Grapefruit Margaritas with Pink Chili Sea Salt

June 14, 2018

I love a good cocktail – especially in this Charleston heat!  When Cinco de Mayo rolled around, I wanted to design a cocktail that stayed true to all that is wonderful about Cinco, but spiced up the average margarita a bit (literally!).  I can’t take a lot of heat when in comes to spicy food, so I thought a nice, refreshing margarita made with fresh grapefruit juice and a little mild heat in the background from a little chili powder could be a nice combo.

I love the blush color of Ruby Red grapefruit, so I substituted Pink Himalayan Sea Salt for regular coarse salt to add a little twist and play off of the pastel tones.  A pinch of chili powder in the salt heats up the lips just a tad before they’re cooled off with the chilled bittersweet grapefruit and punchy tequila combo….squeeze in some fresh lime wedges and this easy cocktail is as pretty as it is delicious! I love the balance of salty and sweet with a hint of bitter heat.

For parties, I like to make a big pitcher ahead and keep it in the fridge.  Set the table with colorful plates full of the sea salt/chili mixture and line up glasses on the bar with pretty bowls of lime wedges (for lining the rims, and garnishing the drink).  To keep the party casual (and allow a little extra time to get things ready in the kitchen), place a cute sign on the bar directing guests to “Get the party started!” and help themselves to the margarita bar (float lime and/or grapefruit wheels in the pitchers for pretty presentation).  For a fun twist, try creating 3 of your own flavored sea salt combos and make a pitcher of regular margaritas.  Have pretty garnishes (citrus wedges, edible flowers, or fun ice cubes frozen with lime zest) and let your guests interact by making their own custom margarita creations.  Your guests will be talking about the party (and their amazing cocktails!) long past that last drop of tequila…


Makes 4 Margaritas | Recipe by Laura Boyd of Strawberry Banke Studio

  • 3 oz fresh lime juice
  • 8 oz fresh grapefruit juice (totally fine to substitute store-bought if you don’t have fresh squeezed!)
  • 6 oz silver tequila
  • 3 oz Cointreau
  • Fine Pink Himalayan sea salt (I like this one)
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Lime and grapefruit wheels and/or wedges for garnish
  • Crushed ice


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a pitcher, stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Pour pink sea salt onto a small plate and mix in a pinch of chili powder (add more if you like alot of heat).
  3. Run a grapefruit wedge around the rim of each glass and dip glasses in the salt mixture, turning to evenly coat the rims. Fill each glass with ice.
  4. Pour margarita mixture over ice and serve with fresh grapefruit and lime wedges.


Cheers to summer entertaining with a twist! Enjoy!




Photos by Julie Livingston Photography

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