For Your Drinks: Spicy Hot Chili, Lime & Sea Salt Syrup

Spicy syrup on Get Sconed!

I’ve been caught dreaming of warm days (which is so not me) and vibrant margaritas (which is the new me) since my trip to Austin, TX with Vida Vegan HQ last month. Give me a patio, a salted rim, dark sunglasses, chips and endless salsa, and you have the highlight of a summer day. It’s a wake up in the morning with a countdown for the cocktail hour type-of-day. 
I’ve dabbled with a few margarita recreations since my return, of the cucumber and fresh, serrano pepper-infused, to be exact. This syrup works both as a sweet and spicy element in either a classic (details below the syrup) or better yet, a truly fiery margarita. And for the best margarita, make sure to squeeze your own citrus juices and use high quality tequila. You won’t regret it (and you will always regret bottom shelf tequila). The sea salt here balances that sweet heat and works so well in the final product, your long-awaited margarita.
Although I certainly included the precious Thai bird’s-eye chilis in my recent rendition of this syrup, they are optional – unless you crave heat, that is.
Do it.

Hot Chili, Lime & Sea Salt Syrup

In a small saucepan, combine:

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
  • 2 sliced jalapeno peppers, including seeds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt > I used Sale di Cervia
  • juice of one lime
  • optional: handful of Thai chiles or other hot peppers

Bring to a boil, and stir with a whisk, and let simmer on low for twenty minutes. Cool briefly, strain, and bottle as desired.

Add to cocktails and mocktails for that extra something, in place of where agave is often called for in margaritas.

Spicy Syrup on Get Sconed!


Use in a traditional margarita recipe like so for a pleasant kick….

For an easy, spicy margarita (if there was a photo I’d have a perkier name for this, of course) combine 2 ounces silver tequila, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/4-1/2 ounce of the spicy syrup (depending on how sweet & spicy you like your cocktails) and pinch of salt in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and pour into a glass with a salted rim, if so desired. Garnish with fresh lime and sliced jalapeno.

Spicy Syrup on Get Sconed!

Next up, perfecting the cucumber margarita (I’ve got the color, but I’m working on the consistency), awaiting my cohorts’ take on the avocado margarita, an Austin cocktail round-up, plenty of culinary back-log, and making my own infused margarita salts. I’m still swooning over smoked salt & hibiscus-scented rims at La Condesa…


  1. Yes!! This is awesome. Pinning for those warm margarita days that are just around the corner. P.S. Every day is a “wake up in the morning with a countdown for the cocktail hour type-of-day” for me!

  2. This was so good! Thanks for the recipe – I made this (and the margaritas) yesterday, and it was great. If I wanted to do a similar syrup with mint or basil, would I still simmer it like this, or just infuse the “raw” herbs into the syrup over time?

    1. Hi Sarah –

      That is so swell to hear you’re enjoying it! Yes, you can definitely do similar with fresh herbs on the stove top, no need to infuse. I’ve done similar with mint-cucumber syrup and basil-lime.
      Now, if you wanted to do a tincture or a homemade liquor, however, infuse – if that makes sense.

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