Thursday, December 26

Jalapeno Margaritas

It's five o'clock somewhere with these fresh and spicy margaritas

Jalapeno Margarita Recipe

I'm in Minnesota for a week celebrating my first ever white Christmas with my husband and in-laws. We've been enjoying our share of festive activities: viewing Christmas lights around the city, attending a play, and enjoying traditional holiday food and drinks. But we took a break from tradition earlier in the week and I made a big Mexican dinner for everyone, complete with homemade margaritas. These have a spicy kick from fresh jalapenos and rival the drinks at our favorite restaurant. The key is using fresh squeezed lime juice, which yields the perfect balance of tang and sweetness that you can't get from bottled juice or mixes. I'd recommend using a citrus juicer (I have this durable and inexpensive one at home) to make juicing all those limes a breeze. All of the ingredients can be prepared well in advance (the jalapeno tequila can keep for months!) and can be scaled to feed a crowd. We ended up quadrupling the recipe for our group, which made for a very fun night.

More Cocktail Recipes:
- Kumquatinis
- Mojitos
- Asian Pear Martinis

Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas:
  • Make the simple syrup. Combine 1/2 c. sugar and 1 c. water in a small sauce pan over medium high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Transfer the simple syrup to the refrigerator until cold.*
  • Cut a jalapeno in half lengthwise and add to a cocktail shaker with a lot of ice and 1/2 c. of silver tequila.**
  • Add in 1/2 c. fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1/4 c. triple sec, and 1/4 c. simple syrup.
  • Put the top on the shaker and shake until very cold.
  • Strain the margaritas into glasses and garnish with thin slices of jalapeno and lime.

Makes 2-3 drinks
*Simple syrup can be made at least a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. If you don't have much time, you can quickly cool the syrup by placing the container of syrup in a bowl full of ice.
**Another option is to combine the tequila and jalapeno in a container and let sit for several hours or even several days, depending on how spicy you want the drink. The infused tequila will keep for months.

Do you like your margaritas blended? Remove the jalapeno from the infused tequila and combine it with the remaining ingredients and a handful of ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Want to add a salted rim to your glass? Simply rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and then dip in a plate of kosher salt.

Spicy margaritas not your thing? Just omit the jalapeno and you'll have the perfect classic margarita recipe.