If there were a tequila version of rum punch, it would be the fabulous Jala-Piña cocktail at the Redhead. This restaurant may be known for chef Meg Grace’s knock-out fried chicken, but the bartenders are no slouches either. Here the pineapple juice is infused with jalapenos and mixed with silver tequila instead of rum. It seemed simple enough to make this cocktail at home, but when we first tried it, something was missing. Jalapenos, tequila, pineapple – what else?
If you are ever lacking a certain je ne sais quoi in a cocktail, chances are it’s bitters, the secret weapon of bartenders everywhere. The hint of Angostura bitters, which adds the scent of cloves and a touch of umami to a drink, is the additional connection between this tequila cocktail and rum punch. Though the Redhead infuses pineapple juice with jalapenos, if you’re making this drink on a smaller scale, it’s more practical to infuse the tequila: You can use it again for a cucumber jalapeno margarita.
Recipe: Jala-Piña Cocktail
1/2 L. silver tequila, 100 percent agave
best-quality pineapple juice
Slice the jalapenos and combine with the tequila in a mason jar or swivel-top bottle. Let it steep for 3 days.
To make one cocktail, combine 3 oz. tequila, 2 oz. pineapple juice and 3 dashes of bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour in a martini glass.
Repeat as necessary.