It all started on our first day in Little Dix Bay. We'd spent the morning soaking up the sun on the beach and when we were sufficiently fried we wandered into the beach restaurant for some lunch and a cocktail. The waitress said they were featuring a jalapeno margarita or a cilantro margarita. I have a soft spot for any dish that throws a little heat in an unexpected place so a jalapeno margarita was right up my alley!
Let's just say I had more than one
a day that week! LDB made theirs by pureeing the jalapeno into the tequila in a blender which definitely gave you the desired heat but because they didn't strain it, the drink was left with little chunks of jalapeno floating around.
I wanted something a little more sophisticated (ha) so I thought infusing the tequila with the jalapeno might be an easier way to go. If nothing else it would eliminate getting the blender dirty and that makes the resident dishwasher happy. I halved and quartered two jalapenos into about a quart of tequila and let it sit for about four hours. Success. Just that little amount of time gave a nice subtle amount of heat. I made two margaritas from that and left the jalapenos sitting in the tequila until the next afternoon just to see what would happen. When I opened the jar, I didn't even need to taste it. I could smell the heat! I didn't want to set my mouth on fire so I removed the jalapenos and added more tequila in order to temper it a little. My point is, keep your eye on it and frequently give it a little taste until you get your desired about of heat, then remove the peppers.
All you need for the perfect margarita is good tequila (I like Patron Silver), Contreau, fresh lime juice and a agave nectar. Here's how I make mine.
Fill a cocktail shaker 1/3 full with ice
Add 1 cup jalapeno infused tequila
1/2 cup Contreau
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Put lid on cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds
Strain into ice filled glass
Garnish with a jalapeno slice
Makes four drinks