We first tried this drink at a Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica, CA and were surprised at how subtle the jalapeño was, and how light and refreshing it tasted. This is definitely a drink for summer poolside parties or barbecues. Unfortunately it does take a little effort and planning, as the first step is to make the Jalapeño Infused Tequila, which, though you can make it in about an hour on a sunny window ledge, it is best made over 3 days.
Jalapeño Infused Tequila
This recipe for jalapeño tequila makes enough for four cocktails. It is more of an essences, than a liqueur, as we are not adding sugar, and we only want a light infusion of jalapeño, just for colour and a little heat.
- 250ml (1 cup) Tequila Blanco
- 1 Jalapeño, chopped into strips
Take a large clean airtight container, add the jalapeño and the tequila. Seal the container and leave somewhere cool and dark for about 3 days. Remove the jalapeño and discard. Use the tequila within a week, otherwise the subtle flavour will diminish.
Cucumber juice has a wonderful dark green colour and, though a little bland in flavour, it is very refreshing. Half a cucumber is enough for making four cocktail.
Roughly chop half a cucumber, including the skin and add it to a food processor or blender. Add about a tablespoon of water and liquidise it thoroughly. Pass the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth or clean tea-towel to separate the solids from the liquid. I like to re-add about a half teaspoon of the cucumber solids to the liquid if has been well strained, just for decoration. The juice should keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Cucumber Jalapeño Margaritas
Ingredients – per cocktail
- 60ml (2 fl oz) of jalapeño infused tequila
- 60ml (2 fl oz) of cucumber juice
- 30ml (1 fl oz) of simple syrup (Equal parts sugar and water)
- 125ml (0.5 cup) of crushed ice
- 30ml (1fl oz) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 30ml (1fl oz) freshly squeezed lime juice
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake to combine and pour into a glass, rimmed with salt and garnish with slices of lime.
I have other ideas for up-ing the flavour in this cocktail. Next time I will experiment by adding either basil or cilantro (fresh coriander) and trying different chillies.