pairs.
This drink would be excellent with brunch! My favorite is to pair it with some huevos rancheros with mango corn salsa. Or if you are looking for something sweet to balance out that spice, try buttermilk pancakes with maple butter.
You can also enjoy these margaritas as an afternoon snack, while entertaining, or with dinner or dessert. I think the pineapple would pair really nicely with some vegetarian nachos or strawberry ice cream sundaes.
Other Cocktail Ideas
- Use up the extra tequila and lime by making, these sweet and spicy palomas.
- For something sweeter but refreshing, try raspberry lemon mojitos.
- If you want something strong, make an amaretto old fashioned.
- Serving a crowd? Whip up a batch of dragon fruit raspberry sangria.
- Or try 28 more breakfast and brunch cocktails!
Spicy Pineapple Margarita
- 1 Lime
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne
- 3 oz Resposado Tequila
- 1 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
- 6 oz Pineapple Juice
- 1/4 tsp Hot Sauce
- Cut the lime in half crosswise, and then cut two wedges out of one of the halves. In each wedge, cut a slit in the middle, but do not cut all the way through to the peel. Rub each wedge around the rim of a low ball or double old fashioned glass and then set aside.
- In a small saucer-sized plate, combine the salt and cayenne. Place each glass rim down into the salt, turning so the mixture sticks to the rim. Fill each glass halfway with ice.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the rest of the ingredients, including the juice of the remainder of the lime, and ice. Shake for about 20 seconds, until the outside of the shaker is ice cold. Strain over the fresh ice, into each glass. Garnish with the lime wedges from earlier.
- Be careful not to overfill the glasses. If the salt rim dissolves into the drink, your final few sips may taste very salty. You can wipe down the inside rim or be sure to only fill below the base of the salt line.
- The hot sauce I used was a scotch bonnet pepper sauce. If you can't find something similar, habanero has a similar spice level.
- If you're worried about spice level, cut down on the cayenne in the salt rim before the sauce in the drink. That's where most of the initial heat flavor comes from.
- This makes two drinks, but you can serve it as a double for one person, if you desire. Use a highball glass instead.