At our belated Thanksgiving gathering Saturday, we finally tried margaritas made with some tequila I’d infused with jalapeno several weeks ago. I wasn’t quite sure what the level of spiciness had turned out to be in the infusion, but wow, these margaritas were perfect!
I became interested in experimenting with infusions this summer after Tracy from Shutterbean posted about the fabulous strawberry-infused vodka she made. I made some as well over the summer and then dreamed up concoctions like sparkling pink lemonade with strawberry vodka and a splash of lime juice. After the success of the strawberry vodka, I began to wonder what other infusions I could make. Tracy and Nathan gave me some pointers and a few warnings about how to tap into the power of peppers when infusing liquors.
Jalapenos can indeed be potent. I would have cut up the jalapenos, filled the jar with them as you would do with strawberries, covered them with tequila, left them to sit for a week, and then died an infernal death sampling the infusion if it hadn’t been for Tracy and Nathan’s advice: be sparing in your pepper usage and don’t let the infusion go for too long.
One pepper for every cup of tequila did the trick. I found that 48 hours was the perfect infusion time; you may want adjust this as well as the jalapeno-tequila ratio to suit your tastes. My tequila was very spicy; you’ll need to decrease the amount of jalapeno and the infusion time if you only want a hint of that peppery flavor. You’ll find the recipe for Heather’s Hellfire Tequila (I can’t take credit for the name; my husband thought of it) and a killer margarita (also to my husband’s credit) below.
Margaritas may once have been a spring/summer drink with their citrus-y goodness (outside of Texas, that is; here we drink them year-round), but this peppery take on the beverage makes them perfect for a cold winter evening. You’ll be warm in no time! Next stop: jalapeno-infused vodka for Christmas morning Bloody Marys. A sure way to spice up your holidays!
makes about 4 cups
4 cups tequila (We used silver tequila.)
1. Slice jalapenos. Add to jar. Pour tequila over top of jalapenos.
2. Leave infusion for 1-2 days, checking after one day to see if desired level of flavor has been reached. Strain and serve!
makes 1 margarita; I highly recommend doubling the recipe!
2 oz. Heather’s Hellfire Tequila
1 ¼ oz. Rose’s Sweet Lime Juice
½ oz. triple sec
1 splash orange Curacao or Cointreau
3 lime wedges
1. Pour liquid ingredients into shaker. Add the juice of two of the lime wedges.
2. Wet the rim of glass using one of the squeezed lime wedges. Rim glass with salt.
3. Add ice to shaker and shake thoroughly.
4. Strain over ice and squeeze the last lime wedge into glass, dropping the rind into the drink. Garnish with a fresh jalapeno!
Adapted from Jimmy Buffett’s Perfect Margarita