Monday, April 22, 2013

Give me heat or give me death

The final product.  A garnish could be delightful, if you so choose.

This is the first time that I've heard of Mixology Monday.  And I am by no means a bartender, but I do like making drinks and making new things of my own in other parts of my life and I love vegetables, so I figured I'd make an attempt here.

So Rowen, at Fogged In Lounge, is hosting this week's Mixology Monday and here is what he had to say:

"Our theme: Drink Your Vegetables. Want to get more vegetables but you’re always eating on the run? Maybe you hate vegetables but feel you should get more of them? Well then, how about a vegetable cocktail? No, not that nice little glass of red stuff Grandma put at each place setting—we’re talking something with a kick in it. You can definitely start with the little glass of red stuff and expand it to a Red Snapper-style drink like a Bloody Mary. Or how about a cucumber-scented cooler like a Pimm’s Cup, or maybe a cocktail featuring a vegetable-based ingredient like Cardamaro or celery bitters? Maybe you’ve been wondering if you can get more mileage out of that juice extractor before consigning it to the garage sale. However you get them in that glass, be prepared for the most fun with vegetables ever.

So, I'll stop delaying and get to it.  Here's my best shot.

Unnamed (Whoever comes up with something clever will get due credit.)

Isn't it nice when all the ingredients are together in one picture?

2 oz. Tequila (Milagro silver)
2 oz. grapefruit juice, squeezed out of a grapefruit.
1 Jalapeño
1 Serrano pepper

Combine infused tequila and juice and add ice.  

Last May I was looking at a menu and saw a habanero infused tequila drink and I knew that I would be trying it that night because of my love of drinks made with tequila and my love of all things spicy.  I have haphazardly attempted to add sriracha to drinks before with minimal success.   But I figured “Hey, if they’re serving it at a bar, it’s gotta be at least decent, right?”   Well, the logic may not have been very good, but the drink definitely was. 

For this week, I figured I might as well try making a spicy drink that could actually taste good since there was going to be a vegetable involved, anyway.  And I think I had some success with this.  At least, I am enjoying it and I hope that someone else might. 

I went with a loose margarita variation, exchanging grapefruit for lime and eliminating triple sec (only because I don’t have any right now.  It might be good, so I may try this again once there’s some around.) I normally like margaritas with salt, but I think sugar sugar may be more appropriate with the spice.

Three things I’ll keep in mind for next time:

  1. When cutting hot peppers, remember not to touch your eyes or nose (it hurts a lot!)
  2. If you do, rubbing milk on your eyes doesn't actually help.
  3. When trying to infuse hot peppers into tequila, you don't need much time.
Based on what I'd read about infusing alcohol, I expected this process to take 2-3 hours.  Boy am I glad I was impatient and  checked after 45 minutes.  I think it came out perfectly.

Chopped jalapeno and serrano

Peppers and cilantro soaking in tequila!

After straining the tequila had a wonderful green color to it, most likely from the cilantro, that reminded me of absinthe.  Except it sure had a kick to it.

All that was left to do was put in enough grapefruit juice to make it taste the way I wanted (which ended up being about 2 oz) and putting it over ice. The final product had a kick to it, but it definitely wasn't overpowering.  And now that I'm done with this post and my drink, I think I might want another...