Tangy, refreshing, and a little spicy—this drink has it all.
I love festive drinks, but the one I keep returning to again and again is a spicy margarita. I am completely hooked on its balance of tangy, spicy, and sweet with a hint of salt. It hits the perfect combo of flavors.
And while tequila is great and all, you don’t really need it. In fact, a non-alcoholic version is just as good and can be served to anyone who wants one, any time of day. It’s the perfect daytime sipper, taco night accompaniment, or worthy zero-proof party option for non-imbibers.
While my spicy margarita mocktail tastes like something they’d serve you at a fancy bar, you only need four ingredients and five minutes to make it. It’s easy to mix up for guests or yourself on just any old weeknight.
How To Make My Spicy Margarita Mocktail
To make one cocktail, you’ll need:
4 slices fresh jalapeño
1 1/2 teaspoons agave syrup
Smoked salt or kosher salt, optional
1 cup club soda or sparkling water
For a fancier finish and a flavorful sip, rim your glass with Tajín: Cut the lime in half and reserve one half. Cut two wedges from the other half and use a wedge to moisten the rim of your glass; set the other aside for garnish. Sprinkle some Tajín on a small plate and dip the rim of the glass in the seasoning.
Add three slices of the jalapeño (or to taste) and the agave to the glass. Drop in the wedge of lime you used to rim the glass. If you have smoked salt handy, add a sprinkle. Otherwise, you can add a little kosher salt or omit it.
Use a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon to smash the ingredients together, dissolving the agave and salt. Juice the lime half and add the juice, about 1 tablespoon. Stir. Top with lots of ice, then pour the club soda over top. Garnish with the remaining slice of jalapeño and wedge of lime and serve.
Put Your Own Spin On It
This formula works every time for me and is a crowd-pleaser—not too sweet, not too tart. However, adjust this to your tastes. If you like your drinks on the tart side, use as little as one teaspoon of agave. If you prefer a sweeter drink, use two teaspoons. And add more or less jalapeño to meet your heat tolerance.
Although not traditional, I like using club soda in a non-alcoholic cocktail since it adds a bit of interest. That being said, you can just flat water instead. If you’re lucky enough to have some zero proof tequila, you can reduce the club soda by half and add one to two ounces of NA tequila (or to taste).
For a fruitier spicy margarita, swap half of the club soda for pineapple or mango juice, or add some fresh fruit like blackberries when muddling. No matter how you make it, it’s sure to be tasty.
Read the original article on Simply Recipes.