This Grapefruit Spicy Margarita recipe is perfect for sipping on summer days! Made with just 5-ingredients!

Can’t get enough margarita recipes? Try my Hibiscus Margarita, Grilled Pineapple Margarita, and Italian Margarita too!

It seems really easy to come up with a good reason to have a cocktail, right?

  • It’s 5 o’clock
  • It’s sunny outside
  • It’s the weekend (cheers to the freakin’ weekend)
  • The season premiere of Real Housewives is on
  • Etc., etc., etc.

I’m going to give you a few more reason to delight in this particular cocktail – It’s super easy to make, it’s spicy and it’s totally refreshing!

It’s a Spicy Grapefruit Margarita.

This spicy margarita recipe skips the time consuming step of infusing the tequila with habanero. Instead, all of the heat comes from a delicious simple syrup that comes together easily in just 10 minutes.

To make the spicy margaritas, just add a bit of it to a cocktail shaker along with the tequila, grapefruit juice and a splash of triple sec. Rim your glass with some salt (I LOVE using these easy to make citrus salts), pour out your concoction, top it with some extra ice and you are good to go!

No fancy ingredients, no time consuming steps, no excuses NOT to make this delicious Spicy Grapefruit Margarita.

Grapefruit margaritas on counter with plate of salt and shaker.

Spicy Grapefruit Margarita ingredients:

Tips for making it:

  • The finished habanero simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks. Try using it in any cocktail that calls for simple syrup, or add it to lemonade.
  • You can control the heat of the simple syrup by letting the habanero steep for a longer or shorter period of time before straining it. Just give it a taste and adjust to your personal preference.
  • Want no spice at all? Just make the simple syrup without steeping the pepper in it.
  • You can also swap out the habanero for jalapeno or serrano pepper.
Overhead shot of prepared margarita.

What’s the difference between a Paloma and a Grapefruit Margarita?

  • A grapefruit margarita is normally sweetened with a bit of triple sec, like a traditional margarita. A paloma is made with grapefruit juice, tequila and a bit of soda water to give it some fizz. Check out my paloma cocktail recipe too!

If you loved this Spicy Grapefruit Margarita recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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More margarita recipes

Overhead shot of prepared margarita.

Simple Syrup

  • In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over high heat, stirring so that the sugar dissolves into the water. The mixture will go from milky white to clear. At this point, add the sliced habanero.

  • Allow the mixture to come to a rapid boil, and then immediately turn the heat down so it just simmers. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, and then remove from the heat. The syrup will reduce and thicken slightly, and will take on a slightly orange tint.

  • Allow the syrup to cool (about 30 minutes). Remove the pepper pieces and any stray floating seeds, and discard them.


  • Run a lime wedge along the lip of your glass and dip in salt to cover the rim. Combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, triple sec and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and strain into a salted margarita glass. Add ice cubes and serve.

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Iron: 1.2mg

This recipe was originally published in June 2015. It was updated in May 2021 to add new photographs. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy!