Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

One of the tastiest trends this summer has been the proliferation of spicy cocktails. Proving that spice isn’t just for Bloody Marys, a number of Mexican and Latin-American bars and restaurants have upped the pepper content in drinks. Tequila is often the conduit, infused with anything from smoky dried ancho chiles to regular old jalapenos.

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Cafe El Portal in Soho is a favorite hot-day hideaway that serves up a bracingly refreshing cucumber jalapeno margarita. The pepperiness makes it especially cooling on a 90-degree-plus day: this time, if you break out in a sweat, it will be for a good reason. We recreated the recipe at home. Keep more ingredients on hand – refill requests are almost guaranteed.

Recipe: Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

1/2 L. tequila blanco, 100 percent agave
3 jalapenos
1 cucumber
freshly squeezed lime juice
simple syrup*
lime wedges

Slice the jalapenos and combine with tequila in a mason jar or swing-top bottle. Infuse the tequila with jalapenos for three days. (Or you can cheat and put it on a sunny windowsill for one day.)

For the cucumber juice, roughly chop the cucumber and blitz the hell out of it in a food processor. Run it through the finest setting of a food mill or press it through a fine-mesh sieve to extract the juice, leaving most of the skin behind. Cucumber juice will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

To make one margarita, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 2 oz. jalapeno-infused tequila, 2 oz. cucumber juice, 1/2 oz. lime juice and 1/2 oz. simple syrup. Shake and serve on the rocks in a glass rimmed with salt. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Repeat as necessary.

* For simple syrup, combine 1 part sugar to 1 part water in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave until the liquid is clear and sugar is diluted. Let cool before using.

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Posted in food, recipes | Tagged , | 6 Comments
  • http://www.aclearglimmer.wordpress.com Carrie

    I’d had a margarita like this at a restaurant before and absolutely loved it. I never thought I’d be able to make one on my own. I followed your recipe exactly, and each cocktail turned out perfectly! Thank you!

  • SF

    Word of warning: Letting the tequila and jalapenos steep for a week yields an intensely spicy margarita. Yikes!

  • bellastraniera

    Good to know. I did the shortcut and let it steep for just a day on a sunny windowsill – impatience. I’ve heard of people infusing it for several days. A week may be too much though. Caliente!

  • Lanie

    Instead of infusing the tequila, I simply made a jalapeño (and crushed red pepper) infused simple syrup – it worked just as well!

    • http://www.gastrochic.com Marcy Swingle

      Totally approve of that method too. I think that is how the Redhead actually makes it.

  • Anonymous

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this recipe!