I’ve always loved cocktails that give your taste buds a kick; tart screwdrivers and sweet old-fashioneds have been favorites for years. But in the battle between libations, the spicy cucumber margarita always comes out on top.
My favorite version of the spicy cucumber margarita came from an off-the-beaten-path Mexican restaurant near my college town called Papito’s. Papito’s served up a mean array of Mexican culinary favorites but it was their no-frills cocktails that kept patrons coming back for more. I came for their signature Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita, which was mind-bogglingly delicious; it was the perfect marriage between the always-refreshing cucumber and the born-to-be-bad tingle of a classic jalapeno. I tried countless times to recreate Papito’s margarita when entertaining friends at home but always came up short.
Before I left school and moved to New York City, I convinced the staff to let me in on their “secret” recipe. What I thought was going to be a complex (maybe even scientific!) construction ended up being a surprisingly simple recipe. The trick was to make your own simple syrup, which the bartenders at Papito’s lightly infused with red chilis!
Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to reflect my personality and taste preference – but you’re getting the real deal. I should warn you, these are incredibly delicious – and if you start making them for friends, be prepared to make a few rounds… they really are that good.
I’m stoked to team up with Hornitos® Tequila to show off my favorite cocktail with a little Scout Sixteen twist. Be sure to check out the awesome video below featuring VICE’s Munchies channel and Hornitos® Tequila!
Scout’s Spicy Cucumber Margarita
1/3 part sugar
1/3 part water
3 parts Hornitos® Tequila (Blanco or Hornitos® Black Barrel®)
1 1/2 parts lemon juice
1 1/2 parts lime juice
1/2 part Triple Sec
cucumber slice on top
sprig of rosemary (optional)
Bring 1/3 part sugar and 1/3 part water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let simple syrup cool.
Bonus Step: I add in a few sprigs of rosemary during the boil to infuse my simple syrup with a natural, herby flavor. Remove the rosemary leaves before crafting the cocktail.
Combine simple syrup, 3 parts Hornitos® Tequila, 1 1/2 parts fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 parts fresh lime juice, 1/2 part Triple Sec, and 1 jalapeño (halved lengthwise) in a pitcher. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
Taste the concoction every 30 minutes until it’s as spicy as you’d like it. Remove the jalapenos.
Rub a lime wedge over half the rim of glass; dip into salt.
Serve your margaritas over ice in prepared glasses; garnish with sliced jalapeño and cucumber.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hornitos® Tequila. All content is original and all opinions are my own. All trademarks are the property of their respective owner.
Scout Sixteen is a lifestyle blog from Justin Livingston. Justin grew up in Mississippi but relocated to New York City in 2008. On Scout Sixteen, Justin shares his passion in fashion, travel, food and drink, and mental wellness.