Cookin' AND Drinkin' ATVS Style: Chile-Infused Tequila

Think you got the guts? - Billy Gomila

What’s that? A combined recipe AND drinks post?

Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.

Dr. Peter Venkman: What?

Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?

Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.

Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

RIP Harold Ramis.

So I've always been a fan of trying some home-infusions on booze. The recipe posts here have been a little light, so the thought of combining one with a drinks post was pretty appealing. And then via email, Dr. Norris Camacho of Good Bull Hunting recommended this'n from his sister. Chile-infused tequila:

Ingredients

3-4 large jalapenos
3-4 serranos
1-2 poblanos (optional...I don't think they add anything of value)
1 bottle medium-grade silver tequila (you need the clear to absorb maximum flavor)
1 quart-sized airtight bottling container

I went with some Jose Cuervo silver. Cuervo's never been one of my favorites really, but my cheapness kind of overwhelms me with tequila. I also used a 1-quarter mason jar.

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Instructions

take 1 shot tequila
chop serranos (take stem off and slice vertically in half)
take 1 shot tequila
chop jalapenos (same)
do not under any circumstances remove seeds: this is not the Cooking Channel and you are a Texan

Feel free to spit, cuss, roll eyes, generally disrespect all that Texan business. We know they don't want to play the spice tolerance game anymore than they want to play the liquor tolerance one.

place peppers in bottling container and pour tequila over them
drink any remaining tequila
place in fridge for at least a week: the longer it sits, the hotter it gets
get a beer and go to couch to watch TV and take a nap
when ready, pour through a strainer into very small glasses to serve...you will want to sip this slowly

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I was able to find some very large jalapenos, so I went with three of those and three Serranos. I had to use a rocks glass for this, and threw in a few ice cubes after a fashion to keep it cool. They aren't kidding when they say you're going to sip this. This would be great to take a few sips off of sitting around a pool, chased with a cold beer while you're waiting on some grilled meat.

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The first thing you notice is that even filtered, the clear tequila really picks up some cloudiness. This is likely due to the capsaicin oil, which is what makes peppers like this hot -- and what sticks to your fingers when you chop one and remove the ribs and seeds and all that. And you can smell that fresh, pepper-y odor of the chills. Kind of overpowers the smell of the tequila. While the process certainly smooths out the tequila on the front end, that steady, chest-burn that you get is kind of replaced by the burn of the peppers at the top of your throat and on your lips. It kind of sticks there, almost like you've been eating crawfish.

Still, it's a refreshing turn on a hot day.

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