Dirty Margarita Recipe

We’re big fans of the spicy marg at Gardenuity (see our blog archives for proof!). However, with all of the recipes we’ve tried, this one might just be a favorite. 

The dirty margarita takes its inspiration from the dirty martini, a classic libation made with strong liquor and a splash of a little something not-so-clear. We swap olive juice for jalapeno brine, making this a drink that packs the heat–and a punch. 

Helpful Hints

You get what you pay for! You’ve heard it a million times, but once again: you get what you pay for when it comes to liquor. That means that if you go for a lower-shelf tequila, you’ll end up with a lower-shelf margarita. Our personal favorite is Casamigos, but we also recommend Patron or Espolon for more budget-friendly options.

Use fresh lime juice. It’s tempting to buy pre-squeezed lime juice for a recipe that calls for large quantities of it, but, trust us, you’ll want to squeeze your own. The pre-made stuff often has a metallic, preservative-laden aftertaste. 

Turn up the spice. The jalapeno brine will bring the heat. However, you can adjust it up or down, depending on just how spicy you want to get. 

Get creative. We love a riffable recipe. Try mixing this up by subbing lime for watermelon juice, mixing with mezcal or experimenting with different kinds of pickled pepper brine. 

Dirty Margarita Recipe

Recipe by GardenuityCourse: DrinksCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

A classic margarita with a dirty twist.


  • 1.5 oz reposado tequila

  • 1 oz triple sec or Cuantro

  • 1 oz lime juice

  • .5 oz simple syrup or agave syrup

  • .5 oz jalapeno brine

  • Tajin, jalapeno slices and lime segments, for garnish


  • Combine tequila, triple sec, lime juice, simple syrup and jalapeno brine in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake vigorously for 30 to 60 seconds. 
  • Run a little bit of lime juice around the edge of a cocktail glass, then dip the glass into Tajin until the rim is completely covered. Add ice. 
  • Pour the shaken cocktail over the ice. Garnish with jalapeno slices and lime segments. Serve cold.