Texas Red River Margaritas

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + standing


2 servings

Updated: Apr. 24, 2022
When I lived in Texas, I decided to create a cocktail that represented my new home. I've found that blood orange juice works just as well as the grapefruit juice in this spicy margarita recipe. —Danny Schneider, Omaha, NE
Texas Red River Margaritas Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, quartered and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sugar
  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup


  1. Place tequila and jalapenos in a small bowl. Let stand 2-3 hours.
  2. Using water, moisten the rims of four margarita or cocktail glasses. Mix salt and sugar on a plate; hold each glass upside down and dip rim into salt mixture. Set aside. Discard remaining salt mixture on plate.
  3. Strain tequila into a small bowl, discarding jalapenos. Stir in grapefruit juice and simple syrup. Serve in prepared glasses over ice.

Spicy Margarita Tips

Can I make a spicy margarita without jalapenos?

Sure! Instead of jalapenos, you can infuse the tequila with habanero peppers or sprinkle ground cayenne pepper into the tequila and on the salted rim. (Here are other new margarita flavors to try!)

What should I put on the rim of a spicy margarita?

This margarita recipe uses a mix of salt and sugar on the rim. If you’re looking for more of a kick, add a dash of cayenne pepper. For a little more tang and traditional flavor, use a fresh lime wedge instead of water to moisten the rim of the glass before dipping it in the salt mixture. Another fun option for the rim is to use Tajin seasoning, which is a chili-lime blend that will bring some smokiness and citrus flavor to each sip.

Do you need to refrigerate infused tequila?

Infused tequila should easily last for up to 6 months on a dry shelf if you keep it out of the sunlight. To get the spice of the jalapenos to infuse into the tequila, you’ll have to soak them for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours, as this recipe calls for. If you are trying to make a quick spicy margarita, shake some ground cayenne pepper into the tequila and garnish it with another sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a slice or two of jalapeno to get the kick you’re craving!

Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Peppers (Hot)
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 421 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 74g carbohydrate (60g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.