These Charred Lime & Jalapeño Margaritas put all others to shame. Smoky, citrusy, and oh-so refreshing, this margarita is fit for Cinco de Mayo.
The thing I love most about margaritas or a batch of guacamole is that no two are the same — as long as you steer clear of the mixes and pre-packaged dips, that is. The perfect guacamole is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and honestly I don’t have a “favorite” because there’s a time and place for every rendition of this glorious dip.
My sister makes a “smashed” guacamole that’s served on a large platter and — rather than mixed all together — is topped with various accoutrements, while a family friend adds pomegranate seeds for a pop of color and sweetness. One of my favorites is an avocado tartare that my sister turned me on to; it’s incredibly rich and savory thanks to the Worcestershire and Dijon. And then there’s the classic; garlic, cumin, red onion, cilantro, lime, jalapeño, salt, and pepper. Whichever way you mash it, guacamole is always a winner.
Likewise, margaritas are always a good idea, and this smoky detour won’t let you down. With a hint of smoke from the charred limes and a touch of spice from jalapeños, these Charred Lime & Jalapeño Margaritas will be on repeat all summer long. Plus, I’ve found that a meal of chips, guacamole, and margaritas leave you blissfully satisfied.
Jalapeño Simple Syrup:
½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings
Chili Margarita Salt:
¼ cup margarita salt
½ teaspoon spicy chili powder
Charred Lime & Jalapeño Margaritas:
2 limes, halved
1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise
3 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
½ ounce jalapeño simple syrup
Large square ice cubes for serving (optional)
Combine water, sugar, and jalapeño rings in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and let steep in saucepan until completely cool.
In a shallow dish, whisk together margarita salt and chili powder.
Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium-high, brush grill grates with oil. Char lime and jalapeño halves, cut-side down, until charred; transfer to a cutting board and juice 3 of the lime halves. Cut remaining lime half into wedges and slice jalapeño halves halfway up, lengthwise, for garnish; set aside.
Rub rim of two rocks glasses with charred lime wedges (or dip in water) and dip in Chili Margarita Salt to coat. Place two large square ice cubes in glasses, or fill with regular ice.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 1½ ounces charred lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and simple syrup. Secure lid and shake vigorously until chilled. Double strain margarita into glasses, top each with a few dashes of bitters, and garnish with charred lime wedge and jalapeño half.
Use the jalapeño simple syrup as needed then refrigerate remaining in an airtight container, with jalapeños, for up to 2 weeks.
To double strain the margarita, strain through both a standard cocktail strainer and a fine mesh sieve.
Although the large ice cubes aren't necessary, I love the look they offer these margaritas. Here are the trays I used!