The 3-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Cocktail I'm Sipping All Summer Long

This is your fast pass to cocktail hour.

Trader Joe's 3-ingredient margarita

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

I love, love a good margarita. It is my summer drink year after year. I tend to make them from scratch, squeezing fresh limes (and sometimes a couple of oranges too) and combining the juice with orange liqueur and tequila, plus the requisite salted rim. 

But even my deep love of margs can’t overcome my summer laziness. Sometimes I just want a margarita and I do not want to squeeze limes. It’s summertime, let’s take it easy! That’s where this 3-ingredient spicy margarita comes in. I can grab all three ingredients at my local Trader Joe’s and boom, instant cocktail hour. 

This couldn’t-be-simpler recipe (add two parts limeade and one part tequila and you’re done) has a subtle kick. If you’d like to lean into the spice, add a few dashes of a spicy but not strongly flavored hot sauce or muddle a slice of jalapeño (seeds and all) in the bottom of the glass before adding the liquids.

Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, Jalapeño Limeade, Espolón Tequila

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

What’s In a Trader Joe’s 3-Ingredient Spicy Margarita

I wish I could claim to be the inventor of this cocktail, but I saw it on a friend’s Instagram feed and then, after a quick internet search, found this recipe on TJ's website. While the official Trader Joe’s recipe calls for more than three ingredients, I found that only three are required (four or five for bonus points). I also tweaked the proportions to achieve a margarita that pleased me and all of my neighbors.

The main ingredient is Trader Joe’s Organic Jalapeño Limeade. You’ll find it next to the other shelf-stable juices and drinks. Next, you’ll need tequila. I like using Espolòn Tequila Blanco which is sold at Trader Joe’s stores that carry hard liquor; it’s reasonably priced and tastes fantastic in a margarita. Finally, stop by the spice section and grab a bottle of their Chile Lime Seasoning Blend. It’s similar to Tajín but a bit less chunky, making it ideal for rimming a cocktail glass.

If you’d like bonus points, grab a lime or two and maybe a fresh jalapeño for garnish. Not required, but a fun addition to this summer sipper.

Spicy Limeade Margarita

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

How to Make a 3-Ingredient Spicy Margarita

To make one margarita, you’ll need:

  • 1 fresh lime wedge, optional
  • 2 teaspoons TJ’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila blanco
  • 3 ounces TJ’s Organic Jalapeño Limeade
  • 1 slice fresh jalapeño, optional

Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with a lime wedge or water. Add the seasoning blend to a small shallow plate or bowl and dip the rim of the glass in the seasoning to create a salted rim.

Fill the glass most of the way with ice. If using the lime wedge, squeeze it over the ice and add it to the glass. Add the tequila followed by the limeade and give the drink a gentle stir. Garnish with a slice of jalapeño, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Simple Tip!

It’s easy to scale the recipe up and batch it for a crowd. For eight drinks, combine 1 1/2 cups tequila and 3 cups limeade in a pitcher and stir. Prepare the glasses by wetting the rims, dipping them in the spice mixture, and filling them with ice. Pour and serve.