Fresh Lime & Jalapeno Margarita

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This skinny jalapeno margarita is simply made with lime juice, silver tequila, honey, and some jalapeno + cilantro. This almost-good-for you combo will please even the most discerning margarita lover (think: the BEST skinny margarita!).

Fresh Lime and Jalapeno Margarita

It's official, folks. Summertime is upon us! Because it's been a while, we should probably recap how summer works:

Summer's obligation to us: provide sunshine, chirping birds, warm cars to enjoy upon exit from chilly buildings, minimal mosquitoes, and countless excuses to throw parties of 1 to 100.

Our obligation to summer: find a completely engrossing book, spend as many days as possible relaxing poolside and feeling confident in our bodies, eat only the best BBQ, and find/make/share a knock-your-socks-off margarita.

While I can't help with all the above, I CAN provide book inspiration in that I'm planning to read Girl on the Train, Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and Ajax Penumbra 1969 (a prequel to the WONDERFUL book Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store) this summer. If you want to join my entirely unofficial Fed+Fit Book-Club, follow me on Instagram! We can dish over our thoughts on these summer reads.

Books aside, I can ALSO aid in your search for a knock-your-socks-off margarita by sharing the very best jalapeno margarita recipe in the whole wide world! It's the very best and it's almost good for you.

Important note of qualification: as a Garcia by birth and resident of San Antonio, TX with a picky palate for only the best ingredients that actually jive WITH my healthy body (vs. make me feel like crap), I am actually the foremost authority on tasty-delicious, almost-good-for-you margaritas.

Fresh Lime and Jalapeno Margarita

What's the difference between a skinny margarita and a regular one?

So, what makes this jalapeno margarita ‘almost-good-for-you’ or ‘skinny’?! Instead of using a sugar-laden sweet and sour mix, we’re combining SIMPLE, good-for-you ingredients to make this poolside cocktail. Best part? *This* is how margaritas are authentically made – fresh lime juice gets the job done like no sweet and sour mix could ever do! Honey, though still a sugar, actually promotes our health rather than making us feel sluggish and icky the next day. Essentially, this skinny margarita recipe is the best of both worlds: authentic + better-for-you!

Jalapeno Margarita Ingredients

This masterpiece of a cocktail is made possible by a small, but powerful list of ingredients: FRESH lime juice, silver tequila, honey, and some jalapeno + cilantro. The cilantro is optional for anyone who thinks cilantro tastes like soap. I'd never ask you to put soap in your margarita.

  • Honey – it's not only a delicious sweetener, but raw honey also plays host to a wonderful range of natural enzymes that help promote our health! Honey IS still a sugar and, therefore, should be consumed in moderation – but it's a great natural option. You can also use agave here, which is more traditional, but I’ve opted for honey because it is always in my pantry and I love the taste!
  • Silver Tequila – silver tequila is a bit more neutral than many gold tequilas, which makes it perfect for mixing into margaritas. 
  • Fresh Lime Juice – unless you're purchasing lime juice that was squeezed THAT MORNING from a Whole Foods, you absolutely must juice your own limes. Lime juice concentrate and lime juice mixers contain a whole slew of artificial ingredients that makes for a drink that is miles away from it's more delicious, freshly squeezed alternative.
  • Jalapeno + Cilantro – um, because they're delicious. Duh. Sure the jalapeno and cilantro offer a tiny punch of additional vitamin/minerals, but they're really just included for flavor and pizazz. You and your summer deserve all the pizazz!

Fresh Lime and Jalapeno Margarita

How to Make a Spicy Jalapeno Margarita

This part is just as simple as the ingredient list thanks to a few tips, tricks, and handy tools that I have up my sleeve (note: don’t actually carry the handy tools up your sleeve…that’s weird!) Here’s how I make this drink so that I can get poolside ASAP:

  1. Muddle the Jalapeno – in the bottom of a pitcher, muddle the jalapeno slices (tip: use THIS grapefruit spoon (handy tool #1) for easy jalapeno seed removal) with the lime juice (handy tool #2 – THIS citrus juicer!) 10-12 presses with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon will do!
  2. Add the Tequila + Honey – add the tequila and honey, stir to combine thoroughly – or until all the honey is dissolved.
  3. Dress the Rim with Sea Salt – pour the sea salt in the bottom of a small bowl. Dip the top of each glass in the margarita mixture, let it drain off, then press the top of the glass into the bowl of salt. Gently tap the glass with your hand to knock off any excess.
  4. Pour, Garnish, and Enjoy – Fill each glass with fresh ice and pour in the margarita mix, then garnish with fresh lime and cilantro, and ENJOY!

Fresh Lime and Jalapeno Margarita

That's it! The cat is officially out of the bag. You know the key to my heart: good summer reads and a fresh lime jalapeno margarita. You can find me sitting poolside while I laugh and cry out loud to my books (I'm that girl who can't bottle book emotions) and asking the bartender if he can sweeten my margarita with honey instead of syrup.

If you're interested in hearing more of my thoughts on alcohol, how it's made, how it's processed, how to best prepare your body for a drink, and how I personally indulge, check out Episode 22 (Alcohol 101) of the Fed+Fit Podcast! I promise I only geek out over the science 7 times.

More Skinny Poolside Beverages

Now, put on that suit (confidently, of course!), grab your skinny jalapeno margarita + feel-good read, and get poolside stat! 

Print

Skinny Jalapeno Margarita

Fresh Lime and Jalapeno Margarita

These refreshing jalapeno margaritas are the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, with a slightly spicy kick!

  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 large green jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon) silver tequila
  • 24 tablespoons honey (sweeten to your liking)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 lime wedges for garnish
  • 2 sprigs cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of a pitcher, muddle the jalapeno slices with the lime juice. 10-12 presses with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon will do!
  2. Add the tequila and honey, stir to combine thoroughly – or until all the honey is dissolved.
  3. Pour the sea salt in the bottom of a small bowl. Dip the top of each glass in the margarita mixture, let it drain off, then press the top of the glass into the bowl of salt. Gently tap the glass with your hand to knock off any excess.
  4. Fill each glass with fresh ice and pour in the margarita mix.
  5. Garnish with the fresh lime and cilantro.
  6. ENJOY!

Notes

  • For a less strong margarita – you can top off your drink with sparkling water like topo chico.
  • For a slightly spicy margarita, remove the seeds from the jalapeno. For a spicier option, muddle the seeds then strain them out.
  • You can also use agave in place of the honey to sweeten this recipe

Keywords: margarita, honey, spicy, jalapeno

Comments

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  1. Brandy says:

    First of all, I love this post and your writing voice. You are so hilarious. Second of all, I need to make these ASAP. Love me some margs!! And finally – about asking your bartender to use honey instead of syrup – does that actually work?! Normally, I stick with my boring old standby vodka soda with 3 limes but that is a total game changer!!!

    1. Cassy says:

      It DOES work! Works like a charm. Minus those occasions that they ask if honey is the same thing as agave …

  2. KMoore says:

    From your margarita recipe article….”Everything from added sugars, dies, water, and other preservatives….”(I think you mean “dyes”?)

    Can you recommend a non-alcohol version of this drink for sober folks?

    1. Cassy says:

      Ah – thank you for that catch! Yes, that’s what I meant. It’s changed now. As for a non-alcoholic version, sub the tequila with some unflavored sparkling water or a kombucha you enjoy!

  3. Noël Peck says:

    I just made this tonight but with about a tsp of honey. Delis!

    1. Kelly says:

      So glad you liked it Noel, thanks for trying it!

  4. Daniela says:

    Hi!! I Love this… Sounds SOOO fresh!!! Another thing, you mentioned to add sparkling soda instead of tequila? I’m pregnant but I’m loving the sound of this cocktail!!!

    Any idea will help!!!
    Thank you!!!

    1. Cassy says:

      Yes, ma’am! Just do an even swap of tequila for sparkling water and you’ll have a delicious mocktail on your hands!

  5. Travis Rodriguez says:

    Made this freshtacular marg over the weekend – dang near perfect! We were out of cilantro, but had some basil growing in the backyard, so did a lil’ switcharoo and the result was two degrees short of an all-inclusive Mexican resort. Thanks!!!

    1. Kelly says:

      Thanks for trying them Travis and the amazing comment!

  6. RRuiz says:

    I made this for my husband and myself…absolutely loved it!! Very refreshing..and alot healthier than a margarita you find at restaurants!

    thanks for the recipe. :))

  7. Thanks Kelly. I tried this recipe out with my boyfriend. Being a health-conscious and fitness freak who enjoys his occasional marathon participation, he simply enjoyed this drink. He likes to have this with his dinner.

  8. Gayle says:

    Absolutely the best I’ve ever had. I did double the recipe and just eaked out 3 drinks. I too used the same size glass as pictured. So if your hosting a few friends plan accordingly. They were delicious!

  9. Anna says:

    An awesome swap would be to use Mike’s hot honey for the extra sweet spice 🙂

  10. Brigitte says:

    This is absolutely delicious!!!!! I made a rim of fennel seeds…chili powder…salt (buzzed in small food processor) put a little honey on rim then dipped in spices. Thanks for the recipe. New favorite

  11. Jen says:

    back to back lacrosse games as a spectator was how I spent my Sunday- got home and whipped this cocktail up- delicious and worth the wait! Gracias

  12. Lizzle says:

    Great recipe! Awful site with all the pop ups… bummer

  13. Kelli says:

    Love this recipe so much! I’ll definitely be linking to it in my Cinco de Mayo newsletter today!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Awesome!! Thanks! It really is SUCH a tasty margarita!

  14. Ellen Brandt says:

    Hello! I made these for cinco de Mayo.
    Wow oh wow fantastic. I’m hooked. Only added 1 1/2 tbls of honey. Can’t wait for the weekend to make again. ps used only top notch ingredients. Makes a difference;)

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved these margaritas! So yummy, and the perfect Cinco de Mayo (or any day, really!) adult beverage!

  15. Lindsay says:

    I made these a few months ago without a jalapeno and while that was fine, WITH a jalapeno is SO tasty. The spice is what makes them. They are not sweet, but still smooth. Woot!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yay! So glad you love them!

  16. Andrew says:

    Such a good margarita! I love the spice from the jalapeno it definitely gives it a kick! I’ve also done this with Agave syrup (instead of honey) and it tastes just as good.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So good to know! Thanks so much for sharing, Andrew!

  17. Julia says:

    I just made this for Friday night happy hour and it is refreshing with a little zing at the end. What a great way to end the week.
    Thank you!
    Julia

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it, Julia! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  18. Amy K says:

    Happy Friday to me!! This was awesome! I will definitely be putting this drink on repeat. I loved it and I love that it’s a healthier version of my favorite. SO MUCH YUM!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Awesome!! So glad you enjoyed it, Amy!

  19. Teri says:

    I my word! Totally rocked this tea-totaler’s world! Kombucha, lime, and jalapeño!!! Yes

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So good!! Love that swap! So glad you enjoyed it, Teri!

  20. Emily says:

    Made these tonight with jalapenos from my garden and it was delicious!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wow, so awesome! We’re so glad you enjoyed this one, Emily!

  21. Yoojin says:

    Loved this recipe! I was hesitant about the jalapeno in a drink, but it worked perfectly with the honey!
    Will make it again during the summer for sure 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So great to hear, Yoojin! Thanks for sharing!!

  22. Nerissa says:

    I find any excuse to make this recipe. I discovered it a couple of years ago and it has become my absolutely favorite Margarita recipe. It is perfect, not only for 5 de mayo but for any celebration or gathering. I love making a pitcher of it especially during summer. It is always a hit and highly requested by my friends. It’s the perfect complement to a Mexican or BBQ meal. I love the combination of flavors and the fact that it is made using natural ingredients. It is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend it. Try it and you will Love it as much as I do.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thank you so much for this, Nerissa!! We are so glad this is a go-to drink for you! It’s such a good one!

  23. Brittany Beaver says:

    Takes all the guesswork and intimidation out of whipping up a cocktail at home. It’s delicious, not too spicy, the perfect restaurant quality margarita without all the sugar!!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Brittany! We’re glad you love it!

  24. Allison says:

    This is my FAVORITE margarita recipe! The fresh lime and jalapeño are key!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo!! Totally agree – so yummy!! Thank you for sharing this with us, Allison!

  25. Lindsay says:

    Loved this refreshing summer cocktail!
    I subbed agave for the honey and it turned out great. I will be making these with tacos all summer long.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So great to hear, Lindsay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

  26. Lauren Bowers says:

    These were delicious! Normally, I don’t go for the spiciness in my cocktails, but the honey balanced it nicely and they were very tasty.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’s so great to hear, Lauren! We’re glad you enjoyed it!

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVED that I could control the spice and TOTALLY took y’all up on the suggestion to top the marg with club soda. I’m not normally a huge tequila girl but this made it way more enjoyable and refreshing! Cheers! 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So awesome, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing!!

  28. Serena says:

    Spicy margs are my jam and I really loved this version! Made some for my boyfriend -and I on Saturday night and it was delightful! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So fun! Thanks for sharing this with us, Serena…we’re glad you all enjoyed it!

  29. Carly says:

    The most delish margarita we’ve ever made! And I love that it’s not filled with a lot of sugar or junk!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo!! So glad you loved it, Carly!

  30. Kelly Routt says:

    Great recipe! I added a little sparkling water and left out the cilantro because I didn’t want my drink to taste like soap (the struggle is real). Would definitely make again!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! Thanks for sharing this with us, Kelly!

  31. Erinn says:

    My favorite margarita! I love that the jalapeño spiciness can be turned up a notch just by adding a few seeds. I have sent many friends to this recipe over the years!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’s amazing, Erinn! We appreciate that so much!

  32. Sara says:

    Love this recipe so much! I’ve been looking for a good healthier margarita recipe (margs are my favorite cocktail!) to make to serve at my small backyard wedding this year- and this is it! Thank you!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      YAY! That’s so great to hear, Sara! Congratulations on your wedding!

  33. Laiken Williams says:

    I love that this recipe is full of flavor, without the super high sugar most margs have! And the jalapeño is !

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Totally! Thanks for sharing this with us, Laiken!

  34. Haylee says:

    I’ve made this multiple times now and it turns out wonderful each time. Our go-to summer drink!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So great to hear! Thanks, Haylee!

  35. Natalie says:

    So delicious and surprisingly refreshing with the jalapeño! I have also made this drink without the jalapeño for friends who don’t want the spice and it is just as good!!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So good to know! Thank you, Natalie!

  36. Christie says:

    Love this margarita recipe, I found it early on during quarantine and it’s been on repeat ever since. Fresh lime juice is the best (rather than a gunky mix) and the jalapeno adds just enough spice. I rim my glasses with some Tajin for a little more salty/spicy goodness with every sip 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      SO good, Christie! Love that! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  37. Kate T says:

    I am obsessed with this recipe! I made it last night after telling my boyfriend that every cocktail I make tastes like poison. This is the most straight forward fool proof margarita recipe ever! I’m also obsessed with spicy myself, but my boyfriend doesn’t so I made him one without jalapeños and it was just as yummy!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That’s amazing, Kate! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Such a fun twist on a basic margarita, and so easy to make! A great way to have a craft cocktail at home. I’m not great with spicy, so the honey was a perfect way to offset the jalapeño!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! So glad to hear it, Elizabeth!

  39. Dagny says:

    Honey and jalapeños! Yes please. Super delicious-thanks for the recipe!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it, Dagny!

  40. Megan says:

    This recipe was AHHHHHMAZING! I also added a few chunks of watermelon and muddled them in after the jalapeños and loved the extra summer sweetness it added. Super fun, easy, and delicious!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      SO GOOD! Love that watermelon addition, Megan!

  41. Stephanie says:

    This recipe is great! I didn’t want to share. The jalapeno gives it a nice kick!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I totally understand that feeling, Stephanie! We’re so glad you loved it!

  42. Courtney says:

    Love finding a new skinny margarita recipe! Great balance of flavors. Thanks F + F!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it, Courtney!!

  43. Lety Breckerfield says:

    Spicy but refreshing!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Totally! Glad you liked it, Lety!

  44. Elyse says:

    Made these tonight and they were so good and refreshing! The fresh lime juice makes all of the difference! The only change I would make is making sure some seeds got in there to make it a bit spicier lol but my husband and I both loved it!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yes, fresh lime juice is KEY! So glad you both enjoyed it, Elyse!

  45. Sydney says:

    Absolutely LOVE this drink!! So easy and fun for an at home Taco Tuesday!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      YES, the best taco Tuesday companion! So glad you love it, Sydney!

  46. Jessica says:

    Love this margarita! I was worried about the spiciness but it is perfect!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad to hear that, Jessica! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  47. Kara Sandelin says:

    This is such great recipe! I made this as a mocktail, instead of tequila I added 4 ounces of lime Spindrift and it was delicious.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Love that, Kara! Thank you for sharing!!

  48. Katie says:

    I’m usually not a huge jalapeño fan because I typically don’t like spicy stuff, but this was just the right amount of spicy and sweet! Definitely will be making again, so yummy!!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Katie!

  49. Karen says:

    This was so delicious and I was skeptical!! I thought it was going to need soda water, but it was absolutely delicious! Our jalapeños were suuuuuuuper spicy so I left out the seeds, but the drink wasn’t that spicy! I bought another bag of limes today to make another one to go with pork carnita tacos tomorrow! (Fed + fit recipe of course!)

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Perfect pairing, Karen! Enjoy!!

  50. Elaine says:

    This was sooo good! I’ve always been intimidated to make a fresh margarita. This was easy and it tastes so much better than using a mix. This will be on repeat this summer!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So awesome! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Elaine!

  51. Laura Noble says:

    This was very refreshing! I don’t love a lot of spice so I used less jalapeño and it was delicious. I had one with tequila and one with sparkling lime water and both were equally tasty.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So great to know, Laura! We’re glad you enjoyed both versions!

  52. Kaitlyn Davila says:

    I’ve made these twice in the last two weeks! They are delicious! My husband usually makes the cocktails, but now I have some that I can whip up. This one and the frozen watermelon margaritas!! My husband said “you’re making the margaritas from now on!” Excited to keep making these!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! That’s awesome, Kaitlyn!

  53. Lauren Moore says:

    Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Courtney! Please check your email for more information!

  54. Allie says:

    This was so, so good! Added carrots for a complete meal. Will definitely make again!!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it, Allie!