Local Libations: Fired Up! Margarita
I was very excited to see Andrew’s use of homemade jalapeño infused simple syrup in his Purely Custom last week! So excited that I decided to do some infusing myself. The nice 75 degree weather here in San Diego has led me to fire up the grill recently. Feeling in the mood for some early spring grillin’ I have decided to roast up some jalapenos and pineapple and make a drink appropriate for our fine Southern California weather.
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I picked up my organic produce from our San Diego local organic grocer Jimbo’s. This fire roasted combo of sweet and spicy seemed to call out for some tequila which brought margaritas to mind. Ahh margarita, there are so many was to love you! I felt that a tequila blanco, un-aged and bottled immediately after distillation, would showcase the flavor of the roasted jalapenos. I went for Espolón Blanco - truth be told I was attracted to the eye catching label inspired by classic nineteenth century artwork which includes the iconic rooster, a symbol of Mexican national pride, being ridden by a skeleton conquistador. Espolón produces 100% blue agave tequila in the region of Jalisco, about 1,300 miles due South of San Diego. They pride themselves on craftsmanship rather than mass production – focusing on perfecting the art of great tequila in what has been called “the best factory in Mexico”. Espolón’s blanco is crisp, super peppery, fruity, well rounded and on the sweeter side – a great foundation for my roasted sweet and spicy mixture!
To prepare for this drink I started a few days before by infusing my tequila with roasted jalapeños. It is super easy and fun to infuse your own alcohol (see directions below)! You can infuse your tequila for up to 3 days but you should test your infusion every 24 hours for flavor and spiciness. Mine was ready in just one day.
Fired Up! Margarita Recipe
Prep time: Jalapeno infused tequila - 1-3 days (depending on how spicy you want it), Cocktail- 20 minutes
Tools: Grill, blender, knife, air tight jar, cheese cloth, oz. measurement
Jalapeño Infused Tequila:
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 cups tequila
- Roast jalapeños until they blacken, slice and remove the seeds.
- Pour tequila blanco in sealed jar with roasted jalapeño slices and leave for at least 24 hours.
- Strain out jalapeños with cheese cloth.
- Cut Pineapple into chunks and roast until heated through.
- In a blender add jalapeño infused blanco tequila, agave syrup, roasted pineapple, ice
- Blend until smooth
This margarita is a very original experience – sweet and spicy with a smokiness that lingers! My recommendation: make extra because you’re going to want another one!