Jalapeño Infused Margarita.
I recently went on a business trip to Las Vegas and enjoyed a really nice dinner at Taqueria Canonita located in the Venetian Hotel. The company, the atmosphere, the food…were all wonderful. But the Jalapeño Infused Margarita was inspirational.
One sip was all it took. The jalapeno flavor was most certainly present, yet without heat. Instead it’s flavor infusion grabbed your attention. Once focused, hints of cilantro and citrus came to the front. The bartender wouldn’t surrender too many details, but I did get out of him that they infuse 100% agave tequila with jalapeno and orange for 4 days.
I wasn’t home from Vegas long before I was layering orange and jalapeno slices in a big glass jar. I topped them with 100% agave tequila and in to the refrigerator this jar of infusion happiness went. I was a bit giddy.
Then it hit me, was there more to this infusion thing than to forgetaboutit for four days? Perhaps a little more research was required in order to fine tune my method. The internet is a wonderful place. I found several recipes for jalapeno infused tequila and most said to remove the jalapeno after anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days. Dilemma. Do I let them hang out with the oranges for the entire 4 days? I caved and removed only the jalapeno after about a day and a half. My infused tequila has plenty of flavor. If you also want heat…..I say let ’em be.
I recall watching as he prepared my second Jalapeño Infused Margarita and seeing him ‘muddle’ herbs and lime much like you would to make a Classic Mojito (except in this case using fresh cilantro instead of mint). A rim of salt, served on the rocks is exactly the way I take my Margaritas.
Jalapeño Infused Margarita
For infused tequila…
- 2 naval oranges sliced
- 2 jalapenos quartered, seeds and veins removed
- 1 liter of 100% agave tequila
- 6- ounces Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 6 fresh limes
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- coarse salt for rim
For infused tequila…
- In a large glass jar with lid, layer orange slices and jalapenos. Top with liter of tequila, seal and refrigerate. Save original tequila bottle. After 1-2 days, remove only the jalapeno slices and discard. Leave orange slices in tequila for a total of 4 days. Strain tequila and return to original bottle. Chill.
- To make the simple syrup combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 1/2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar; cool.
- For each margarita, add 3-4 lime wedges and a handful of fresh cilantro to a tall glass. Muddle until lime juice is released. To glass add 1 1/2-ounces tequila, 1 1/2-ounces Grand Marnier (or Cointreau), 1 1/2-ounces simple syrup, top with 1 1/2-ounces fresh lime juice. Add ice and shake well.
- Dip rim of glass in coarse salt. Fill with margarita. Garnish with lime wedge.
- Sip responsibly.
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