Thirsty Thursdays: Tamarind Habanero Margarita

Ahh Margaritas! Before the year is out I will make a dozen variations of these but a flavor I’ve been obsessing about lately is tamarind. I get my tamarind fix from one of my favorite Indian snacks, the aloo papri chaat. The sweet, sour and spice blends are just perfect. The other is the Jamaican tamarind balls I get from the market near my home.  It’s so sweet and sour it’ll give you serious pucker face but that won’t stop you from eating it! Basically it’s tamarind flesh rolled in sugar, pure and natural.

I also recently started making an ultra spicy ghost chile pepper tamarind lollipop and trying to find a good balance of flavor, when I do I’ll post about that one. Surely chileheads will like that one.

So back to the margarita, a good one is strong made with 100% agave tequila and not too sweet but an even better one has a kick from chile peppers! I infused some simple syrup with habaneros, used tamarind pulp which can be found at a Asian or Caribbean food markets and good quality tequila.

This is the lips burning kind of margarita and if you can’t handle that you might want to modify recipe.

Tamarind Habanero Margarita

1 1/2 oz of Tequila (100% agave)
1 tbsp of Tamarind Pulp
1 oz of Habanero infused simple syrup
1/2 oz of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime
Habanero Salt for rim

In shaker, add all ingredients except salt and shake it baby! Wet the lip of glass with lime and dip in habanero salt. Pour cocktail into glass with or without ice and enjoy!!!

Infused Simple Syrup

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 habanero, diced

Add sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved and you’re left with simple syrup. Remove from heat and add diced habanero to syrup and let pepper infuse for several hours or best if overnight. Use just 1 oz for cocktail.

Holiday Cocktails: Jalapeno Infused Vodka 5 Ways!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re enjoying your holiday festivities! Things are about to be a bit jollier with these 5 spicy vodka recipes. One infused spicy vodka and five easy recipes!

The following recipes are made with my jalapeno infused vodka. All recipes are single serving so you can multiply ingredients based on the number of guests. You can even make a pitcher ahead of time for some of these recipes so you’re not running around playing bartender all night and can actually have some fun!

1. Moscow Stallion
This is my pumped up version of the Moscow Mule using the spicy vodka. The Moscow Mule is usually made with ginger beer but I didn’t have any on hand so I mixed fresh grated ginger with simple syrup instead (less artificial and much healthier for you).

2 oz Spicy Vodka
1 oz Ginger Syrup (mix 1 tsp fresh grated ginger with 1 cup of simple syrup but just use 1 oz for single serving)
2 oz of Seltzer
1 lime wedge

Fill a tumbler with ice, pour in vodka, ginger syrup, seltzer, squeeze in the lime, drop it in drink and stir. Cheers or Za Zdorovie!!

2. Spicy Cranberry Spritzer

1 1/2 oz of Spicy Vodka
4 oz Cranberry Juice
Splash of Seltzer
Fresh Whole Cranberries for garnish + a tsp of sugar
Green sugar for garnish

Rim a tall glass with green sugar, muddle a few cranberries with a tsp of sugar, fill glass with ice, add spicy vodka, cranberry juice, top with seltzer and stir until well mixed. Drop in a couple cranberries to top for a lovely Christmas drink.

3. Tamarind Martini

2 oz Spicy Vodka
1 oz Tamarind Syrup (get at local Latin or Asian grocery store)
Jalapeno, sliced + 4oz of Tamarind syrup

Take the jalapeno and simmer in the 4oz of tamarind syrup for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat so jalapenos stay firm. The tamarind should reduce to half and you’ll be left with sweet, moist jalapenos to be used for garnish.

Add ice to martini shaker, add spicy vodka and 1 oz of tamarind syrup. Shake it baby! Pour into a martini glass and drop in a slice or two of candied jalapeno. Take another slice of candied jalapeno to decorate glass. Yummy!

4. Spicy Mango Slush
This is a fantastic summer drink but our December weather has been a bit odd…60 degrees here the other day so figured why not, mango is my favorite fruit and can have it anytime of the year if possible. This will be great for those having summer weather now!

1 1/2 oz Spicy Vodka
1-2 Scoops of Mango Sorbet (let it rest so it can melt a bit)
Lemon wedge

Fill a martini glass with mango sorbet, add vodka, add a squeeze of lemon and give it a little stir. Enjoy and pretend you’re on the beach somewhere!

5. Classic but Spicy Martini

2 oz Spicy Vodka
Dry Vermouth
Olives for garnish, olives stuffed with jalapeno is even better

Add dry vermouth to a martini glass and swirl around until well coated, discard excess vermouth. Add spicy vodka to martini shaker with ice and shake it up. Pour into glass and garnish with olives. Sit in front of the fireplace, or a space heater if that’s what you have and enjoy!

Remember, you can always adjust the spiciness of these drinks by using more or less jalapeno in vodka. The longer you infuse the vodka, the spicier the drinks.

Happy Holidays and have a safe weekend!