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Ina Garten's Jalapeño Margarita

Make Ina Garten’s cranberry martini and herb feta for the perfect party
Make Ina Garten’s cranberry martini and herb feta for the perfect partyDavid Anderson / TODAY

Chef notes

My editor and friend Pam Krauss took me to the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York City and we ordered delicious jalapeño margaritas. I love the contrast of the ice-cold drink with the heat of the jalapeños. These are mildly hot but, of course, you can use more peppers and make them even hotter! Infuse the tequila with the jalapeño overnight; any longer and it will become too spicy. You can also prepare the entire cocktail mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 6 hours. Pour over ice or shake with ice before serving.


  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (or half a large jalapeño)
  • cups blanco or silver tequila, such as Avión
  • 1 cup Triple Sec
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (8 limes)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • Ice



Pierce the jalapeño pepper in 8 to 10 places with the tip of a sharp paring knife and cut it in half  lengthwise, leaving the seeds and the ribs. Place the pepper in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, pour in the tequila, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.


Discard the jalapeño and pour the tequila into a pitcher through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the Triple Sec, lime juice, lemon juice, honey and salt. Stir and use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.


When ready to serve, fill six margarita glasses with ice and pour over the margarita mixture; or fill a cocktail shaker with ice and some of the mixture, shake vigorously for 30 seconds, and pour into glasses. Serve ice cold.