Habanero Blood Orange Margarita Recipe

Habanero Blood Orange Margarita Cocktail from La Sandia's

La Sandia's Restaurant in Santa Monica, California (now closed)

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

When you're looking for a spicy margarita that's a little different than normal, the habanero blood orange margarita recipe is one you'll want to try. It offers a fascinating taste experience through a special homemade ingredient and it's easy to mix up.

This drink celebrates the blood orange, a citrus fruit that is typically in season from December to April, though the bottled juice is available year-round. The sweeter citrus is paired in the drink with fresh habanero pepper in a puree that is easy to make ahead of time. From there, the drink uses a smooth tequila and (a preferably homemade) sour mix.

The cocktail's finishing touch is a mole negro rim (which you'll actually add before mixing) to give the margarita a spiced dark chocolate accent. Using a prepared mole sauce, such as Doña Maria Mexican Mole Sauce, makes this addition quick and easy. By rimming only half the glass, you can enjoy the option of mole or no mole on each sip.

Ingredients

  • For the Blood Orange Habanero Puree:
  • 2 pints blood orange juice 
  • 1 whole habanero pepper
  • For the Margarita:
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice (1 wedge; fresh)
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila (Gran Centenario Reposado)
  • 1 ounce blood orange habanero puree
  • 1 1/2 ounces sour mix
  • Garnish: 1/4 ounce mole negro (for rim)
  • Garnish: lime wedge

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cocktail is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Blood Orange Habanero Puree

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the blood orange juice and habanero pepper.

  3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

  4. Reduce to medium-high heat until thickened into a syrup. 

  5. Remove the pepper, allow to cool, then bottle.

Tips

  • Habanero peppers infuse their spice very quickly into liquids. Leaving the pepper in the juice too long can easily "burn" the puree with too much heat. As soon as you remove the pan from the heat, give it a quick taste test and leave it in the puree longer if you'd like more spice. Test it about every five minutes after that to see how the flavor is developing and remove it once it reaches your desired intensity.
  • The finished puree should be bottled under a tight seal. Store it in the refrigerator and use it within two weeks.

Make the Habanero Blood Orange Margarita

  1. Dip half a cocktail glass rim in mole negro.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, squeeze a lime wedge and add the tequila, blood orange habanero puree, and sour mix.

  3. Pack with ice and shake vigorously.

  4. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

How Strong Is a Habanero Blood Orange Margarita?

For a shaken margarita, this one is surprisingly light, weighing in at about the same strength as a glass of wine. When made with an 80-proof tequila like Gran Centenario, it shakes up to just 13 percent ABV (26 proof).