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Spicy Cocktails, From Fiery Margaritas To Sizzling Palomas

By: Faria Ferdous Ellesson

spicy cocktails

Nothing awakens the senses quite like the kick from a spicy cocktail. From fiery Margaritas to sizzling Palomas, the harmony between spices and spirits has become a global sensation. If you’re partial to a little heat in your sips, you’ve probably tried a spicy tipple (or two) and you’ve come to the right place. Looking for an alcohol-free alternative? Worry not, we’ve got you covered. Allow us to take your tastebuds on an adventure, with help from our cocktail connoisseur, Cara Watson. 

Spicy Margarita 

spicy margarita

A fiery twist on a beloved classic, the Spicy Margarita will be sure to turn up the heat on any occasion. It’s simultaneously tart, sweet, and spicy – the perfect symphony of flavour. All you need is fresh lime, triple sec, tequila, agave, and of course, the all-important jalapeño. Our cocktail connoisseur, Cara, recommends using 100% agave Blanco tequila to make a classic version or for a richer, spicier spin, try using Anejo tequila.

“If you enjoy extra heat in your Spicy Margarita and have time in advance, try infusing your agave with fresh chilli overnight.”

Chilli Caipirinha 

Imagine yourself on a beautiful beach, sipping a delightfully sweet yet spicy rum cocktail, waves gently lapping, sun-kissing your skin. As soon as the Chilli Caipirinha hits your lips – you’re there. Originally concocted along the turquoise shores of Paratay, the Caipirinha has become the national cocktail of Brazil. This exciting twist takes the drink even further, with a spark of spicy chilli and golden spiced rum to transform the classic cocktail into a rich, zingy celebration of summer. Simply muddle some lime, sugar and fresh chilli together, spiced golden rum over the rocks. 

“Craving an authentic touch? Why not dazzle with crushed ice? You can buy it from most supermarkets or just pop some cubed ice in a tea towel and let the rolling pin loose. Then pair it with the ingredients and give it a good muddle to blend all the incredible tastes together.”

Spicy Paloma  

spicy paloma

What makes a Spicy Paloma so deliciously refreshing is the signature grapefruit tartness that marries perfectly with a zing of spice. Akin to its cousin, the Spicy Margarita, the Spicy Paloma also consists of fresh lime, Blanco tequila, agave, and jalapeño, but it’s more citrusy and sharper thanks to its characteristic grapefruit twist. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a warm summer afternoon with friends. Sure to raise spirits as well as glasses. Go that one step further and impress them even more with a rimmed glass and a considered garnish.  

“Tajin makes the perfect rim for your Paloma. Run a grapefruit slice around half the glass's rim (offering guests a delightful choice) and dip it in the powder. It is tangy and spicy and will add that extra kick to your drink.”

Thai Basil Smash  

Take your palate to Thailand with a twist on the good ol’ fashioned Basil Smash. This vibrant cocktail of spicy chilli, zingy lime, fiery ginger and crisp, botanical gin is a full flavour experience, sure to wow guests on any occasion. The layering of sweet, sharp and spicy flavours is what makes this cocktail so generous, with the Thai basil adding a unique hint of liquorice with an underlying spicy base. For such a seemingly complex cocktail, it’s astonishingly easy to make. Simply muddle the chilli, ginger, and basil; then add the syrup, lime and gin; ice, shake and strain. And don’t forget to garnish with a dainty sprig of Thai basil.  

Hot & Dirty Martini Cocktail

The Martini has long held its position as one of the best-known cocktails in the world. Whether shaken, stirred, dirty or dry, there are a myriad of ways to enjoy this classic. And now, we have another. Introducing, the Hot & Dirty Martini Cocktail, not quite as naughty as the name suggests, but delicious nonetheless. Simply add a few drops of Tabasco sauce to a Dirty Martini Cocktail and discover the beautiful balance between the bitter olive brine, herbaceous vermouth, crisp vodka and warming heat from peppery Tabasco.  

“An elegant Martini Cocktail needs a beautiful martini glass. And why not pop them in the freezer as you make your drink to give it a professional edge? It will make your first sip chilled to perfection.”

Bloody Maria  

bloody maria

Arguably the world’s most famous spicy drink, the Bloody Mary has long held its popularity in bougie brunch spots and cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet. But have you ever heard of the Bloody Maria? Remarkably similar to its sister drink, but categorically transformed. The difference? Switching Mary’s vodka for Maria’s tequila. The agave-spirit base of a Bloody Maria complements the savoury tomato juice, tangy Worcestershire sauce and spicy Tabasco, in a way that’s so fitting, you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it yet.  

“My absolute favourite tequila to use for those Sunday Bloody Maria’s is Don Julio Reposado. It brings richness and depth to your drink and will still shine through with the strong tomato and spice you add to taste.”

Spiced Mojito 

Nothing says summer quite like a cooling Mojito. The refreshing mint smacking against the tart lime, wrapped with the gentle sweetness of a rounded rum – a verified glassful of Caribbean sunshine. The Spiced Mojito is all that and more, with the addition of a spicy gold rum to add a base of warming heat to this classic summer cocktail. Take the humble Mojito to new heights with the subtle spicing of this delicious rum.  

Spiced Mule

Perhaps you’re not drinking, but you’d still like a spicy drink. Whether you’re going alcohol-free yourself, or want to offer your guests a non-alcoholic alternative, we’ve got just the thing. The aromatic Seedlip Spice 94 has notes of Jamaican allspice, cardamom, grapefruit, lemon, oak and cascarilla bark, lending itself perfectly to a zingy Spiced Mule recipe. Simply mix Seedlip Spice 94 with ginger nectar, and freshly-squeezed lime, and top it off with soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and start sipping.

Spiced Hot Toddy 

hot toddy

And finally, here’s a spicy cocktail that’s more of a winter warmer than a summer sizzler. Here’s to the Spicy Hot Toddy. Like the classic, non-spicy version, Hot Toddies are always a comforting choice when the weather gets colder, and the days get darker. Adding a hint of spice to the mix adds an extra layer of heat to this hot cocktail. Simply use golden spiced rum to bring in those extra spicy flavours to a warm mug full of lemon, honey, clove and cinnamon.  

Over to you 

It’s time to get started with these eight tantalisingly spicy cocktail recipes and to continue exploring and experimenting even further. Play with quantities until you’ve made your perfect pour — after all, only you will know what’s right for you. But be careful not to tip the balance off, you can easily overpower a drink with too much spice. And once you’ve got a handle on things, why not shake things up with a spicy twist on one of your favourite cocktails? Who knows, you might invent something new.  

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