Are you a spice fiend? Can’t get enough of the hot stuff? Well, now you can feed the craving in liquid form. Recipes are springing up all over for cocktails with a kick, and what better time to start feeling the heat than now? Everything from chili peppers to Chipotle will fuel your libations with some zest, so add it all in to your liking and get ready to feel the burn! Try out these 8 cocktail recipes to add some heat to your party.
1. Don Julio Hot Nantucket Night
The Don Julio Hot Nantucket Night is a Cape Codder’s renegade older cousin. It’s bittersweet cranberry taste is offset by a generous helping of tequila. If you weren’t feeling the burn yet, try throwing in a slice of jalapeño pepper. It’s a tasty kick — and not for the weak of heart! This recipe comes courtesy of Liquor; it takes 15 minutes to complete and yields 1 cocktail.
- 2 fresh cranberries
- 1 thin slice jalapeño pepper
- 1 ½ ounces tequila
- 1 ounce Agave nectar
- ½ ounce lime juice
- Garnish: Jalapeño pepper
Directions: In a highball glass, muddle the cranberries and jalapeño slice. Fill with ice and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a jalapeño pepper.
2. Lychee-Thai Chili Lemonade
The delicate, floral flavors of the lychee fruit — native to China — balance exceptionally with the added heat of ½ a red Thai chili. This recipe from Serious Eats is a great variation on a refreshing summer drinking. Recipe takes about 15 minutes to complete and yields 4-6 servings (approximately 1 quart.)
- 1 pound lychees, peeled and seeded (about 1 ½ cups lychee flesh)
- 1 cup fresh juice (10 to 12 lemons)
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- ½ small red Thai chili
- 3 cups cold water
- 1 quart ice
Directions: Combine 1 cup of lychees, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and Thai chili in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into pitcher. Discard solids. Add cold water and whisk to combine. Chop remaining lychee flesh into ¼-inch pieces and add to pitcher. Add ice. Serve in ice-filled glasses garnished with additional whole chilis if desired.
3. Ichiban Collins
Tom Collins not wild enough for you? His friend Ichiban is here to serve your heat-seeking taste buds. This cocktail from Refinery29 incorporates some habanero bitters along with rum and fruity notes to give you an interesting twist on a classic. Recipe yields 1 serving and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
- 2 ounces Rum
- ¾ ounce passion fruit purée
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce vanilla agave
- 5 to 6 drops bitters
- 4 to 5 drops habanero bitters
- Mint to garnish
Directions: Measure and pour passion fruit puree and lime juice directly into a Collins glass. Add in vanilla agave and rum. Squeeze in droplets of habanero bitters. Carefully pour crushed ice atop the mixture. Swizzle ingredients together using a swizzle stick. Top with Peychaud’s Bitters for a fiery red look. Cool things down with a fresh mint topper.
4. The Retox
The Retox laughs in the face of its non-alcoholic counterpart, the Master Cleanse Diet (also called the Lemonade Diet.) This recipe from Bon Appétit takes the recipe for the detox diet drink and throws in a generous amount of whiskey for good measure. Recipe serves 1 and takes about 10 minutes to complete.
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 2 ounces apple cider
- 1 ounce apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Several dashes angostura bitters
- Orange twist (for garnish)
Directions: Combine apple cider, whiskey, vinegar, maple syrup, and cayenne in a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, top with bitters, and garnish with orange twist.
5. Shoo-Fly Punch
6. Hot Blooded: Jalapeño, Whiskey, and Blood Orange Cocktail
Blood orange makes everything sound more sinister and delicious. Its tangy sweetness blends well with the intense, complex flavor of whiskey. Shaking in jalapeño will add in just the right amount of heat. This recipe from Honest Cooking yields 2 servings and takes 10 minutes to complete.
- 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) fresh squeezed blood orange juice
- 2 tablespoons agave
- 4 fl ounces whiskey
- 1 medium sized jalapeño, chopped, stem removed (about 2 tablespoons)
Directions: In a cocktail shaker, add the blood orange juice, agave, and whiskey, stir until combined. Add the jalapenos, replace the shaker cap and shake three times, immediately pour through a strainer into highball glasses filled with ice, straining out the jalapenos. Discard the jalapeños.
7. Spicy Grapefruit Margarita
Margaritas are great for cooling off in hot weather — but a bit of cayenne simple syrup will kick the heat back up before you know it! Sour grapefruit, sweet syrup, and hot cayenne all work together to perfect this recipe comes from the Life Styled Blog. Cocktail takes 20 minutes to complete and yields 2 servings.
Cayenne Simple Syrup
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 ounces grapefruit juice
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 ounce cayenne simple syrup
- lime wedge
- salt or spice rub
Directions: First step is to prep the simple syrup. Combine the sugar, water, and cayenne in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the cayenne is blended. Cool in the fridge.
To mix the margaritas, run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass then dip it in the salt or spice rub. In a shaker, combine ice, tequila, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Shake, serve, and enjoy.
8. Spicy Gin Cucumber Lemonade
Lemonade is another summer favorite, but the days of your standard lemonade stand mixes are gone. Instead, wow people with this gin and cayenne infused creation from Heather Christo. Recipe takes 5 minutes and yields 2 servings.
- 4 ounces gin
- 16 ounces lemonade
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 8 thin slices cucumbers
Directions: Fill to high ball glasses with ice cubes. Add the gin, lemonade, cayenne, and 4 slices of thinly sliced cucumber and some lemon wedges. Stir well and serve immediately.