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This spicy pineapple margarita recipe is easy to make and perfectly balanced with the most delicious sweet, spicy and smoky (if you opt for mezcal) flavors. Single-serving or pitcher options included.
Say hello to the irresistibly sweet and spicy pineapple margaritas that we’ve been loving lately! ♡
Now I’ve long been a fan of a good jalapeño pineapple margarita. But too often, I’ve found that the ingredient ratios are off in the versions that I have been served, with the sweetness of the pineapple overpowering the entire drink…which feels like a major missed opportunity in my margarita-loving opinion. So this summer, I made it my mission to fine tune on my own perfect ratio of ingredients for a winning batch of spicy pineapple margaritas. And after a handful of taste-testing happy hours with friends (tough job, but someone has to do it), everyone agreed that we’ve officially landed on the perfect blend.
Each sip of this pineapple margarita recipe is balanced with the most delicious blend of sweet, sour, spicy and (if you choose the highly-recommended mezcal option) smoky notes. And while the fresh pineapple juice remains the star of the show, it complements rather than overpowers the other ingredients, and tastes extra delicious when paired with a salty chile-lime Tajín rim. Feel free, of course, to adjust the amount of jalapeño recommended below to make these margs and spicy or mild as you prefer. And while tequila will always be a delicious option, my friends agree that using a good smoky mezcal really sends this cocktail over the top and makes it downright unforgettable.
So let’s make some margaritas!
Spicy Pineapple Margarita Ingredients
Before we get to the full jalapeño margarita recipe below, here are a few notes about the margarita ingredients you will need:
- Mezcal or tequila: I’m partial to the smoky, complex flavor of mezcal paired with the sweetness of the pineapple in this margarita recipe. But your favorite kind of tequila would be a delicious option too.
- Pineapple juice: Be sure to purchase 100% pineapple juice that is not made from concentrate and has zero added sweeteners for this recipe. Or if you feel like going the extra mile, you can freshly squeeze your own!
- Lime juice: These will taste best with freshly-squeezed lime juice. (This is my favorite citrus juicer that I swear by!)
- Cointreau: Cointreau is our go-to orange liqueur here in our house when making margaritas. But Grand Marnier or a good-quality Triple Sec would work well too.
- Fresh jalapeño slices: Add in however many slices you prefer to give your cocktail just the right amount of heat.
- Tajín + salt: We loved rimming our glasses with a mixture of Tajín (a Mexican chile-lime seasoning) and coarse sea salt (or margarita salt). But feel free to simply use Tajín or salt, if you prefer, or skip rimming the glasses entirely.
How To Make Pineapple Margaritas
Here are a few extra notes (in addition to the recipe below) about the steps for how to make a pineapple margarita:
- Rim the glass. This step is totally optional, but I always love a Tajín and salt rim (I usually do a 50/50 blend) on my margarita glasses. Alternately, you could mix in some turbinado sugar. And for a sweeter rim, feel free to use a slice of pineapple instead of lime to wet the rims before dipping in the salt mixture.
- Mix the margarita. I recommend just shaking the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. But alternately, you could shake or briskly stir them in a mason jar.
- Serve. Immediately strain the margarita into your serving glass, so that it doesn’t get too watered down. Then add in some ice, any garnishes that sound fun, serve and enjoy!
Optional Recipe Variations
Here are a few other ways that you can customize your spicy pineapple margaritas if you’d like…
- Use a different variety of chile pepper: Serrano or habanero peppers would also be delicious in this spicy pineapple margarita if you would like to kick up the heat level.
- Use grilled pineapple juice: For an extra-delicious smoky note, feel free to grill a few slices of pineapple and juice them to make a spicy grilled pineapple margarita. Definitely save one slice to use as a garnish too!
- Add coconut: Feel free to add in a splash of coconut milk or cream de coconut to give these margs an extra beachy vibe!
This spicy pineapple margarita recipe is easy to make and perfectly balanced with the most delicious sweet, spicy and smoky (if you opt for mezcal) flavors. Large-batch pitcher recipe included in the notes below.
- Rim the glass (optional). Run a fresh lime wedge around the edge of the glass, then dip it in a plate of either Tajín, coarse sea salt, or a combination of the two.
- Mix the margarita. Add the mezcal, pineapple juice, lime juice, Cointreau, and jalapeño slices to a cocktail shaker or mason jar. Add a handful of ice, cover, and shake the margarita vigorously for 5 to 10 seconds until it is chilled.
- Serve. Strain the margarita into the prepared glass, fill with extra ice, top with any garnishes that you would like, and enjoy!
Pineapple juice: I recommend either purchasing 100% pineapple juice (not from concentrate, and without any added sugars) or freshly-squeezing your own pineapple juice.
Cointreau alternatives: Grand Marnier or a good-quality Triple Sec would also work well in this recipe.
Jalapeño slices: Jalapeños can vary with their heat levels. So if you are nervous about making your margarita too spicy, I recommend beginning with just 1 or 2 slices, then you can always add more later if you’d like.
Pitcher Recipe (8 Servings): Follow the instructions above and combine 1.5 cups mezcal or tequila blanco, 1.5 cups pineapple juice, 1 cup fresh lime juice, 3/4 cup Cointreau, 16 to 24 jalapeño slices, and ice in a large pitcher and stir to combine.