When someone told me the Joy of Cooking included infused liquors in their recipes I basically dove for my copy and flipped to page 58, only to be somewhat disappointed. Only vodka? Sure, vodka is great to infuse, but so is bourbon, gin, tequila, and (for godsakes) brandy. So, once again, I took it upon myself to create a variation. Jalapeno tequila.
My jalapeno tequila came to be after being told the jalapeno tequila in National Mechanics‘s pineapple jalapeno margarita was house-infused. My best friend and I tried it for the first time about three years ago and decided we must recreate our own. Since then we have expanded our spicy hellfire repertoire to include everything from ghost pepper vodka creations to simply throwing Tabasco in our dirty martinis. But this, my friends. This started it all.
You can use any tequila you want as long as it’s 100% agave. I personally prefer silver, but that’s just personal preference. While you should use quality tequila for this, please don’t spring for a bottle of Patron, it’s really not worth the extra cost when you’re going to be infusing it with something so strongly flavored. Sauza works just fine.
1 bottle of 100% agave tequila
WEAR GLOVES. You will thank me
Cut the stems off the peppers and slice them lengthwise. scoop out all of the seeds and slice into thick strips.
Open your tequila and drop in the jalapeno strips. You may need to pour a little of the tequila out if the peppers displace more room than the bottle allows. If so, take a shot–you deserve it. No, I’m kidding. No drinking until your capsaicin-infected gloves are in the trash and you wash your hands. Go on now.
Now you wait. However long you want, really. Taste every 24 hours or so until you reach the desired amount of spiciness. After it’s hot to your liking, strain the tequila into the pitcher and funnel it back into the bottle and toss the peppers. This method can also be done with fruits and herbs, and it’ll last just as long as un-infused liquor without any special storage.
Salt a glass, add some pineapple juice and jala-tequila. Ta-da! Delicious fire.
[x-posted on food52]