Spicy grapefruit margarita — just what you need to beat the winter blues

One of the few things that gets me through the long, dreary New York winter is gorgeous citrus fruits. It’s funny — when I lived in Florida, I barely ate them, and now that I’m in New York and they’re pretty much all you can look forward to in the winter as far as somewhat local, in-season fruit, I can’t get enough of them.

What better way to enjoy grapefruit than in a spicy, boozy concoction like a margarita? Who said they were just for breakfast?

A red chili simple syrup and a chili powder-salt rim give this otherwise tart cocktail quite the kick. If you’re one for spice, then this drink is for you.

Spicy grapefruit margarita
Image: Gina Matsoukas/SheKnows

Spicy grapefruit margarita recipe

Serves 1

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the chili simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 dried red chilies

For the margarita

  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces white tequila
  • 2 teaspoons chili simple syrup
  • Grapefruit and lime wedges, for garnish
  • Large ice cubes

For the chili-salt rim

  • 3 parts kosher salt
  • 1 part chili powder
  • Lime wedge


  1. Prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a small saucepot and bringing it to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and add the chilies. Cool to room temperature, and then chill. This can be made ahead of time and stored in a container in the refrigerator.
  2. Into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, pour the grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila and simple syrup. Shake until chilled.
  3. On a small plate, place the salt and chili powder, and mix until combined. Rim a glass with a lime wedge, and dip the glass in the salt mixture until coated all the way around the rim.
  4. Pour the drink into the glass, and garnish with a grapefruit and/or lime wedge.

More margarita recipes

Papaya-pineapple margaritas
Homemade fruit swirl margarita
Watermelon and jalapeño margaritas