There’s always that one guy or girl (maybe it’s you) who makes a point of only ordering wings if they come with a warning label. They have Tabasco on them at all times. And they don’t even need to be double-dared to take a bite out of a Carolina Reaper pepper. For all the Scoville scale gluttons for punishment, here are some of the best spicy cocktails you can make.
The 10 Best Spicy Cocktails
One of the most classic spicy cocktails, the Bee Sting amps up its honeyed cousin, the Bee’s Knees, with muddled jalapeños. Garnish with another jalepeño slice for even more of a kick.
This cocktail showcases one of the best new tequilas of 2016: Tanteo’s Chipotle-Infused Tequila. The savory, barbecue-esque liquor mixes with a homemade salted coconut syrup, pineapple and lime juice, bitter amaro and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s a smoky, spicy take on a tiki cocktail, that will transport you to the beaches of Cabo.
Salted Coco Syrup
The Bloody family is one of the most customizable canvases in the cocktail world, and it’s easy to adjust the spiciness to your own personal levels. While you can make your Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar extra hot, the tequila-based Bloody Maria is typically known to be the spiciest of all. Our recipe uses muddled jalapeños, Tabasco sauce and Tapatio hot sauce for a truly eye-opening Bloody that will kickstart your morning.
The Michelada is the brunch beertail of your dreams. It’s a flavor bombshell that mixes Mexican lager with Tabasco, chipotle hot sauce, savory Maggi sauce, tomato juice, lime juice, salt and pepper. But don’t stop at the classic Michelada. The cocktail is endlessly customizable. Try it with a tropical jalepeño kick or give it a Korean-inspired spin.
Old-school Mexican Sangrita requires a full day of prep. Our version takes closer to two minutes—but it tastes just as pungent, refreshing and, of course, spicy. Mix fresh citrus juice, homemade grenadine, chile powder and Tajin seasoning in a shot glass, and serve it alongside a sidecar of blanco tequila—alternating sips from each glass.
This sushi-inspired cocktail doubles down on spicy ingredients, with both green jalapeño Tabasco sauce and wasabi. A bright green variation on the Bloody Mary, the Maki Mary invokes the flavors of Mexico and Japan, with ingredients like green tomatillos, cilantro, yuzu kosho and rice vinegar. Garnish with pickled ginger and furikake, and you’ve got yourself a spicy sushi roll in a glass.
The serrano pepper is one step above the jalapeño on the spicy scale, making it the perfect pepper to stand up to the bold, smoky flavor of mezcal in this signature cocktail from Leña Brava in Chicago. Herbaceous yellow Chartreuse, agave nectar, lime juice and muddled cucumber make it extra refreshing.
We’ll go ahead and admit that drinking this super spiced Sour is a bad idea. We dashed several drops of CaJohn’s Lethal Ingestion hot sauce—made with the infamous Bhut Jolokia pepper (aka the ghost pepper)—into a simple mix of peppery rye, acidic lime juice and simple syrup. Unless you’re a serious spice fanatic, stay well away. But if you’d like to challenge your taste buds with some seriously intense heat, this hot sauce cocktail will make a fulfilling adversary.
Spicy Bloody Marys are a dime a dozen, so we made an extraordinary version to snap everyone out of their Bloody rut. To do so, we tapped the most exciting spicy ingredient we know of on this Earth: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The drink is seasoned with the stuff of finger-licking dreams and rimmed with more Flamin’ Hot powder for spectacular spicy sipping.
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Some spicy cocktails concentrate entirely on the spice factor and entirely forget about other flavors. This super funky cocktail uses four spirits—green chile flavored vodka, jalapeño-infused tequila, green Chartreuse and blanco tequila—to create an herbal flavor that pulses with vegetal heat. Pineapple and lime juices, along with lime cordial, add further complexity, while a cilantro tincture adds yet another layer.
Green Chile Vodka