Mexican Candy Shot Recipe

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Mexican Candy Shot Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Mexican Candy Shot is a popular cocktail that originated in Mexico and has gained popularity in bars and clubs around the world. This sweet and spicy shot is perfect for those who enjoy a little kick in their drinks. The combination of tequila, watermelon liqueur, and hot sauce creates a unique flavor profile that keeps people coming back for more.

  • The Mexican Candy Shot is believed to have been created in the late 20th century in Mexico
  • It quickly gained popularity in the United States, especially in the Southwest
  • The shot is often enjoyed by those who like a little spice in their drinks, as well as fans of tequila and watermelon flavors

How Mexican Candy Shot Tastes?

The Mexican Candy Shot has a sweet and fruity taste from the watermelon liqueur, balanced with the bold and slightly bitter flavor of tequila. The hot sauce adds a spicy kick that lingers on the palate, making this shot a unique and exciting experience.

Interesting facts about Mexican Candy Shot

  • The Mexican Candy Shot is often served with a salted rim, which enhances the sweet and spicy flavors of the drink
  • The shot is sometimes garnished with a small piece of watermelon or a lime wedge
  • The name 'Mexican Candy' comes from the sweet and spicy flavor profile, reminiscent of popular Mexican candies



Tequila is the spirit backbone of the shot, providing a rich and earthy base that complements the sweetness of the watermelon liqueur. Using 1oz ensures that it doesn't overpower the other flavors. Without tequila, you lose the authentic Mexican profile of the shot. An alternative could be mezcal, which would add a smoky twist.

Emma Rose

Watermelon Liqueur

The watermelon liqueur provides a sweet, fruity counterbalance to the tequila's strong flavors. The 1oz amount keeps it equal to the tequila for a harmonious blend. Omitting it would result in a less flavorful, overly intense shot. For a twist, one could use other fruit liqueurs like peach or mango for a different sweet profile.

Mary Mitkina

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce adds the signature kick that makes this shot 'Mexican Candy'. The drops should be measured cautiously; too little and you won't feel the spice, too much and it may overwhelm. No hot sauce, no thrill! As an alternative, a pinch of chili powder might work, although it would change the texture.

Alex Green


Rimming the glass with salt not only adds a tactile experience but also enhances the flavors and balances the sweet and spicy notes. If you skip the salt, you might find the shot cloying. Lemon or chili salt could be a zesty alternative rim.

Emma Rose

Lime Wedge or Small Watermelon Piece

The garnish serves a dual purpose: aesthetic appeal and a burst of fresh citrus flavor or additional sweetness from the watermelon that complements the shot. No garnish won't ruin the drink, but you'll miss out on that extra oomph of flavor. A slice of cucumber could provide a cooling alternative.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Mexican Candy Shot Drink

  1. Prepare the shot glass by wetting the rim with a lime wedge and dipping it in salt
  2. In a mixing glass, combine 1oz of tequila and 1oz of watermelon liqueur
  3. Add 3-4 drops of hot sauce to the mixture
  4. Stir the ingredients together gently
  5. Strain the mixture into the prepared shot glass
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge or small piece of watermelon, if desired

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality tequila for a smoother taste
  • Adjust the amount of hot sauce to your personal spice preference
  • Experiment with different types of hot sauce to find your favorite flavor combination

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Spicy Mexican Dishes: The kick from the hot sauce complements the heat in foods like tacos, enchiladas, or tamales.
  • Seafood: Especially grilled shrimp or ceviche, which will harmonize with the shot's lime and salty aspects.
  • Fresh Fruits: Like pineapple or mango, to contrast the spiciness and refresh the palate.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Mexican Beer: A lager can cool down the spice while not overpowering the flavors of the shot.
  • Margarita: To stay in the realm of tequila-based drinks, a margarita can be a nice follow-up.
  • Chilled Sangrita: A traditional chaser for tequila that pairs well with the shot's spicy and sweet notes.

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What you could change in Mexican Candy Shot

  • If you don't have watermelon liqueur, you can substitute it with another fruity liqueur, such as strawberry or raspberry
  • For a milder spice, you can use a less spicy hot sauce or reduce the number of drops

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And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Mango Candy Shot

  • Replace watermelon liqueur with mango liqueur for a tropical twist.
  • Use chamoy sauce instead of traditional hot sauce for added depth.
  • Rim the glass with Tajín (chili lime salt) to enhance the fruitiness.
  • The shot will be fruitier with a tangier spice, perfect for those who love a sweet-heat combo.

Cucumber Chili Shot

  • Swap out watermelon liqueur for cucumber-flavored spirits to create a refreshing edge.
  • Include a slice of jalapeño in the mixture to steep before straining for a green, herbaceous kick.
  • Maintain the salt rim but consider a touch of smoky salt for added complexity.
  • The result will be a crisper, more vegetal shot with a clean, spicy finish – a garden party in a glass.

Berry Spicy Shot

  • Use a raspberry or strawberry liqueur instead of watermelon for a berry good time.
  • Add a splash of lime juice to up the citrus ante in the flavor profile.
  • Rim the glass with a mixture of sugar and chili powder, for that sweet sting.
  • This shot becomes a sweet and tart delight with a spicy berry kiss, cheekily challenging the traditional candy notion.

In case you forgot basics how to make Mexican Candy Shot

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Mexican Candy Shot

What type of tequila is best for a Mexican Candy Shot?

While you can use any type of tequila for a Mexican Candy Shot, traditionally silver or blanco tequila is used to create a clean, crisp flavor.

What is the best hot sauce to use in a Mexican Candy Shot?

A hot sauce like Tapatío or Cholula can add the right amount of heat; however, the hot sauce choice is completely subjective and can be adjusted to personal preference.

Can I make a Mexican Candy Shot if I don't have a shot glass?

Yes, any small glass would do. The important part is the proportion of the ingredients, and not the absolute amount.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Mexican Candy Shot?

While you cannot make a non-alcoholic version of a Mexican Candy Shot per se, you could substitute the tequila with a non-alcoholic mixer as per your preference and skip the hot sauce.

Can I prepare Mexican Candy Shots in advance for a party?

Yes, you can prepare the shot mixture in advance and keep it refrigerated. However, it is advisable to add the hot sauce and the garnish just before serving.

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