Margaritas are one of our go-to cocktails all summer long — we didn’t think they could get any more delicious until we discovered the perfect add-in: tropical fruit. Margaritas at their core are citrusy and sour, a flavor combo that helps quench your thirst but can be overpowering at times. Introducing a fruit like pineapple into the mix balances out those flavors while infusing the cocktail with the perfect amount of sweetness. If you’re ready to try on, keep reading for mixologist tips on whipping up the most delicious pineapple margarita at home!
The ingredients in a pineapple margarita
This cocktail blends the ingredients of standard margarita — tequila, triple sec and lime juice —with pineapple juice for a tropical twist. The drink resembles another cocktail known as a Matador, which contains the same ingredients but omits the triple sec. (Click through for tips on stocking your home bar cart with the right ingredients in order to make pineapple margaritas on a whim!)
The secret to the best pineapple margarita
A pineapple margarita is meant to be bright and refreshing. So that’s why you’ll want to opt for freshly squeezed pineapple and lime juices over the store-bought kinds whenever possible.
“Fresh juice and citrus is going to have a much cleaner, brighter taste than using store-bought juice, which often has additives and preservatives,” says Stuart Yurczyk, founder of Mixly Cocktail Co. “Depending on how the lime juice is extracted, store-bought lime juice can often have a more bitter taste.”
While the juice is definitely worth the squeeze, you may think you need an expensive juicer to do so. Luckily, our stories on hand-squeezing citrus with ease and using your French press as a juicer prove you can turn ripe produce into liquid gold with the help of everyday kitchen tools.
How to make a pineapple margarita
Below, you can find our recipe for Spicy Pineapple Margaritas that packs a sweet and savory punch. Not a fan of spicy drinks? Simply omit the jalapeño from the simple syrup for a batch of milder — yet equally delicious — drinks that your crowd will love!
Spicy Pineapple Margaritas
- 1 ½ cups (or 12 ounces) fresh pineapple juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 small jalapeño, sliced
- 6 cups crushed ice
- 1 cup gold tequila
- ½ cup + 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 6 Tbs. triple sec
- Active: 15 mins
- Total Time: 3 hrs, 15 mins
- Yield: 6 servings
- Transfer juice to ice cube trays; freeze 3 hrs. In pot, mix sugar, jalapeño and ½ cup water. Over medium heat, cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 1 minute; cool. Strain.
- In blender, purée 2 cups ice, ⅓ cup tequila, 3 Tbs. lime juice, 2 Tbs. triple sec, ⅓ cup frozen pineapple juice and ⅓ cup syrup. If desired, dip rims of 2 margarita glasses in water, then salt; invert. Divide pineapple mixture between glasses. If desired, garnish with lime, jalapeño slices and mint. Repeat twice to make 4 more drinks.
3 ways to upgrade your pineapple mariagrita
- Incorporate fresh herbs into the drink. Adding fresh herbs can elevate the taste of your pineapple margarita. Consider muddling a few sprigs of cilantro or basil before blending the herbs with the other ingredients. This will infuse the drink with a refreshing herbaceous note that complements the fresh flavors of pineapple.
- Experiment with the rim coating. While traditional margaritas are often served with a salt rim, you can get creative with your pineapple margarita. Try using a mixture of salt and chili powder for a spicy-sweet rim, or even coconut flakes for a slightly nutty touch. Be sure to run a lime wedge around each rim first as it ensures the coating sticks to the glass.
- Garnish the margarita with extra pineapple. For added visual appeal, garnish your margarita with a small wedge or slice of fresh pineapple. This not only adds a pop of color, but it also reinforces the tropical theme of the drink. (Click through to learn how to grill pineapple for an extra sweet and caramelized fruit garnish.)
For more sip-worthy summer cocktails, read the stories below: