The habañero margarita is perfect for those who like spicy foods. It makes a great pairing with any Yucatecan course. Watch for its initial kick but after a couple sips, you’ll find you just can’t put it down.
(Makes 1 drink)
Thick, fruity, spicy: This is a margarita with a lot of personality. It’s also a drink best made in batches. If you do your prep ahead of time (infuse the tequila with the habanero 36 hours before; puree fresh pineapple in a blender earlier in the day), you can mix together one round after another after your guests arrive.
A trick from behind the bar: Shake the drink and pour two-thirds of it into the glass, then shake the rest of the drink again before topping it off so that the margarita has a slightly frothy head.
Chile Lime Salt (recipe follows)
1 scant shot tequila reposado
1/2 shot Habanero Tequila (recipe follows)
1/2 shot Cointreau
1/2 cup pineapple puree (or substitute fresh pineapple juice)
Combine all the liquor and the pineapple puree in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into the glass (see headnote) and serve.
4 ozs. tequila reposada, 100 percent agave
1 habanero, halved
1. Pour some table salt onto a small plate and the chile lime salt onto another one. Moisten the rim of a glass and roll it in the table salt, then in the chile salt.
2. Combine the tequila and habanero in a jar, seal tightly, and let infuse for 36 hours. (You can go as little as 24 hours or as long as 48 hours, depending on how much heat you want.) Remove the habanero and reseal the jar.
Chile Lime Salt
Makes about 2 tablespoons
Our version of a finishing salt, this brings a note of intrigue to any dish. It’s simple to make: Toast dried árbol chiles in a cast-iron pan, pulverize them in a spice grinder, and mix in lime zest and salt. That’s it. The smoky, spicy, tangy salt is just the right flourish for grilled fish, but you can use it in or on just about any dish. We sprinkle it over the odd-shaped pieces left over when we make jicama salad, or you could use it on radishes or eggs.
4 dried árbol chiles
2 T kosher salt
Grated zest of 3 limes
Toast the chiles in a dry cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Pulse the chiles in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Mix with the salt and lime zest. Store in a tightly sealed jar in a cool place.
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