Shrimp is my favorite thing to both grill and eat at a barbecue. It’s doesn’t take a long time, it pairs well with everything, and there are a million different ways to dress it. Being from the south, I tend to prefer dishes with a bit of south-of-the-border flavor. This grilled margarita shrimp is so delicious, with some tang from the lime, a kick from the jalapen᷉o, and just a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar. Skewer the shrimp for easy on and easy off the grill. Adding the lime slices to the skewer gives the shrimp that little extra touch of moisture and flavor from the juice. Plus, it looks pretty. Make sure you soak your sewers in water first to keep them from charring.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp Kebabs

1 pound raw jumbo shrimp
⅓ cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced jalapen᷉o
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons tequila
Thin slices of fresh lime
Chopped cilantro
Fresh lime wedges


  1. Soak wooden skewers in water. Use a food processor or a blender to combine all ingredients from olive oil through black pepper until smooth. Pour over shrimp and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  2. Drizzle tequila over the shrimp. Place two shrimp on each skewer with a folded slice of lime in between.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high and oil. Grill kebabs 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for your guests to squeeze over top.

I love pairing this dish with a side of cilantro lime rice. I keep it quick and simple by using Minute Rice, and amp up the flavor by using chicken broth instead of water. Go with the ratio of one part rice to two parts broth (for two servings, I do one cup of rice and two cups of broth). While the rice cooks, I chop the cilantro. I love cilantro, so I usually use a full bunch, but you can adjust the amount to your personal preference. When the rice is done, add in the chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime. Stir together and serve as a bed for the shrimp skewers.

I pair it with the riesling from Dynasty Cellars in Bellingham, my favorite local wine. It’s dry, with a tiny hint of sweetness on the back. It pairs so well with shrimp, and complements the other flavors in this meal as well. Peter Osvaldik — owner, founder, and winemaker at Dynasty Cellars — also makes a great rosé that I love pairing with seafood. If you’re stopping in at the tasting room on East Bakerview Road to pick up a bottle, take the time to order a tasting flight of their other white wines. Though the riesling is my favorite, all the whites at Dynasty are great.

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"Being from the south, I tend to prefer dishes with a bit of south-of-the-border flavor."