The margarita is the most flexible cocktail on the map. It has the ability to morph and meld with almost any flavor out there: fruit, vegetable, herb… you name it, it’s probably been used in a margarita. They are like the mood rings of the cocktail world. If you feel it, there is a margarita recipe for it.
One of the most popular margarita variations that we have come across is the beloved and bewildering spicy margarita. We say bewildering because we have many times been asked to make a spicy margarita so spicy that we wondered how the drinker can even taste the cocktail behind that inferno!
Aside from being completely respectable, that kind of commitment to spice is really what inspired Scorpion Bitters. We sought to create a flavor that will pump up the jams for the Tabasco toting spice lover while still allowing the nuance and flavor of the drink to bust a move on those taste buds.
The Fuego Margarita
This spicy margarita combines the sensual spice of ginger with the fire of Bennett Scorpion Bitters. Freshly grated ginger blends beautifully with the sweetness of agave and gives cocktails anywhere between a warming edge to a fist pumpingly delicious digestive fire.
The warming spice from ginger comes from a different compound than the heat in chili peppers, giving this spicy margarita a whole new layer of heat that you couldn't get with just chili peppers alone.
"Skinny" Spicy Margarita
This recipe technically falls under the “skinny” margarita category, as it omits orange liqueur and calls for fresh lime juice and agave.
Depending on who you ask, this style of margarita is also called a Tommy's Margarita. Reposado tequila works best for this particular spicy margarita because the vanilla notes of the tequila blend seamlessly with the warming spice of the ginger.
Why Use Scorpion Bitters for Spicy Margaritas?
In our time as NYC mixologists, jalapeños became our least favorite ingredient behind the bar. Not only did the muddled jalapeño bits irritate our skin (especially after a few dozen spicy margaritas were ordered) but they made very inconsistent spice levels in the drink. Oftentimes the spice from the jalapeño would blow out the flavor of the cocktail, so that all you could taste was jalapeño. What a waste of a perfectly good spicy margarita!
The great thing about using organic Scorpion Bitters in your spicy margarita is that you can add the spicy tincture until the spice is right. The spice of the scorpion chili hits the palate in waves allowing the flavor of the cocktail to come through. This way you can have an intensely spicy cocktail that you can still taste.
Don't know how to measure bitters? Check out our blog on all things bitters here: What Are Bitters?
Fuego Margarita Recipe Ingredients
We suggest you use organic ingredients whenever possible. Here's what you'll need to make the Spicy Fuego Margarita recipe:
Reposado Tequila -
While most margaritas are made with a blanco tequila, a reposado is preferred for this spicy margarita. The aging gives the tequila a soft vanilla finish that harmonizes beautifully with the warming spice from the ginger.
You don't need to use your top-shelf sipping tequilas for this spicy margarita (you could, of course!), but do be sure to use a high quality tequila you believe in.
Fresh Lime Juice -
There is no replacement for fresh squeezed lime juice for a spicy margarita. Fresh squeezed juice from a citrus press not only tastes brighter and livelier but it also has tropical aromatics from the oil of the lime peel.
You can pre-squeeze your lime juice ahead of time. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. The citrus press is an essential bar tool, here's the one we and many NYC mixologists prefer: Citrus Press
Agave Nectar -
The flavor of the agave adds depth and dimension to a spicy margarita and it blends more seamlessly with the tequila that any other sweetener. Any store bought agave will technically work for this recipe but we prefer an organic light, Blue Agave variety if it's available.
Freshly Grated Ginger -
A small nub of ginger about the size of a pinky should be enough for this cocktail. Start by peeling the skin of the ginger so that those brown bits don't end up in your spicy margarita, then grate your ginger straight into your shaker.
We usually use a fine zest grater (the kind that is typically used for citrus zest and hard cheeses) so that the grated ginger incorporates easily into the rest of the drink.
Dial the ginger up or down to make this drink anywhere between space heater and bonfire depending on your preference.
Scorpion Bitters -
Scorpion chilis are the second hottest chili on the planet, so if you want a true spicy margarita then look no further than our Scorpion Bitters made with organic scorpion chilis.
The scorpion chili is the best chili for spicy margaritas because it adds intense heat to the drink but never overpowers the other flavors, so that you can still taste the nuance and delicious notes of your spicy margarita through all that heat.
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Shake and double strain into a rock glass with ice.
Garnish with lime wheel and a ginger slice.
Standard Drinks: 1