Who says summer cocktails should always be light and sweet? Local mixologists are shaking things up by creating end-of-summer cocktails recipes that are smokin’ hot! Whether it’s a dash of jalapeno or rim of tajin chili, these spicy cocktails are sure to turn up the heat on any August night.
Bracero Cocina de Raiz may be known for its south of the border menu inspired by Braceros of the past, but its cocktail menu is equally exciting! Kick your night downtown into gear with the Ready Lane. Jalapeno and Spice and everything nice is combined to make this cocktail with Jalapeno-infused tequila, Saler’s Aperitif, lime, celery syrup, salt and soda.
Nothing wakes you up more than a morning cocktail with some zest! Thankfully, Fig Tree Café has locations in Hillcrest, Pacific Beach and Liberty Station to feed your need for an eye-awakening libation. Its Daddy’s Pepper Vodka cocktail is concocted with soda water, mint, vodka, jalapeno, lime and strawberries and will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
El Choncho | Tavern
Pictured: El Chonco from Tavern / Photo Courtesy
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Especially when the sun is out at Tavern in Pacific Beach. If you love margaritas, you’ll want to try its fruity and spicy twist on the classic that’s made with Espolon Reposado, agave, lime, jalapeno slices, pineapple chunks, a tajin rim and pineapple leaf, the El Choncho. Order it during happy hour and get it half-off every weekday from 3 to 8 p.m.
Take Me to Mexico | Duck Dive
Duck Dive / Photo Courtesy
Be exposed to some Latin heat without having to use your passport! Head to Pacific Beach’s The Duck Dive and have a taste of their Take Me to Mexico cocktail. Sip on its Los Altos Plata Tequila house-infused with fresh watermelon and then mixed with basil, jalapeno, shaken with agave, lemon and watermelon.
Not Yo Mamma’s | Pillbox Tavern
Pictured: Not Yo Mamma's from Pillbox Tavern / Photo Courtesy
Step off the sand and into Solana Beach’s Pillbox Tavern for its “Not Yo Mamma’s” Gin and Tonic. Your taste buds will be awakened by the cocktail’s Old Harbor small batch gin, fresh muddled cucumber, lemon juice and house-made habanero syrup that’s shaken and topped with a splash of tonic.
Pictured: Spicy Basil from Sirena / Courtesy Photo
Inspired by the flavors of Latin America, Sirena Cocina Latina is making a splash in Little Italy with its vibrant cocktail program. Pair one of its out-of-the-box ceviche with their Spicy Basil cocktail that’s crafted with Herradura tequila, smoked salt rim, serrano pepper, fresh lime juice, agave, basil and a splash of orange juice.
Pineapple Jalapeno Pickleback | 1919
Have you ever had a pickleback with your shot? Downtown’s 1919 has a hot selection to make any liquor shot go down oh-so-smoothly! Order a generous pour of its Herradura Reposado that is paired with its home-made Pineapple Jalapeno pickleback.
El Guapo | True North Tavern
Pictured: El Guapo from True North Tavern / Photo Courtesy Jarnard Sutton
Head to North Park for this spicy libation from True North Tavern. The El Guapo is a refreshing margarita cocktail with muddled pineapple, muddled jalapeño, agave nectar syrup and Herradura Reposado Tequila.
Pictured: El Diablo from Humphreys Backstage Live / Photo Courtesy Jarnard Sutton
Spice up your evening on Shelter Island by sipping on the El Diablo from Humphreys Backstage Live, which is a riff off the Vic Bergeron cocktail from the '40s, Mexican El Diablo. This version is made with Fortaleza Blanco tequila, Leja Crème de cassis, Fire Water Bitters, lime juice and housemade ginger beer.
Pictured: The Burning Bush from The Nolen / Photo Credit: Jarnard Sutton
Andrew Larson, creative lead at the downtown rooftop bar The Nolen, has created this refreshing, spicy beer cocktail, perfect for the summer called The Burning Bush. This cocktail is packed with heat and flavors such as tequila, Giffard peach liqueur, lemon juice, strawberry shrub, spicy tincture, Watermelon wheat ale and basil leaves.
Pictured: 0-6-6 from Leroy's Kitchen / Photo Courtesy Jarnard Sutton
Expect the unexpected from this tequila-based cocktail from Leroy's Kitchen, which has a blend of sweet and spice to it. If you're looking for a well-balance libation that will have you saying "Oh!-Six-Six." This spicy concoction is made with Cimarron Tequila, passion fruit puree, lime juice and jalapeno simple syrup.