Make happy hour pop with this spicy cucumber-jalapeño margarita! Made with a fresh ginger simple syrup and cooling cucumber juice, this margarita comes with the perfect spice kick for one irresistible sipper. Grab a spot on the patio and sit back with this refreshing margarita for a relaxing evening.
Why You Need to Make This Recipe
Whenever I'm in the mood for a unique cocktail and see a spicy cucumber margarita on the menu, I can't help but order one on the side of my tacos. If you've tried my mango-jalapeño margarita or Mexican martini, you can already imagine why it's such a tasty margarita, and I'm super excited to finally share this new spicy margarita recipe with you.
While the jalapeño certainly gives us a jolt of spice, it isn't the kind of heat that will set your tongue on fire. Rather, the cocktail delivers a complex chile flavor, and then the fresh ginger syrup adds a wonderful additional warmth.
But it's not all spice. The cucumber gives us a refreshing, cooling effect that makes this margarita perfect for those warm nights. When you bring these ingredients all together, it makes for one unforgettable, unique margarita you'll want to drink over and over again.
For the tequila, I much prefer reposado for my margaritas than blanco, or white, tequila. Reposado tequila spends time aging in oak barrels, giving it a richer, more nuanced flavor. While you can certainly use blanco, reposado tequila is my recommendation.
When it comes to the orange liqueur, we have plenty of options. Triple sec works and is common in your house margaritas, but for a top-shelf margarita, Grand Marnier or Cointreau are my favorites.
You'll also notice we use a fresh ginger simple syrup to give this margarita an extra layer of spice with the right touch of sweetness. For this, we need fresh ginger, water and sugar. While you can buy ginger simple syrup, you can't beat the flavor of homemade, and it's ridiculously easy to prepare.
Step 1: Let’s start by making our fresh ginger simple syrup. For this step, we add equal parts water and sugar along with a cup of chopped fresh ginger to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. We turn off the heat, steep, blend until smooth and strain.
That’s it. Easy, huh? As long as you keep the ginger syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should last several weeks.
Bonus: If you’d like another cocktail recipe for this homemade simple syrup, my sparkling cranberry-ginger margarita is a delight.
Step 2: And now to juice our cucumber. For this step, we throw in some chopped cucumbers into a blender with a splash of water (photo 1) and blend.
Once it all turns to a purée (photo 2), we place a bowl underneath a fine-mesh sieve in the sink and pour the cucumber purée into the sieve (photo 3). This collects the excess pulp and leaves us with smooth, fresh cucumber juice (photo 4).
Like the simple syrup, you can prepare this step ahead of time for easy entertaining. The juice should last in your refrigerator for two to three days.
Step 3: With our fresh ginger simple syrup and cucumber juice prepared, we’re now ready to start on our spicy margarita. We grab a cocktail shaker and add a few fresh jalapeño slices with our lime juice and and muddle to extract that Chile heat (photo 5).
Step 4: Now we add our tequila, orange liqueur, cucumber juice, ginger simple syrup and ice (photo 6). We put on the top and give it a good shake.
Step 5: For an extra pretty presentation, I like to pour some coarse sea salt on a small plate and run a lime slice along the rim of a serving glass. Dip the glass into the salt (photo 7) and we have ourselves a lovely salted rim. This is optional, but it adds a nice touch to our cucumber-jalapeño margarita.
Step 6: All that’s left is to strain this cucumber-jalapeño margarita into an ice-filled glass and then sip, enjoy and repeat.
Related: For more favorite tequila sippers, try my tequila sour and passion fruit margarita.
I highly recommend freshly squeezed lime juice over bottled lime juice. Although you can certainly use bottled lime juice, especially if you're making a large batch, you can't beat the bright flavor of freshly squeezed lime juice. Since lime is the backbone of margaritas, this isn’t the time to skimp.
This may come as a surprise, but a spoon is the best utensil for peeling ginger. You simply run the side of a spoon down the ginger, and the peel comes off easily. Check out this video tutorial if you'd like to see the process in action.
What's a party without a pitcher of margaritas? You can absolutely make this pitcher style, and I included the proportions below. The pitcher recipe is for 12, but if you'd like to customize your servings for a party, the conversion formula is simple, and I say that as someone who doesn't excel at punching numbers.
Multiply the ounces for each ingredient by the number of servings you'd like, and then divide that number by eight, which will give you the measurements in cups. Cocktails are traditionally measured in ounces, but cups are much easier if you need to make a big pitcher.
One lime generally yields 1 ounce of juice, which is enough for a single cucumber-jalapeño margarita, so you can pick up the same number of limes as servings with maybe a few extra to be safe.
- When picking limes for juicing, grab those that have some give when you press into them. If they’re hard, they’re dried out.
- Before juicing the lime, firmly roll it on the counter to help release the juice. I also recommend a handheld citrus juicer to get every drop.
- If you don’t have a very strong blender, you may find it’s easier to start out with a small amount of cucumber and add more as it purées. When there isn’t much liquid, some blenders may have a hard time initially, which is why we add the water, but once it gets going, you can blend a large amount of cucumbers without a problem.
- I like peeling the cucumber before juicing. It gives this cucumber-jalapeño margarita a pretty light green hue, but you can throw the cucumber peel in there if you’d like. Just know that you’ll get a much darker color, and the peel results in a thicker purée.
- Want to add a sparkly kick and extra punch of ginger? Top with a little ginger beer before serving.
- If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a mason jar with a solid lid makes a great replacement. A sturdy wooden spoon can also take the place of a muddler if needed.
- Have extra cucumber juice? It freezes beautifully or add it to your daily water with lemon for a refreshing flavor boost. You can also use it in my mint-cucumber lemonade, cucumber-lavender gin fizz and blackberry-cucumber vodka spritzer.
Margaritas obviously call for tacos, and it just so happens that I have the perfect option -- these Greek lamb tacos. Served with a Mediterranean-inspired cucumber pico de gallo, the flavors in these tacos perfectly mimic our cucumber-jalapeño margarita for one well-matched combination.
When the night calls for a refreshing cocktail, I hope you try this cucumber-jalapeño margarita with fresh ginger simple syrup. I know you will love every sip.
Looking for More Margarita Recipes?
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- Citrus juicer
- Cocktail shaker
Fresh Ginger Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup fresh ginger cut into 1-inch cubes and peeled
- A few fresh jalapeno slices
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice about 1 lime juiced
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 2 ounces cucumber juice (see notes for juicing instructions)
- 1 ounce orange liqueur preferably Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 1 ounce fresh ginger simple syrup
- Extra lime, cucumber and jalapeno slices optional, for garnish
- Coarse sea salt optional, for garnish
Fresh Ginger Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, add the water, sugar and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off heat and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
- Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and blender until smooth. Strain in a fine-mesh sieve to separate the solids from the liquid. The liquid is your syrup. Store the syrup an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. It should last several weeks.
- In a cocktail shaker, add the jalapeno slices with the lime juice. Muddle to release the oils from the jalapeno.
- Add the tequila, cucumber juice, orange liqueur, ginger simple syrup and a handful of ice to the cocktail shaker. Put on the top and shake vigorously, about 15-30 seconds.
- If desired, run a lime slice along the rim of your serving glass. Spread sea salt on a small plate and swirl the moistened rim in the salt to coat. Add ice to the glass.
- Strain the margarita into the ice-filled serving glass. If desired, garnish with additional lime, cucumber and jalapeno slices. Enjoy!
- To make the cucumber juice, toss a handful of peeled cucumber chunks in a blender with a splash of water. Blend until pureed. If you'd like to make extra cucumber juice, you can add more cucumbers once the puree gets going. Place a bowl under a fine-mesh sieve and strain. The sieve will catch the solids, and the bowl will catch your cucumber juice.
- Before juicing, roll the lime firmly under the palm of your hand a few times and use a handheld juicer to get as much lime juice as possible.
- To make enough for a 12-serving pitcher, you'll want 3 cups tequila, 3 cups cucumber juice, 1 ½ cups orange liqueur, 1 ½ cups ginger simple syrup, 1 ½ cups lime juice (or 12 limes) and 1-2 jalapenos, depending on heat preference. The jalapenos will intensify as they sit, so I wouldn't make it more than an hour or two before serving. Another option is to pre-measure and then mix together right before serving for easy entertaining.
- Need a different serving amount for your pitcher? The calculation is easy: Calculate the ounces by the number of servings, and then divide by eight. That will give you the cup equivalent.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
So perfect for summer! I love the bit of heat from the jalapeno. It really gave it something extra and made for a complex drink.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
It adds the perfect kick!
I just bought a cocktail shaker and this cocktail was the perfect recipe to break it in! Can't wait to make this again before summer ends!
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
Oh, how fun! You’re going to have the best time trying new recipes, including this one!
Diana Reis says
So refreshing for summer. As a lover of all things spicy, I especially loved the little kick from the jalapeño. Great drink!
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
It gives it a little something extra!
Such gorgeous styling! This margarita was absolutely amazing and I love all those flavors. Definitely perfect for a relaxing evening.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
Thank you so much, Tara!