Spicy Jalapeño Infused Tequila

This homemade Spicy Jalapeño Infused Tequila recipe is a concoction with a kick. Made with fresh jalapeño peppers, this spirit — your choice of tequila or mezcal — will bring the heat to all your margaritas and palomas, and help you say goodbye to summer!

jalapeño peppers with a jar of spicy tequila

Spicy Jalapeño Tequila recipe

About this Spicy Jalapeño Tequila recipe

Whenever I see spicy drinks on a cocktail menu, I have to order them. Chile-lime seasoning on the rim, hot sauce, horseradish, jalapeño-infused tequila… I want it all.

But this hasn’t always been a quirk of mine. I had to teach myself to like spicy foods. It started with the most amazing buffalo chicken sandwiches at a bar my friends and I frequented, but they were too spicy for me — at first.

The first time I ordered it, I loved it, but it was too much all at once. So I forced myself to order it every time. At least, until the spice became palatable. 

And now? I can eat some spicy foods. I’m not a 24-types-of-hot-sauce-in-my-fridge kind of person, but I do enjoy a little kick here and there. I can handle more spice than my husband, who likes things a step above mild, but I also won’t be ordering anything with ghost pepper. And definitely not Carolina Reaper!

So now, if I spy a spicy margarita on the menu, you better believe I’ll be ordering it. Spicy cocktails don’t have to be enjoyed only in restaurants and bars, though! I’ll show you how to make your own spicy tequila to mix into your drinks at home.

tequila in a jar with sliced jalapeño peppers

Why you’ll love this recipe

This spicy tequila is one of my most popular recipes! You are going to love it because…

  • This recipe is easy to make. All you need is a knife, cutting board and a jar.
  • You can make it as mild or spicy as you like. Promise!
  • It works in everything from Bloody Marys to margaritas.
  • And it makes a great gift for tequila lovers!
a jar of spicy jalapeño tequila next to peppers

What are infused spirits?

Infused spirits are alcohols that have been steeped with an ingredient to absorb its flavor. Homemade spiced rum is an excellent example because regular rum takes on the flavor of cinnamon, ginger, anise, clove and peppercorn.

If you want to bring heat into a cocktail, infusing a spirit with peppers is the best way to do it. You can buy already-infused spicy spirits, or you can make them at home by infusing your favorite spirits with peppers.

Infusing your own spicy spirits is my preferred way because you can control how much spice you bring into the spirits. It only takes a few minutes to prepare this homemade spicy jalapeño infused tequila recipe (plus a couple of days to infuse) and you’ll be on your way to enjoying the spicy margaritas of your dreams.

You can use it in any tequila cocktail, such as the classic margarita or the paloma. In the summer, I love it in these spicy blackberry margaritas, but you could even use it for Christmas margaritas. The possibilities are endless!

a closeup of jalapeño tequila with peppers infusing in it

How to make spicy jalapeño tequila

All you need are some jalapeño peppers and tequila to soak together and a mason jar or bottle to make it happen. You can even make it right within the tequila bottle — though it’s a bit harder to get the jalapeños out if it has a skinny neck. 

  1. To make it, thinly slice the jalapeños and discard the seeds if you desire a milder end product. 
  2. Then soak them in tequila for about a day. They will lose their rich, green color — this is a-okay and totally normal, though not as pretty.
  3. Remove the peppers, and you’ve got a spicy spirit worthy of the best cocktail bar in town.
  4. You can discard the leftover jalapeño slices. Or you can double the trouble and throw them into a recipe like homemade salsa or chili.
a jar of jalapeño tequila with Spicy Jalapeño Blackberry Margaritas, limes and peppers

Spicy cocktails with jalapeño tequila

Now you’re ready to throw it in a drink like this blood orange margarita or a beerita, which is a margarita made with tequila and beer.

And here are 20 more of the best margarita recipes you can try it in! My favorite are these strawberry basil margaritas because the sweetness balances out the spice in a really lovely way. A frozen margarita would also be a fun way to play with fire and ice.

It’s also delicious in a spicy Bloody Mary. Well, when you use tequila, it’s called a Bloody Maria! (A Bloody Mary is made with vodka.)

These Mexican Candy Shots would also be fun with a spicier twist. Or if you’re into shots, why not try spicy tequila shots? And then chase them with sangrita.

However you choose to enjoy your spicy tequila, I say bring on the fire!

two jars of spicy jalapeño pepper tequila

Best tequila for infusions 

Blanco (or silver) tequila is going to be your best bet because it is clear and colorless — a perfect blank slate.

If you prefer an aged taste, try a reposado, which is aged in oak barrels for between two months and one year.

Anejo tequila is aged over a year, and it’s meant to be sipped straight like a fine whiskey or wine, and purists would tell you not to infuse it. But me? I say be creative! You do you.

Still not sure? I have just the tequila guide for you!

spicy tequila with jalapeño peppers

Other spirits to try

Of course! Mezcal would be a great, smokier alternative to tequila. (Though, technically, tequila is a type of mezcal, not the other way around.)

Rum and vodka make great bases for infusions, too! You could make habanero rum or pepper vodka. In fact, check out my hatch chile vodka recipe that shows you how to use another kind of pepper and another spirit!

Types of peppers to use

Jalapeños are milder, but you have options. If another type of pepper strikes your fancy, go wild and experiment!

Be sure to warn anyone you’re serving the tequila to in case they’re sensitive to spice.

Here are a few ideas:

  • bell peppers
  • jalapeños
  • habaneros
  • poblanos
  • hatch chile peppers
  • shishito peppers
  • ghost peppers

Other flavors to infuse

Try adding a few cloves of garlic, pearl onions or slices of onion, red pepper flakes, peppercorns and/or horseradish to your bottle as you infuse. This would be so good in a Bloody Mary!

You can also try roasting your peppers for added smoky flavor. Check out this tutorial for roasting peppers. It would be so good in a smoked old-fashioned with tequila.

two jars of spicy jalapeño infused tequila with peppers in the jars

Adjusting the spice level

The number of peppers and time both play a key role in the spice level of this jalapeño infused tequila recipe.

How to make it spicier

More peppers — especially if you include the seeds — equals more spice. More time infusing means more of the spicy flavors can be absorbed into the tequila.

If you want more spice, use another half or whole pepper and/or infuse the tequila for an extra day or two.

If you do add more peppers, you are probably going to need a bigger jar! My rule is 1-2 jalapeño peppers for 1 cup (8 ounces) of mildly spicy tequila.

Feel free to taste-test it with a spoon every day during the infusion process so you know for sure how spicy it’s getting as it sits.

a jar of spiced tequila

How to make it milder

There are three ways you can make your jalapeño tequila less spicy from the get-go:

  1. Use a milder pepper.
  2. Use fewer peppers/slices.
  3. Don’t use the seeds.
  4. Infuse for less time.

But if you still wind up with too-spicy tequila, you can dilute it by mixing it with a little more of the same regular, un-infused tequila you used for the infusion.

How to store it

Alcohol is a preservative, so the flavor infusion will last a long time. However, it’s best to finish a bottle within a year of opening it, as it can oxidize and evaporate, changing the flavor. 

Always store your spirits in a cool dark place, like a cabinet. Some people like to keep it in the freezer for ice-cold drinks, which is also fine.

FAQ

How long does infused tequila last? 

Technically, forever. Alcohol is a preservative, so your spicy flavor will last a long time. However, it’s wise to finish a bottle within a year of opening it. Store it in a cool dark place, like a cabinet, or even in the freezer.

How long does it take to infuse tequila with jalapeños?

The jalapeños should sit in the tequila for 1-2 days, and the longer it sits, the spicier it gets. Therefore, the infusion process typically takes 1-2 days, but you can adjust the duration based on your desired level of spiciness.

More infused alcohol recipes

I hope you enjoy this jalapeño-infused tequila recipe! Comment below with what you use it in so I can try your spicy concoctions.

This homemade Spicy Jalapeño Infused Tequila Recipe is a concoction with a kick. Made with fresh jalapeño peppers, this spirit — your choice of tequila or mezcal — will bring the heat to all your margaritas and palomas, and help you say goodbye to summer! (via feastandwest.com)

Jalapeño Infused Tequila Recipe

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
This homemade Spicy Jalapeño Infused Tequila Recipe is a concoction with a kick. Made with fresh jalapeño peppers, this spirit — your choice of tequila or mezcal — will bring the heat to all your margaritas and palomas, and help you say goodbye to summer!
4.90 from 69 votes
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ingredients

  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 cups blanco tequila or mezcal

instructions

  • Thinly slice the jalapeño. (Remove the seeds if you prefer less spice.)
  • Place jalapeños in the bottom of a 16-ounce mason jar. Top with tequila and cover with lid. Let sit 1-2 days. (The longer it sits, the spicier it gets.)
  • Remove jalapeño slices with a slotted spoon or strainer, and store in an airtight container.

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nutrition information

Yield: 2 cups

amount per serving:

Serving: 1oz Calories: 57kcal
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

The Golden Ratio Guide:

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Comments

  1. Greg Zyn says

    This spicy tequila drink is impressive, and I always enjoy drinking this with my friends. I hope that you can provide us with more details about different tequila drinks soon because I’d appreciate that a lot. Cheers!

  2. June robbs says

    I used one jalapeño (home grown in my garden) sliced thin and one cup Alteno silver tequilla into mason jar. It has been infusing for several days now. I plan to make the margarita on Friday. Please tell me measurements for the perfect marg. Thanks. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  3. Lyndsey Colvin says

    5 stars
    Nice simple recipe. It’s all about knowing the ratio, and that’s what I came here for. Love your explanations and suggestions and story about how you forced more spicy into your life by practice and willpower. ^-^

  4. Karine says

    I am infusing my first Tequila with Jalapeno after getting turned on to a Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita in FL and just recently had a Habanero Mango Margarita at an amazing Mexican restaurant in Atlanta GA. I’m addicted!

    • Susannah says

      Oh, yay, Karine! I can’t wait to hear how that goes. Those sounds like wonderful combinations. 🙂

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