Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays: June Challenge - Jalapenos!

As you may recall, The Duo Dishes won the May TT Challenge and they have selected jalapeno as this month's featured ingredient. A most excellent choice!

I've long been a fan of the spicy cocktail and jalapeno plays well with so many flavors and spirits. Of course, the most obvious use for jalapeno is a spicy margarita ... and I have gone that route in the drink I'm featuring today.

That said, I am going to encourage you to think outside the box, should you choose to enter this month's challenge. Jalapeno pairs well with: lemon, lime, orange (or any kind of citrus), pomegranate, mint, cilantro, tomato, cinnamon, and salt, to name but a few.

Be aware that jalapenos can vary in their intensity from pepper to pepper. Some peppers are rather mild, while others are extremely hot. Always taste your pepper to determine heat level before you mix your drink. If it is extremely hot, reduce the amount of jalapeno you are using, especially if you're going to muddle the pepper. If the pepper is extremely hot, remove the stems and seeds prior to mixing.

In terms of spirits, I'd say almost anything goes. I wouldn't hesitate to pair it with: vodka, gin, tequila, mezcal or beer. But, really, you're limited only by your imagination! As far as extracting the flavor goes, you have two choices: you can muddle the pepper, or infuse your spirit with the jalapeno. If you go the infusion route, wash, dry and slice your pepper, then add it to a quantity of your chosen spirit and allow it to sit for at least 4 hours, or overnight, depending on how hot you'd like your drink.

I've taken today's recipe from Navan's site. I liked this unusual twist on the margarita, especially for the lovely vanilla notes that the Navan brings to the party. The original recipe calls for silver (or white) tequila, but I only had gold on hand. Do as you see fit.

The Madagascar Margarita:
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce Navan
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons agave nectar, depending on your taste
  • 3 rings of fresh jalapeno, or less, depending on heat level
  • wheel of lemon or lime for garnish
Place the fresh jalapeno rings into a cocktail shaker and over them pour the tequila. Muddle the peppers, crushing slightly to extract their juice. Add the Navan and the agave nectar and fill the shaker with ice. Cover and shake well until the outside of the shaker frosts. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with a wheel of lemon or lime and a slice of fresh jalapeno. Serve and enjoy, repeat as necessary!

To enter this month's challenge:

1. Create a cocktail using jalapeno as an ingredient and write a blog entry about it. Post your entry sometime before midnight on Friday, July 2nd, and include a link back to Beach Eats:

2. Send an email entitled Thirsty Thursdays June Challenge to: ttchallenge[at]gmail[dot]com

The email must include the following information:
  • Your name
  • The name of your blog
  • The name of your cocktail
  • The link to your blog entry and a photograph of your drink
  • Entries must be received by midnight on Friday, July 2nd
3. You can still participate, even if you don't have a blog. Simply send an email with the above information, minus the blog stuff, and I will include you in the round-up.

The round-up will be posted on Thursday, July 8th and a winner will be declared at that time.

Good luck and get mixing ... I'm looking forward to your spicy creations!



Mo Diva said...

dibs on the jalapeno bloody mary! but i dont make drinks. i drink them. :-)

Tangled Noodle said...

Team Noodle has made their drink! We'll unveil it soon. I will, however, share that it took two go-'rounds to perfect: the first time, we underestimated the power of the 'peño - hot!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo - c'mon, you can totally mix up a jalapeno bloody, girl! :)

Noodle - Me too! That's why I wrote the bit about testing the peppers in bold ... I made the same mistake last night! LOL

Can't wait to see your creation! :)

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Even though I'm vacationing in Little Cayman, we're taking a break between cocktails and dinner and I remembered that it's Thursday! Yes, I get major points for that! LOL So I had to come see what was being served for Thirsty Thursday. Yes, a margarita using jalapenos is an obvious choice and yours looks amazing (per usual, I might add)! I'm still mulling over my entry possibilities. Hmmm, is there a clue in my wording? We'll have to see what mood strikes before the actual due date. If you're curious, I'm trying every cocktail under the sun here in LC. ;-)


Lazaro Cooks said...

What a lovely cocktail. Creative inclusion of jalapeno. Great job.


Sook said...

Wow Jalapenos in drinks? That sounds crazy! :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Yeah for jalapenos!!!! Best of luck to everyone working on a submission. That spicy spicy bite with each sip is what makes it perfect.