Ka Pow Margarita *

Inspired by the strong, spicy flavors in the Thai dish Pad Ka-Prao, this drink is made with pungent fresh basil and tequila infused with hot chilies, tempered by the cooling sweetness of blood orange. One sip and you’re instantly transported to an exotic destination.

Ka Pow Margarita Recipe

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 6 oz., serves 1; or scale up for a pitcher


  • 3 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 oz. Thai Chili Tequila (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. blood orange juice

Tools & Materials

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer


  1. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Roll the basil leaves between your palms to release the aromatic oils and add them to the shaker.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and shake until well chilled.
  4. Fill the glass with ice and strain the cocktail on top.
  5. Garnish with the chili, lime wheel and basil sprig.

Thai Chili Infused Tequila

Yield: 25 oz.


  • 3 fresh Thai red chilies*, or substitute 6 dried
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) premium blanco tequila


  1. Halve the chilies lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds.
  2. Combine chilies and tequila in a sterilized 1-quart Mason jar*, reserving the bottle for later use.
  3. Seal the jar and set aside in a cool, dark spot to infuse for at least one day and up to a week.
  4. Strain through a fine metal sieve, discarding the solids, and pour back into the bottle. Be sure to label bottle for easy identification.

Ka Pow Margarita *, page 43 in Cocktail Chameleon