You say you’re growing hot peppers? Have I got a cocktail for you. Easy, fun and spicy. Here’s what you do:

  • Slice three or four of your hot peppers thinly. Wear gloves so you don’t get the hot oil on your fingers and inadvertently rub your eye or your…well, you get the idea. Be careful.
  • Put the sliced peppers in a large glass measuring cup so it’s easy to pour back in the bottle when you’re done.
  • Pour a bottle of 100% Agave Tequila over the peppers. You must use 100% Agave because it’s not worth ruining your homegrown peppers with other rot-gut, hangover-producing tequilas. This is no time to be cheap.
  • Let the tequila and peppers stand for an hour. I know, you’ll find some who say they let them marinate for days, but if you’re starting with a pepper that has heat it doesn’t take long for those oils to go into the alcohol.
  • Pour the Tequila back into the bottle. Stuff a piece of pepper or two into the bottle too, not so much for adding more heat but to remind you that this is the bottle of the good stuff! Place that in the refrigerator. Cocktail suggestions below. Cheers!
Use the peppers seeds and all.

Use the peppers seeds and all.

Cocktail Suggestions

Don’t waste this by using most pre-made  margarita mixes. Here are some other ideas:

Mix hot pepper infused tequila with any fresh squeezed citrus. If you like tart, use lime juice. If you like a balance of tart and sweet, use the juice of one lime and one orange.

Looking for lower calories? Use a zero calorie spritzer like this one: R.W. Knudsen Family Spritzer Zero Calorie Blood Orange Flavored Sparkling Beverage, 4-Count, 10.5 Ounce (Pack of 6)  Great flavor that blends well with the spiciness of the tequila, but it’s still light and refreshing. Add a lime or orange wedge and ice!

Lemon and pepper: squeeze a half of a lemon over ice, add the infused tequila, top off with small amount of either lemonade or a lemon spritzer and garnish with a spring of fresh lemon verbena from the garden.

Think about other garden garnishes and flavorings that aren’t normally used for cocktails: fresh cilantro and parsley have great potential, for example. Basil and fresh cherry tomatoes. Let’s drink to the vegetable garden!

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