Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

Meet your new drink of summer. “Hello, new drink of summer, nice to meet you.” Take a good look because I think you’ll be getting to know each other veryyy well this summer. Thank goodness this drink is easy on the eyes. Not to mention the taste buds. The second I saw the Spicy Grapefruit Margarita in Bon Appetit this month, I knew it was going to be my drink of summer. I mean, habanero infused tequila? That beats even the jalapeño infused vodka I made last month. Because really, habanero trumps jalapeno every time. Sorry jalapeño, you know I still love you. Facts are facts.

Everyone needs a drink of summer. And it should be cool and refreshing… But with a nice kick. Because what’s summer without a little spice? After an entire week went by, I decided it couldn’t wait one more second and I whipped these up for a 4th of July BBQ. Before you make these, just know that the tequila and habanero needs 3 hours to steep. Luckily I had exactly 3 hours. Some things are just meant to be.

My instincts were a little bit off here when it came to the grapefruit juice. I grabbed a couple grapefruit and then realized 2 grapefruits weren’t going to give me even close to 6 cups of juice. So I added in another. Still not enough. So, I poured in some 100% grapefruit juice picked up from the corner store. I tried. What I’m trying to tell you is that even though the photo below shows 2 grapefruits, you’ll probably need 6. Or you can simply use grapefruit juice (just make sure it’s 100% juice) for a quick fix. Or you can cut this drink down to serve fewer people. But why would you really want to do that?

Spicy Grapefruit Margarita (serves 8):
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Print this recipe!

• 2 C tequila
• 2 habanero chiles, cut in half
• 6 C fresh pink grapefruit juice (about 6 grapefruits… or you can use 100% grapefruit juice from a carton if needed)
• Kosher salt


Pour the tequila in a large pitcher and add the habaneros in. Let steep for about 3 hours. The recipe says you can let them steep even longer for a spicier kick… But holy crow this was crazy spicy. And you know me, I love my spice!

You can actually feel free to make this up to a month ahead of time. But I recommend removing the habaneros instead of letting them steep for a whole month. Eeek.


Squeeze your grapefruit juice while the habaneros are steeping. And push through a strainer.


Pour some water on a small plate. On another small plate, pour some kosher salt.

Dip the rims of your glasses onto the plate with the water and then onto the salt.


Obviously put a lime slice on the rim as well.


Pour the grapefruit juice into the pitcher with the tequila. Add ice and stir it to chill.

Then put ice in your salted glasses and serve the drink up!


I mean, really? This drink is perfection to me.


It’s the kind of cocktail where at first you might be like, “Whoa! Too much spice!” But then the more you sip on it, the more you really start to enjoy it. The hot kick combined with the cold iciness was incredible and perfect for a steamy July evening.


And honestly, I think it’s just about the prettiest drink ever. It looks so innocent being all pretty and pink, doesn’t it? Little would you suspect the punch it brings!


Don’t worry, we actually did some eating on the 4th of July, too. Lots of it, in fact. Long live The Meat House (um, have you tried their jalapeno burgers? You must! With these drinks, of course) and our summer of grilling (and cocktails).


Have I mentioned I love summer? Plus, today equals one week until a nice much-needed vacation. Lake Chautauqua, here I come! Please prepare your nice weather for us :)


Happy Cocktail Friday! I hope your weekend is all kinds of cool with a spicy kick!

What will you be sipping on this weekend?



  • LOVE!!

    July 8, 2011 8:48 am
  • These margaritas are adorable in the mason jars!

    July 8, 2011 8:55 am
  • The mason jars are perfect! I need to try this spicy cocktail making thing soon.

    July 8, 2011 9:01 am
  • Mal said:

    I saw this in Bon Appetit and was wondering about it as well! It looks fantastic.

    July 8, 2011 9:07 am
  • It sounds fantastic and I love it served in mason jars.

    July 8, 2011 9:18 am
  • Spike said:

    Hello, new drink of summer! looks perfect

    July 8, 2011 9:37 am
  • I’ve recently discovered my love for silver tequila (after many years of hating it) so this sounds delicious. I recently had a grapefruit / tequila cocktail at a restaurant so now I want to try it on my own – yum!


    July 8, 2011 9:56 am
  • A.Judy said:

    The Lake is waiting for all of you………can’t control the weather but can guarantee the creation of many happy memories…….can’t wait!!

    July 8, 2011 10:05 am
  • briarrose said:

    Now that is a drink with some kick to it. ;) Love the jars as serving glasses.

    July 8, 2011 10:44 am
  • Do you deliver?

    July 8, 2011 10:51 am
  • Daisy said:

    fantastic drink! I need to make this one next!

    July 8, 2011 10:51 am
  • This has some of my very favorite things ever! I love that you used mason jars. This weekend I’ll be sipping on some wine we recently bought, but I bet I can sneak in a cocktail (or five) ;)

    July 8, 2011 11:37 am
  • These margaritas sound great, and I love that you served them in Ball jars!

    July 8, 2011 11:39 am
  • Erica said:

    Seriously- mason jars make every drink awesome! But this sounds so intriguing! I love the idea of adding some spicy kick to a grapefruit beverage. And your intro to this post made me laugh :) Have a great weekend

    July 8, 2011 2:37 pm
  • Lauren said:

    Grapefruit is so refreshing in the summer!

    July 8, 2011 5:19 pm
  • Jackie said:

    This looks SO yum. I wanna go home and start drinkin’ early!! =)

    July 8, 2011 5:45 pm
  • the salt is perfect- i like when it’s coarse grain like that! major props for whipping up such a yummy drink! :)

    July 8, 2011 9:47 pm
  • Habanero in my drink?? Yes, please! Better make it 2!!! :)

    July 8, 2011 10:49 pm
  • Habanero infused tequila? Oh yes! I can tell we’re going to be good friends. :)

    July 9, 2011 12:22 am
  • Simone said:

    O that looks lovely! Now if only the weather here would improve this would be perfect for one of those long hot summerdays!

    July 9, 2011 4:06 am
  • These look awesome! It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’ll probably be sipping on any cocktail that’s within reach. ;)

    July 9, 2011 11:53 am
  • Michelle said:

    I firmly believe that everything tastes better when it is served in a mason jar! Happy weekend!

    July 9, 2011 12:03 pm
  • Kerstin said:

    More drinks should contain grapefruit juice – these look amazing! i love those mason jars too!

    July 9, 2011 12:20 pm
  • This looks amazing! I know what I’m drinking tonight :)

    July 9, 2011 12:43 pm
  • I love grapefruit. I love The Meat House. I love summer too and this post. :)

    July 9, 2011 5:29 pm
  • Wow. Grapefruit margs sound absolutely excellent. I wonder if the heartburn would be worse or better than limes? I’ll have to try them to figure that out.

    July 10, 2011 6:58 am
  • Olga Duate said:

    Preparing different drinks for my birthday in August—–I have chosen this as one of them –Spicy Margarita drink —will let you know soon<3

    July 10, 2011 11:07 am
  • ohhhh, yummy. last night, over some regular margaritas, i realized that tequila is my new favorite booze. making these soon!

    July 10, 2011 12:17 pm
  • Looks like the perfect summer drink!

    July 10, 2011 2:28 pm
  • Love the mason jars and the added kick!

    July 10, 2011 2:35 pm
  • Um, adorable! I love it. And especially love the mason jars for serving! I NEED to get some mason jars!!

    July 11, 2011 7:57 am
  • Joanne said:

    I have some serious grapefruit love (though it has taken me 24 years to get there!) so I’m pretty sure this needs to be MY drink of summer, as well!

    July 11, 2011 7:57 am
  • Vanessa said:

    Pretty! Cocktail Monday? Post more…

    July 11, 2011 1:31 pm

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