I don’t know about you – but I’m an aficionado of all things spicy. Be it food or drink, I prefer it on the hotter side. There’s a saying in Minnesota about spice referred to as “Minnesota hot.” Whenever we order something at a restaurant and inquire about the heat level a common response is to use that term, which basically means it’s as mild as tomato. Apparently we midwesterners as a whole aren’t a part of the some who like it hot club. If you run with this crowd: this drink isn’t for you!
One of my favorite restaurants in Minneapolis has a habanero passion fruit margarita and it’s where I drew inspiration for this cocktail. It’s anything but mild and not for the faint of heart. In fact, you’re thoroughly warned when you order it that it is anything BUT Minnesota hot. For all my local friends – next time you hit up Bar La Grassa, order the habanero passion fruit margarita. Or two.
The keys to this margarita are:
- Plan ahead. The infusing of the peppers in the tequila takes a minimum of 2 weeks.
- Buy your habaneros as fresh as possible, preferably from a farmers market or co-op type setting. The box stores produce is not as ideally fresh (thus packing the amount of desired heat.)
I love margaritas but rarely order them unless I know the restaurant makes it without the sugary, overly sweetened sweet + sour mix. This has no added refined sugars. Its spicy but slightly sweet with all the usual citrus notes. Enjoy amongst friends or at home with your special someone. Spice is a natural aphrodisiac, after all.
Recipe yields one bottle of habanero tequila, with a directions to make one cocktail. Cheers!
For the tequila:
- One 750 ml bottle of silver tequila (like any food or beverage, the quality of ingredients only make the beverage.)
- 6 habanero peppers, pith + seeds removed
For the cocktail:
- 1.5 oz. of the habanero infused tequila
- .5 oz triple sec
- 1/4 cup lime sparkling water (I used H2OH lemon-lime)
- The juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp 100% pomegranate juice (I used POM)
- Kosher salt + lime wedge for garnish (optional)
- 2 weeks prior to consuming, remove stems, pith + seeds from the habanero peppers and place them in the tequila bottle. After 2 weeks, either strain out the tequila from the peppers and discard the peppers, or leave them in the tequila for further heat.
- Using an 8 oz. glass, salt the rim. Fill the glass with ice & pour the tequila + triple sec over the ice. Squeeze in the juice from the lime & add in the sparkling water + POM juice.
- Gently stir + garnish with a lime. Enjoy.