Basil Jalapeño Margarita: Inspired by the Bowery Hotel

A balmy night at the Bowery Hotel in New York City is best paired with a refreshing cocktail. Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for heated margaritas, predominantly jalepeño or habenero, when done well.  Leave it to my favorite blog “What Katie Ate” to perfectly decipher their Basil Jalepeño margarita, offering the perfect mix of cool and spicy.  Enjoy her beautiful photograph below, and the recipe as well!

“The cocktail was inspired by a drink I had at The Bowery Hotel in NYC. The bar manager there; Mario is a wonderful fella, really warm and inviting and super fun. We shared many a cocktail and a laugh with him in the residents bar at The Bowery in May 2012. This was similar to one i really enjoyed but I’ve added my own twist to it and used my own homemade jalapeno tequila” -What Katie Ate


  • 1/2oz/15ml white tequila
    1/2oz/15ml jalapeno tequila – see below
    7 – 8 large mint leaves, roughly torn
    4 – 5 large basil leaves, roughly torn
    1/2oz/15ml sugar syrup – see below
    1 lime
    Extra 2 – 3 large basil leaves to garnish

To make the Jalapeno tequila:

  1. Add 2 cups/500ml white tequila into a glass jar into which add 2-3 jalapeno peppers, cut them in half length-ways end remove seeds. close jar tighly and allow to infuse for a few days.

To make the sugar syrup:

  1. Add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stir often then reduce heat and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved into the water ~ approx. 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly. Note this quantity will make enough for a few cocktails.


  1. Cut lime into quarters and add along with all its juice into a chilled cocktail shaker along with the mint and basil leaves and muddle together using a cocktail muddler – or like I do, the end of a rolling pin (!). Try to really extract all the juice from the limes and it’s skin, then add the sugar syrup, white and jalapeno tequila along with a good handful crushed ice. Close shaker and give it a really good mix up.
  2. To serve pour strained cocktail into a tumbler half-filled with ice cubes, garnish with 2 – 3 large basil leaves.