Don’t let grilling season pass you by without making a Grilled Pineapple Margarita! Lightly grilled pineapple muddled with sliced of jalapeno adds just the right spicy smoky flavor to this delicious classic cocktail! Happy hour never tasted so good.
Just a few minutes grilling time and your margarita recipes will be next level. Grilling pineapple slices (or pineapple chunks) brings out the sweetness of the pineapple with much deeper flavor. The caramelized pineapple when muddled with spicy jalapeno delivers just a touch of spicy heat turning good margaritas into great margaritas.
Using fresh fruit instead of just juice enriches the flavor of these pineapple jalapeno margaritas. It also adds some light smoky notes that blend perfectly with the other classic margarita flavors.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Fresh pineapple. Choose a fully ripe pineapple without blemishes or no soft spots. You’ll grill a few slices or wedges for the cocktail and some for garnish. For each 2 margaritas you’ll use 1 1/2 3/4-inch thick slices. You can either grill the slice then quarter it before muddling or quarter it and grill the wedges directly (instructions below).
Jalapeno chile. You’ll use just two 1/4-inch thick slices to muddle in the cocktail. The seeds are what have most of the spicy heat so remove them before muddling.
Pineapple juice. Use 100% juice not from concentrate for the best flavor. If you can find some fresh squeezed or cold pressed, even better!
Tequila. Use blanco tequila (also called silver tequila or white tequila). This type of tequila is not aged at all or for less than 2 months making the flavor perfect for grilled pineapple margaritas.
Fresh lime juice. There really is a difference in flavor between bottled lime juice and fresh lime juice. Use freshly squeezed lime juice. Using a hand held juicer makes is easy!
Orange liqueur. Using a higher quality orange liqueur makes a difference in flavor but also how you feel after drinking it. For margaritas we tend to use Citronage liqueur which is made by Patron (the tequila maker). Grand Marnier or Cointreau are other good choices.
Agave nectar. This is a sweetener which actually comes from the same plant used to make tequila. Just a little adds the right sweetness to this spicy pineapple margarita.
Kosher salt. You will use this to rim the cocktail glass (optional).
How to make a Grilled Pineapple Margarita
STEP 1. Grill the pineapple
Preheat grill to 375-400℉ (medium-high heat). Brush with a wire grill brush to clean. Oil the grates.
Add the slice of pineapple (or wedges if cutting into fourths) to the hot grill and grill pineapple for 3-5 minutes on each side (photo 5). You’ll have nice grill marks.
Remove from grill and allow the pineapple to cool for a few minutes before making the margarita.
STEP 2. Rim the glass (optional)
Rimming the cocktail glass is a great way to add more flavor to a cocktail. It’s an optional step; the pineapple margarita recipe is delicious in an unrimmed glass too. We use a rocks glass.
Combine the chile powder and rimming salt in a shallow small saucer or bowl (photo 1). Run the fleshy part of a lime wedge around the rim of the glass (photo 2). Place the edge of the glass into the salt mixture and slowly twist the glass to coat the rim (photo 3). Turn the glass upright and allow the salted rim to dry before adding the margarita (photo 4).
STEP 3. Make the pineapple margarita
Quarter the pineapple slice (if grilling a whole slice). Add to a cocktail shaker or a quart size Mason jar along with the jalapeno slices. Muddle to release the juices (photo 6).
Add the pineapple juice, tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, agave nectar (photos 7-9) and a large handful of ice.
Seal and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Strain into glasses (with or without a salt rim) with fresh ice cubes (photo 10).
STEP 4. Serve
Garnish with a grilled pineapple wedge, jalapeno slice or lime wheel.
Don’t have a grill? No problem. Heat a cast iron skillet or a grill pan over medium heat, brush the pineapple slice lightly with a neutral-tasting oil or melted butter and cook on each side. It’s the heat that will caramelize the natural sugars in the pineapple giving the rich flavor to the margarita.
Want to bump up the heat level? Double the jalapeno when muddling.
Use a good quality tequila. The quality of ingredients will not only determine the flavor but how a cocktail makes you feel.
Use fully ripe pineapple. Using a ripe juicy pineapple will create the best flavor when grilled.
Don’t have a muddler? A muddler is a specially designed cocktail making tool that allows pressing ingredients together to release their juices and blend them together. If you don’t have one use the handle of a wooden cooking spoon.
A quart Mason jar as a cocktail shaker. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker just use a quart Mason jar. Seal with the lid when shaking and use a fine mesh sieve (strainer) to strain into the glasses.
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Grilled Spicy Pineapple Margarita
- 2 3/4-inch thick slices of ripe pineapple for 2 margaritas; one slice for the margaritas and one for garnishing
- 1 teaspoon chili powder optional – for rimming glass
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt optional – for rimming glass
- 3 ounces pineapple Juice fresh squeezed or cold pressed
- 3 ounces silver tequila (we used Espolon Tequila Blanco)
- 2 ounces orange liqueur Citronage, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice fresh
- 1 ounce agave
- 2 1/4-inch thick jalapeno pepper slices seeds removed
- Preheat it to 375-400℉ (medium-high heat). Brush with a wire grill brush to clean. Oil the grates.
- Add the slice of pineapple (or wedges if cutting into fourths) grill for 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Remove from grill and allow the pineapple to cool for a few minutes before making the margarita
To rim the glass (optional)
- Combine the chile powder and kosher salt in a small shallow saucer.
- Run the flesh of a cut lime around the rim of the glass. Place the glass rim down into the chile-salt mixture; gently twist from side to side to coat the wet rim.Turn the glass upright and allow the rim to dry before adding the margarita.
Make the pineapple margarita
- Cut the grilled pineapple slice into four wedges (if grilled as a whole slice).
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 wedges of grilled pineapple (equivalent of one slice) and 2 jalapeno slices.
- Add the pineapple juice, tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, agave, and a large handful of ice.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a glass with fresh ice.
- Garnish with grilled pineapple, lime wedge, and a jalapeno slice. Enjoy!