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The Payback Cocktail

Macheesmo Recipe by
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The Payback Cocktail
  • Prep Time 5 min
  • Total Time 5 min
  • Servings 1
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The Payback Cocktail

A twist on a traditional margarita made with jalapeños and kiwi fruit!


kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
jalapeño, seeded and chopped
ounce lime juice
ounce lemon juice
teaspoons honey or agave syrup
ounce triple sec
ounces silver tequila
Kiwi slices (garnish)
Jalapeño slices (garnish)


  • 1 Add sliced kiwi fruit and jalapeno slices to a cocktail shaker and muddle to extract the juices.
  • 2 Pour in citrus juices, triple sec, tequila, and sweetener.
  • 3 Add ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  • 4 Add ice to a rocks glass and garnish with kiwi slices and jalapenos.
  • 5 Strain drink into rocks glass. Enjoy!
See Step By Step


The Payback Cocktail

As prepared by Macheesmo,

Due to some unfortunate choices in college, I have a hard time drinking tequila.

Too many bad memories. I’m sure you understand.

But really, that just applies to shots of tequila—which frankly, I’m too old for anyway!

Tequila is still one of my favorite liquors to use for cocktails, though. It has a really unique flavor and if you mix it with the right things, it becomes beyond delicious.

This cocktail, called The Payback, is kind of a twist on a traditional margarita. And by “twist” I mean improvement.

The drink has some spice to it due to the jalapenos, but that spice is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of a kiwi fruit. Lemon and lime juice are standard and necessary as well.

Fruit for Payback Cocktail

The key to getting a lot of flavor from a little bit of stuff is to muddle (mash) the fruit in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or glass. They make fancy muddlers that mash really well, but you can also just use a fork to mash up the jalapeno and kiwi in the glass.

It helps if you slice the kiwi and jalapeno and then muddle it.

fruit sliced

Once you have those two things smashed together, go ahead and add in your citrus juice. You’ll need half an ounce of lemon and lime juice, which is the amount of juice from about ½ of a small lemon and lime.

Citrus juice

And obviously you’ll need some tequila. I like to use silver tequila for this recipe because the flavor is a bit lighter and it keeps the drink a nice clean color.

Tequila measured

The drink is a bit on the tart side as-is, so I also recommend adding a small drizzle of honey or agave syrup to sweeten it slightly.

Honey added

Then just pop the lid on your shaker (I just use a pint glass) and shake it with lots of ice. Shake like crazy to mix the flavors and chill the drink down.

Shake it up

If you don’t have a cocktail shaker you can just stir all this stuff together but it won’t be quite the same. Shaking is important!

You could just pour this into a glass, but if you want to get fancy you can cut some slices of kiwi and jalapeno to garnish your glass with.

A little trick I learned when I used to bartend: slide the large kiwi slices against the side of the glass and the ice will hold them in place. It looks really cool.

Also, you don’t need to peel the kiwi slices for the garnish. You can actually eat kiwi peel.

Garnish ready

Then just strain your cocktail into the glass with fresh ice!

Pouring cocktail

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, think about adding this to your drink list instead of the standard margarita.

Drink up close

Payback Cocktail ready to drink

Make one of these and enjoy it on the porch. It’s the perfect way to kick off the summer!

Nick recommends having at least one of these this weekend. Be sure to check out his blog, Macheesmo, his book, Cornerstone Cooking, and check out his Tablespoon profile.
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Nutrition Information 

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