Some time ago, my husband and I went to a restaurant, and their drink special of the night was a prickly pear jalapeño margarita on the rocks. We asked them how it was made, and much to our surprise, they told us. Thing is, they used prickly pear puree, which is kind of hard to find, so we modified the recipe to guava juice instead as it is a mild juice. Look for guava juice with lower amounts of sugar.
The process involves infusing tequila with jalapeño, and then mixing it into a margarita drink. In this case, infusing is just flavoring the tequila by letting it seep, but not sweetening it like one would do for a liqueur. This is not a spicy make your eyes water drink, but instead a nice smooth sweet drink that gives a little bit of a jalapeño burn in the throat. The whole drink works together quite well. My mother’s cousins love it, and once we made a pitcher of this drink and offered up our entire liquor cabinet, and everyone drank the margarita rather than touching anything else. Mind you, this was before we made our own beer and wine.
One starts by taking a jalapeño, cutting it open, and removing the seeds from it. I highly recommend wearing gloves when you do this, as the jalapeño is hard to remove from your skin and under your nails, and will burn your eyes if you rub them hours later. Place the jalapeño in a mason jar and add tequila. Since this will be used in a margarita, it does not need to be the best tequila you can find. Cover the jar and let the jar sit at least three days, and then begin sampling it until it reaches your desired taste. This is usually around a week, but it could be faster or slower depending on the jalapeño. Remove the jalapeño, and recover the jar and label it as being jalapeño infused tequila.
The margarita is then as follows:
1.5 shots jalapeño infused tequila
2 shots guava juice
1 shot triple sec, blue curacao, or other orange flavor liquor (or infuse it yourself!)
3 shots sour mix
1 squirt lime or lemon juice (fresh is better)
Mix together and serve over ice.
Actually, I have come across infused spirits recently, including pepper, but why pay the extra money when you can do it yourself?
Other infusion inspirations: