Recipe: Jalapeno Infused Tequila

As I mentioned in my recent Casamigas review, I had plans to make my own jalapeno infused tequila before I spotted that bottle. I’m a sucker for a spicy margarita and, rather than having to muddle fresh jalapeno slices every time, I figured having a ready-to-go infusion would not only last longer but be easier to use. And after some trial and error, I can confirm my theory was correct… but I’ve got some words of warning for those wanting to try this at home.


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Materials


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Process

This is a pretty straightforward and easy recipe for pretty much anyone to follow. So why make an entire article about it? Because I learned a few lessons the hard way while doing this, and I want to talk about those.

Step by Step

  1. Cut up a bunch of jalapeno peppers
  2. Dump them in a mason jar
  3. Fill the mason jar with blanco tequila
  4. Let the jar sit for 24 hours
  5. Strain the contents into a glass bottle, but retain the used jalapeno pepper pieces
  6. Refill the mason jar with new blanco tequila and the one used peppers*
  7. Smash the peppers with a muddler*
  8. Let it sit for 24 more hours*
    *for steps 6 – 8, see my second lesson learned below!
  9. Strain the remaining contents into the glass bottle and discard everything else

Considerations

Some things I want to highlight and discuss because, honestly, I spent more time here figuring out what not to do than I spent doing thing right.

First things first, I only strained off the large elements from the jalapeno peppers (basically anything a metal strainer would catch). This left a beautifully green bottle… but also some particulates in the liquid that tend to settle to the bottom and get stirred up whenever the bottle moves. This might be off-putting for some people, and might result in this concoction not keeping for as long as I’d want. In retrospect, I think I’d want to strain this through a coffee filter or cheesecloth; but doing so also runs the risk of filtering out the exact flavors I was were looking to infuse.

The second issue is that this turned out WAY spicier than I expected. I was hoping for a deliciously mellow burn, but what I got was a real throat scorcher. So I recommend tasting the first infusion’s results (step 5 above) before doing the second muddled infusion. If it’s too spicy, cut it with some regular tequila. If it’s good to go, then make the second jar and have at it. As it is, I’m currently mixing my margaritas with a 1:1 mix of this infusion and normal blanco tequila, so in the future I’m going to start skipping steps six through eight and instead just adding regular blanco tequila until I titrate the infusion to the right level of heat.


If you don’t want to make this yourself, Casamigas was a solid offering for a mild jalapeno flavor and Still Austin Mother Pepper is a great option for those who really want the heat.

I personally feel that things taste better when you’ve put the time and effort into it to make them yourself, so I’ll probably continue making my own — and if y’all have any tips or tricks making this yourself, please let me know in the comments so I can try them!


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