Saturday, February 22, 2014

Habanero Grapefruit Margaritas

Hey!  It's National Margarita Day!!!  I have no idea why National Margarita Day is in the depths of February.  Truth, I have no idea why there is a need for a "National Margarita Day" when we already have Cinco de Mayo, and every day of the summer.  But I digress.  It's National Margarita Day!

Because it is 50 degrees here in New York City, it's a Saturday, and I'm feeling festive, let's have a margarita, shall we?  But not just any margarita, an extra-spicy habanero infused margarita, to keep us warm until summer finally arrives.  


Habanero Grapefruit Margarita
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Created by Gastronomista

This Margarita is for those who like their cocktails HOT!  Habanero infused tequila is easy to make, and instantly heats up a traditional marg. This cocktail has a low baritone heat from the peppers, which contrasts marvelously against the bright flavor of the grapefruit.  

1.5 oz Habanero infused Camarena 100% Agave Silver Tequila (see below for recipe)
3 oz Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
.5 oz Fresh lime juice
.5 oz Simple syrup
Orange zest and sugar for garnish
Sugar for rimming

Mix sugar and orange zest on a small plate. Rim edge of glass with lime juice and gently dip into the sugar. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a whole habanero pepper (not recommended for eating). 

Option:  If you’re not into spice, use Joven (Silver) Tequila instead of habanero-infused tequila.

Habanero-Infused Tequila

2 Habanero peppers
8 oz Silver 100 percent agave tequila (we used Camarena Tequila)

Slice peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place into a non-reactive bottle and add tequila. Depending on your tolerance to spice, you will want to adjust the time you leave the habanero slices in the tequila. After just a few hours, the tequila will be quite spicy, so you might want to taste it after four hours or so. If you really like heat, let it infuse for 24 hours. If it’s too spicy, use half joven tequila and half habanero-infused tequila when making your margaritas. 

Pro Tip: Habaneros are notoriously spicy and can be tricky to work with.  Take out contacts before slicing, and refrain from rubbing your eyes with your fingers.

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