the dolce fuego cocktail at frazer’s restaurant & lounge photo by christina musgrave

8 creative takes on the spicy margarita at St. Louis bars right now

There’s not much a bartender can do to improve upon the simple perfection of a margarita. When properly mixed, it’s an unpretentious classic and an ideal entry-level cocktail that strikes a perfect balance between sweet and sour. National beverage trends have been flirting with adventurous savory flavors for the last few years, so it tracks that the margarita’s next frontier is spice. Whether the heat comes from infusing an agave spirit with peppers, adding a piquant syrup or simply spicing up the compulsory salt rim, the spicy margarita has become a near-requisite on menus at bars and restaurants regardless of genre. Here are eight riffs on the spicy margarita that are catching our attention right now.


method in this madness cocktail at planter’s house // photo by christina musgrave


Large Marg for Marge // Fortune Teller Bar
San Francisco bartender Julio Bermejo, creator of the Tommy’s Margarita, is also widely credited with inventing the spicy margarita in the early 2000s. Bermejo’s OG version started with blanco tequila infused with habanero peppers, but this Cherokee Street mainstay’s version is refreshingly modern, with poblano tequila, hibiscus syrup, blood orange aperitif, lime, cherry bark-vanilla bitters and Squirt soda for a bubbly, citrusy finish. The warm, dimensional flavors and sweetness balance the lightly spicy, vegetal flavor of the tequila.
2635 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.776.2337,

Desperado  // Stews Food & Liquor
This painless sipper from Stews Food & Liquor in Soulard screams “vacation mode” with Thai chile-infused Espolon tequila, refreshing pineapple, cooling cucumber and oolong syrup. It’s light as a feather and goes down faster than you can say, “I’ll take another, please!”
1862 S. 10th St., St. Louis,

Dolce Fuego // Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge
Frazer’s is well known for its cocktail prowess, and the Dolce Fuego doesn’t disappoint. This cocktail combines Mexican chile liqueur Ancho Reyes with 100% agave reposado tequila, orgeat, cacao, orange, mole bitters and chili powder for a deeply layered spicy heat with hints of botanical flavor.
1811 Pestalozzi St., St. Louis, 314.773.8646,

Lazy Tiger // Lazy Tiger
Our list would be remiss to exclude the namesake cocktail at this top tier Central West End cocktail bar. The Lazy Tiger is smoky, earthy and really packs a punch. Del Amigo mezcal, Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb orange liqueur, serrano-honey syrup, lime juice and Tajin strike that ideal balance between sweet, sour and spicy.
210 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.925.8888,


fallen angels cocktail at none of the above at city foundry stl // photo courtesy of cam kennedy for none of the above


Grapefruit Girlfriend // Indo
The ever-changing cocktail menu at Indo is not to be ignored. The Grapefruit Girlfriend reads more like a spicy, boozy paloma with kombu-grapefruit shrub, Milagro reposado tequila, Hendrick’s gin, Bruto Americano aperitivo and a charming pink peppercorn salt rim.
1641D Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.899.9333,

Method in This Madness // Planter’s House
We can always rely on Planter’s House to subvert expectations and reinvent a classic. Method in This Madness combines Milagro anejo tequila with Banana Justino Madeira, Rhum Barbancourt 5 Star, Gran Classico Bitter aperitif, Ancho Reyes Verde chile poblano liqueur and oloroso sherry. It’s an unmistakable cousin of the spicy margarita on a tour through the Caribbean.
1000 Mississippi Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2603,

Oaxaca Flocka Flame // Retreat Gastropub
The cocktail menu is the sleeper hit at beloved neighborhood joint Retreat Gastropub. Oaxaca Flocka Flame is a smoky, tart version of a passion fruit margarita with lovely lingering spice. El Yope mezcal, passion fruit juice, curacao, Ancho Reyes, lime and mole bitters come together in rich, sunny harmony. 
6 N. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.261.4497,

Fallen Angels // None of the Above
The Fallen Angels from None of the Above at City Foundry STL has quickly become a favorite we return to. The drink makes masterful use of the fat-washed spirits trend, with chile crisp fat-washed tequila, Cynar, cassis, lime and ginger beer. As you sip this sweet-and-sour blend with just a touch of fizz, the velvety consistency coats your mouth with tingly heat from the chile crisp’s Sichuan peppers.
3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, 314.656.6682,

Tags : Cocktails, Places, Bars