13 Spicy Cocktail Recipes that Pack a Punch

November 01, 2022 by Sonja Edridge

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If you love fiery flavors, embrace the heat with our list of spicy cocktails. We’ve got every level of spiciness, as measured by the Scoville scale, to suit your flame tolerance. Get ready to turn up the heat!

1. Bloody Maria

Bloody Maria Cocktail

The Bloody Maria recipe is a twist on a classic Bloody Mary, and if you prefer tequila to vodka, then this cocktail has your name on it. To make one, shake up 2 oz of good tequila with 4 oz tomato juice. Add a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon of horseradish, 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to taste. Add a pinch of celery salt and black pepper, and garnish like there’s no tomorrow!

Make it with: Esplolòn Tequila Blanco

2. Spicy Margarita

Two Spicy Margarita cocktails served with a plate of fries

Put a (gentle) spicy spin on your classic Margarita and try our Spicy Margarita. Grab that jar of jalapeños from your fridge and get mixing. If you’re hosting a Mexican-themed party and have invited a crowd, then it’s a perfect recipe to bulk up and pour into a pitcher.

Make it with: Grand Marnier 

3. Habanero Blood Orange Margarita

Two Spicy Habanero Blood Orange Margaritas served with a plate of nachos and guacamole

The Habanero Blood Orange Margarita is a refreshing twist on the classic with a complex sweet-citrus boost of blood orange juice and orange liqueur. Mix in the bitterness of Campari, the fire of a habanero and the kick of tequila, and you’ll have one of the best Margaritas for the books.

Read next: Why We Love National Margarita Day

4. Pineapple Chili Margarita

Three Spicy Pineapple Margaritas garnished with jalapeño and pineapple

In foodie land, pineapple and chili are the perfect pairing, and in mixology, it’s absolute bliss. Mix up our Habanero Blood Orange Margarita recipe above, but give it a few tweaks. Add a sweet-and-spicy tajín rim to your glass and swap the blood orange juice for fresh pineapple juice. If you like it extra spicy, add a few drops of hot sauce.

More Marg recipes: What is the Best Margarita Recipe? 10 Ways to Make a Margarita

5. Michelada

Three Spicy Michelada cocktails served with pulled pork tacos

Loosely translated from Spanish, Michelada means “my cold beer”. If you like a brewski, then our Mexican Beer Michelada will be right up your alley. It has all the savory vibes of a Bloody Mary, but it’s mixed with beer and lime juice. If you’re game, go the authentic route and stir it up with clamato (clam and tomato) sauce.

Beer fans, read on: 10 Beer Cocktails For The Win

6. Spicy Paloma

Two Spicy Paloma Cocktail variations served at a beach café

The Paloma is Mexico’s number one cocktail and is a tangy, zesty mix of grapefruit juice, lime juice and club soda. To make a Spicy Paloma, replace the agave sweetener with an easy-to-make jalapeño simple syrup. It’s got quite a kick, so sip our sunny cocktail slowly and pair it with fish tacos or sweet BBQ wings for a perfect match!

Celebrating summer: 13 Easy Tequila Summer Cocktails for Beginners

7. Hot in Rio

Two Hot in Rio spicy cocktails served with chicken sliders

The irresistible Hot in Rio cocktail is made with cachaça, a sweet and spicy distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. If you’re a fan of Caipirinha, then you’ll be familiar with this spirit. To make this bold, tasty cocktail combine 2 oz cachaça, the juice of a freshly squeezed lime, and ½ oz of sweet agave in a cocktail shaker. Add in three lime wedges and three slices of serrano chili with a pinch of salt, then give it a good shake. Strain it into a tumbler and garnish with a lime wedge and sliced chili.

8. Jalapeño Infused Mezcal Mule

Two Jalapeño Mezcal Mules served in copper mugs

The gorgeous and classic Moscow Mule is probably the most well-known cocktail made with ginger beer. When you give a Moscow Mule a spicy mezcal twist, something magical happens. The smoky mezcal partners with the tropical lime, ginger beer and jalapeño, and sends it into another dimension. To make one, muddle three lime wedges with a few slices of jalapeños, then follow our Moscow Mule recipe but ditch the vodka for mezcal.

Make it with: Montelobos Mezcal.

9. Mango and Serrano Chili Daiquiri

Two Mango and Serrano Chili Daiquiris served poolside

This is the perfect cocktail to serve when it’s hot outside and you’re craving an icy Daiquiri to cool you down. To make one, follow our easy Mango Daiquiri recipe, but instead of using a regular simple syrup, mix up a serrano simple syrup. Couldn’t be simpler!

Make it with: Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum.

10. Cucumber Wasabi Martini

A Cucumber and Wasabi Martini served with a plate of sushi

Make our Cucumber Wasabi Martini when you want to impress your friends with your home bar skills. To make this showstopper cocktail, just follow our Cucumber Martini recipe and add a dollop of wasabi paste into the mix to shake up this spicy drink.

Make it with: SKYY Vodka

11. Spicy Jalapeño Gimlet

A Spicy Gimlet cocktail with a jalapeño slice garnish served in an elegant coupe glass

To make our Spicy Jalapeño Gimlet, shake up 2 oz of gin or vodka with 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice. Add ½ oz of easy jalapeño simple syrup (in place of the regular), shake it up over ice and strain it over a spicy rimmed glass over fresh ice.

Make it with: Bulldog Gin

12. Firecracker

Three spicy Firecracker cocktails with lime garnish served with salted pretzels and watermelon in a modern kitchen setting

The Firecracker is a feisty cocktail brimming with zesty lime and sweet watermelon. Made with a blend of rum, orange liqueur, watermelon, lime juice, simple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper to give it a spicy kick, it’s easy to make and perfect for those who enjoy an adventurous drink. 

Make it with: Appleton Estate Rum.

13. Habanero Martini

A spicy Habanero Martini with a habanero chili garnish

This spicy drink has quite a kick, thanks to the habanero garnish, but it’s not as hot as you might think. The recipe follows the Classic Martini format but swaps gin for reposado tequila and olives for a habanero chili, which infuses the cocktail with a tantalizing heat. You can also swap out the habanero for a jalapeño or serrano pepper instead. One word of warning though: unlike a regular Martini where you can eat the olive garnish, you definitely shouldn’t eat the chili.


There are plenty of spirits that are chili or chipotle-infused and spiced. Likewise, a cinnamon infused vodka is spicy on the palette. However, alcohol like tequila or Galliano can trick the tastebuds as they have a bite but not necessarily because of added spice.

Cocktails with a good fizz help douse the flames of a hot menu. Cocktails topped up with club soda or ginger beer are good options to match with spicy foods. Oak or smoked spirits should be avoided, as they will fuel the fire.

Spicing up a cocktail is so easy and there are a few ways to fire things up. You can add slices of chili directly to your cocktail by muddling it into your cocktail with lime and other ingredients. You can also infuse a simple syrup with jalapeño or Serrano chili and shake into your mix. Garnish is the other path to fuel the fire. Make a sweet-and-spicy tajín rim or add slices or slivers of your favorite chili to the top of your cocktail to add the flame.

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