The Best Grilled Margarita Shrimp Kebabs

Jumbo shrimp are marinated in the flavors that you would find in most any Mexican dish. A splash of tequila is included for the margarita effect, but you can certainly leave it out if you prefer – the dish is great either way. Just beware that the alcohol in the tequila will cause a bit of an initial flare-up on the grill.


  • 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced jalapeno
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. tequila, optional
  • thin slices of fresh lime
  • chopped cilantro
  • wedges of fresh lime


  1. Place shrimp in a wide shallow bowl and set aside. If using wooden skewers, start soaking them in water.
  2. In a small bowl with high sides, combine all ingredients from olive oil through black pepper. Use an immersion blender to completely process until there are no sizable pieces. Or use a food processor or blender. Pour marinade over shrimp and gently stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. When ready to place shrimp on skewers, drizzle tequila over the shrimp and gently fold to combine. Then place two shrimp on each small skewer, with a folded slice of lime in between each shrimp.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high. Make sure grates are clean, and then oil them well. Set shrimp kebabs on grates and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or just until shrimp are no longer opaque and have some nice char. Place kebabs on a platter and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with fresh lime wedges to squeeze over the top.