Sweet, fruity drinks have their place, but spicy drinks – generously dusted with cayenne pepper or laced with swirls of deep red hot sauce – are delicious too; perfect as a bracing accompaniment to brunch or as a titillating pre-dinner aperitif. And contrary to popular perception, a spicy cocktail shouldn’t taste merely of overwhelming heat. Instead, our favorite spicy cocktails utilize heat as a flavor that enhances, rather than detracts, from ingredients like Mexican beer (in a yummy Michelada), mango (a must-try spicy-rimmed margarita) and cilantro (in a savory fresno chile cocktail). With that in mind, try one – or all three! – of our very favorite spicy cocktails this weekend.
A Cayenne-spiced Mango Margarita
Thanks to this cocktail, you no longer have to choose between sweet and spicy with this drink’s full-bodied blend of mango juice, aged tequila, lime and agave with a spicy cayenne pepper rim. Click here for the recipe.
Picante de la Casa
The Picante de la Casa features tequila layered with lime juice, fresh cilantro and a spicy hit of fresno chili pepper that’s balanced by the sweetness of agave nectar. Click here for the recipe.
The Michelada – whose name is a combination of the words “mix” and “chela,” which is slang for beer in Mexico – is a traditional thirst-quencher in Mexico and throughout the Southwest. While some may debate the addition of clam or tomato juice, soy or Worstershire sauce, celery salt or pepper, we love this heady concoction simply prepared with hot sauce, chipotle sauce and guajillo chile. Click here for the recipe.