I’ve had cocktails and herbal infusions on the brain so much lately that I’ve decided to make a weekly column out of it. From now until Labor Day I’ll be featuring one summery sip each week, using a recipe I’ve either devised myself with friends or adapted from an existing recipe.
This week’s recipe comes from one I spotted in a recent People magazine whipped up by Cooking Channel chef Nadia G. It’s a vodka margarita that calls for chiles and maple syrup. Sounds strange but trust me, it is absolutely delicious.
My friend Chin and I made a batch over the weekend and they were so tasty, I might have to declare this my Summer Cocktail 2012 (and it’s so early in the season). I brought out a glass for Jake to sample while he was working and he gulped it down in a hurry.
I took a few liberties with Nadia G’s recipe — I couldn’t find the original recipe online, sorry! — by adding a good bit more vodka and swapping jalapenos for spicier habaneros, which I happened to have on hand. The only downside: I forgot to tell Jake the orange thing in his glass wasn’t a carrot. He chomped it down and nearly choked.
Habanero Maple Margarita
Salt the rim of a highball glass or 8 ounce jelly jar. Place one sliver of habanero (or jalapeno) into the bottom of the glass (I like to put the chile in the bottom of the glass so it doesn’t get in the way of your mouth while sipping). Into a cocktail shaker, combine 1/4 cup vodka, 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (real maple syrup tastes so much better than the artificial stuff) and some crushed ice. Shake well and pour into the glass. Serves 1. Don’t forget to tell friends the orange thing isn’t a carrot!
Update: This recipe is so tasty, it caught the attention of lovely food blog Eat Boutique.