Habanero Margarita!!!!

Usually when I refer to myself as the “spice smuggler” it is in reference to the amazing depth and flavor spices (not spicy) can give to a dish. In this case it IS all about the heat! This fresh margarita was a signature drink at my first restaurant “Sweet Heat” in San Francisco in 1993. It was a house specialty. I have recently resurrected it and found many people to enjoy it.

It is a really unique drink because even those that don’t necessarily like spicy things find it awesome. You take a sip of and you get the fresh squeezed lime and high quality Tequila flavor. Within less than a second you are hit with the heat on the roof of your mouth and then it slowly burns down your throat. Sound horrible? It’s amazing. Capsaicin is a compound in chiles. It releases endorphins in your body that make you feel great (besides the effects of the amazing Tequila).

The agave syrup is a natural sweetener that rounds out the acidity in the lime juice but does not make the drink too sweet. I visited Herradura in the village of Tequila, Mexico and have been in love ever since. It is the highest quality Tequila out there in my opinion. They are relentless in extracting the best out of the blue agave.

Give it a try (assuming you are over 21) and let me know how you like it. Enjoy.

Jeffrey’s Spicy Margarita

Infusing the tequila:
1 each Herradura Silver, bottle (750)
1 each fresh habanero pepper, orange

2 each limes
1 teaspoon agave syrup
1 1/2 ounces spiced Tequila (above)
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Cut the habanero chile in half (do not touch your eyes after handling the chile!)

Push the two halves into a bottle of Herradura Silver Tequila. Close lid and let sit for at least 24 hours. You can leave it as long as you like. Once the Tequila has leached out all the heat it will stay the same.

Per margarita:
In a shaker or pitcher add:
Handful of ice, tequila, cointreau, agave syrup, juice of two limes.
Shake vigorously
Strain into martini glasses.

Take a sip and feel the burn go from the roof of your mouth down your throat. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
 I like Cointreau and Herradura but feel free to use your favorite. You do not want to use an aged Tequila. The wood does not allow the clean flavor of the habanero to come through.
 If you can’t find agave syrup use honey.
 You can of course use less chile in the bottle if you want it milder.
 Shake the drink hard to get nice shards of ice when you strain it into the glasses.

Eat Well, Enjoy life, Be happy