This skinny spicy margarita is everything you think of when you picture a Cinco de Mayo-inspired cocktail. It has heat and spice, yet it's cold and refreshing. It's sweet, and it's smoky, and it's incredibly fresh.
With the weather finally warming up here and Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I have one thing on my mind: a fresh margarita on the patio.
If you like a touch of spice, try another spicy cocktail we love, give this Mexican mule cocktail a try. But if you prefer a more traditional margarita, try these mango margaritas, blood orange margaritas, or cucumber margaritas.
Alternative Names for This Recipe:
- First It's Sweet, Then It's Spicy, Then It's Gone
- Cinco de My Oh My, That's Delicious!
- Jalapeño Cinco de Mayo Plans
- The Very Best Skinny Spicy Margarita Recipe You'll Ever Taste
Why You'll Love This Spicy Skinny Margarita Recipe
Besides the simple fact that it makes the perfect spicy margarita, there are plenty of reasons you'll love this recipe:
They're easy to make: You'll spend barely any time or effort mixing up this margarita -- even if you're serving a crowd.
It's a healthier margarita: It has natural ingredients, fewer calories, and fewer grams of sugar than a regular margarita, and has plenty of fresh juice squeezed straight from the fruit. You'll notice the artificial sweeteners from a classic margarita recipe are missing. Too much sugar in my margarita always leaves me sluggish the next day. Learn more about the differences to compare a skinny margarita vs regular.
Adaptability: From the type of fruit or tequila you use to the amount of heat or garnishes you add, to the way you serve it up, there are so many ways to change up this recipe so that you can have the perfect margarita for you every time.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this skinny jalapeno margarita. Most of these are fresh ingredients and easy to find in grocery stores. If you make margaritas often, you likely have this at home right now! Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Blanco tequila: also called silver tequila, is tequila in its purest form and has an agave-forward flavor profile. If you don’t have silver tequila on hand, another type of tequila like Reposado or Añejo will both work as well.
- Orange liqueur: You can use Triple Sec or Cointreau. Triple Sec is any orange, dry-flavored liqueur. Not all triple secs are Cointreau. Cointreau, which translates to triple dry in French, is a good quality brand of triple sec made from sweet and bitter orange peels.
- Fresh orange juice: Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best results. I love this simple hand squeezer with a built-in measuring cup.
- Fresh lime juice: Grab a few limes and juice them yourself (just like the oranges). Save a slice of lime to garnish your drink.
- Sweetener: Fresh honey or agave syrup tastes so much better than the artificial sweeteners found in the typical margarita. If you don’t have either, you could make your own simple syrup by dissolving 1 part sugar in 1 part water over medium heat. Save it in a jar for up to a month and use it for a number of other homemade classic cocktails.
- Jalapeño: What’s a spicy skinny margarita without fresh jalapeños? You can adjust the number of jalapeño slices or seeds added to provide the perfect amount of heat for your taste.
- Soda: Soda: Top this margarita with a little bit of light ginger beer or club soda for an extra refreshing bubbly finish.
- Chili lime salt: The salted rim is what makes the margarita in my opinion. Fresh lime zest, chili powder, and salt combine to make a smoky, salty, tangy prelude to the best skinny jalapeño margarita. Better yet, the rim of your glass now looks fiesta-ready.
How to Make a Skinny Spicy Margarita
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This is the best skinny margarita and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Follow these instructions to make them on the rocks or skip down to the next section for a frozen version.
Video: Watch How to Make a Skinny Spicy Margarita
Prep: Measure out the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and agave, add them to a cocktail shaker or a glass jar with a lid, like a mason jar, and stir it all together with a long spoon.
Combine: Add the sliced jalapeño and a handful of ice, close the lid, and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds to combine and help the jalapeño juices release into the margarita. You can also muddle the jalapeño into the margarita if you want them spicier. Allow the jalapeño to sit in the liquid to infuse while you prepare the glass.
Prepare the glass: Add the salt, lime zest, and chili powder to a shallow bowl or dish. Run a lime wedge around a cocktail glass or mason jar and dip it upside down into the mixture, turning it and rolling it as needed to coat the top and part of the sides.
You can also use Tajin seasoning if you have that handy.
Pour and serve: Fill the glass with crushed ice and pour the skinny spicy margarita and sparkling water over top. Garnish the margarita with fresh jalapeño slices and a lime wedge.
Ask the bartender to make it with tequila, lime juice, and a splash of orange liqueur, add a bit of spice to it, like some jalapeño slices or hot sauce and to avoid using any added sugar or syrups.
Typically, a spicy margarita made with tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and jalapeño or hot sauce may contain around 150-250 calories per 4-5 ounce serving. Making a spicy margarita without added sugar or syrups and instead using natural sweeteners like agave nectar or fresh fruit juice helps to reduce the number of calories.
A traditional margarita can be high in sugar because it often contains added sugar or syrups, such as simple syrup or triple sec.
A skinny margarita typically uses a low-calorie sweetener such as stevia, agave nectar, or fresh fruit juice instead of added sugars or syrups, which can significantly reduce the sugar content.
Some skinny margarita recipes even omit the sweetener altogether and rely solely on the natural sweetness of fresh citrus juices.
- Mellow things out. If you don’t like your margarita as strong, just top it with more ginger beer or club soda.
- Don't skimp on quality. Use quality ingredients for a really good margarita. From your fruit to your orange liqueur. And do yourself a favor and grab 100% blue agave tequila.
- Make them for a crowd. Prep the entire margarita earlier in the day before guests show up and make a whole pitcher full. See recipe notes for preparing a larger serving.
- Turn up the heat! (Or down, if you prefer.) For a spicier margarita, muddle the jalapeño seeds at the bottom of the glass and then strain them out. If you’d like to go milder on the heat, deseed the jalapeño.
- Don't forget to garnish. A few thin orange slices, a lime wedge, or some jalapeño slices go a long way with the presentation. After all, we eat with our eyes!
Recipes to Serve with Spicy Margaritas
Use any leftover jalapeños to make a Cinco de Mayo-inspired dish to go with your margaritas:
More of Our Favorite Cocktails
Looking for more tequila cocktails? This blood orange margarita has a vibrant pink color and is more tart than sweet. There's a skinny option in the recipe notes! You could also make a refreshing cucumber margarita.
You could also mash up two classics, Moscow Mules and margaritas, and make a refreshing Mexican Mule.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
Skinny Spicy Margarita Recipe
Skinny Spicy Margarita (1 serving)
- 2 ounces Blanco tequila (silver tequila) (Note 1)
- .5 ounce orange liqueur Triple Sec or Cointreau (Note 2)
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) Fresh lime juice about 2 limes
- 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) Fresh orange juice ½ an orange
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar optional
- 2 jalapeño slices with or without seeds, plus more for topping
- Light ginger beer or club soda for topping optional
Chili Lime Salt
- 1-2 Tablespoons sea salt or margarita salt
- Zest from ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Cocktail shaker, mason jar with lid, or glass jar with lid
- Add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, orange juice and agave to a cocktail shaker or a glass jar with a lid, like a mason jar. Use a long spoon to stir it all together.
- Add the sliced jalapeño and a handful of ice, close the lid, and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds to combine and help the jalapeño juices release into the margarita. You can also muddle the jalapeño into the margarita if you want them spicier. All the jalapeño to sit in the liquid to infuse while you prepare the glasses.
- Add the salt, lime zest and chili powder to a shallow bowl or dish. Run a lime wedge around a glass or mason jar and dip it upside down into the mixture, turning it and rolling it as needed to coat the top and part of the sides.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice and pour the skinny spicy margarita over top. Garnish with fresh jalapeño slices and lime wedges.
- 1 cup (8 ounces) silver tequila
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) triple sec
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (4 limes)
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice (1 orange)
- 1-2 Tablespoons agave or honey
- 1 jalepeño pepper, sliced
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