Photo: Caroline Arcangeli; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Karen Rankin
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
55 Mins
Yield
Serves 1 (serving size: 6 oz.)

Trust us, you’re gonna like this jalapeño margarita. It hits all the flavor receptors—sweet, salty, tart, and boozy—and balances them so that no single flavor overwhelms. You end up with a margarita that’s very refreshing and has plenty of interesting flavor notes. There is a little work involved, but it’s worth it since it brings out the most in the jalapeño slices. Since you’re not using some sugary mix to camouflage the tequila, don’t skimp on quality: Use a premium silver tequila and Contreau for the absolute best results, and please, no bottled lime juice. Muddling the jalapeño slices in the cocktail shaker gives this drink the right amount of spiciness you want with it. If you want something on the milder side without sacrificing jalapeño flavor, don’t muddle the jalapeño slices—just add them to the shaker and shake.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Salted Jalapeño Syrup: Stir together sugar, water, jalapeño slices, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Step 2

Prepare the Lime Rim Salt: Process sugar, salt, and lime zest a mini food processor until mixture is evenly blended, is a light green color, and looks like sand, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer mixture to a dry, airtight container. Store at room temperature 3 to 5 days.

Step 3

Prepare the Margarita: Dip rim of an old fashioned glass in lime juice, and then in Lime Rim Salt to coat rim of glass. Fill glass with ice cubes. Combine tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, Salted Jalapeño Syrup, and jalapeño slices in a cocktail shaker; use a wooden spoon handle or a muddler to lightly crush jalapeño slices. Add ice to shaker; place top on shaker, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is icy, about 30 seconds. Strain into prepared old fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and a jalapeño slice, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

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