Looking to kick your margarita up a notch? Why not try this fruity pineapple version infused with habanero peppers? The brainchild of Mexican chef and Food Network personality Marcela Valladolid, who cut her culinary teeth in Tijuana, the drink supplies just the right amount of heat with each sip thanks to the red chili infusion. And if you need to tone down the spice, it tastes beyond bueno paired with chips and guacamole. Read on for the recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
Habanero Pineapple Margaritas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 fresh habanero chilies, split in half
3 tbsp kosher salt
Zest of 1 lime
24 oz tequila blanco
24 oz pineapple juice
1 lime, cut into wedges
Grilled pineapple wedges for garnish (optional)
1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and split habaneros. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavor of the habanero to infuse into the simple syrup. Strain and cool.
2. To make the lime salt, combine the lime zest and kosher salt on a plate.
3. For each margarita, combine 3 oz of tequila, 3 oz of pineapple juice, 1 oz of the cooled habanero simple syrup in a shaker over ice. Shake until frothy and chilled, about 30 seconds.
4. To rim the glass, moisten the edge of the glass with a cut lime wedge and dip into the prepared lime salt. Fill the rimmed glass with crushed ice, then pour the shaken margarita into the glass. Place a wedge of pineapple on the rim of the glass and enjoy!