I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m currently in a rather intense job-hunting process. Last week reached a bit of a peak–4 interviews! All went well and I have 3 followups already scheduled (the other pending, but looks good). I never thought I would be stressed by too many options. I’ll refrain from complaining too much 🙂
Too many options segues nicely to today’s post: gift giving. I recently scolded my mom for using a margarita mix (and rightfully so). Considering the types of places she also goes out to, I’m not certain she’s ever even had a proper margarita. Now, there are dozens upon dozens of recipes for a margarita–some will go with triple sec, others (self included) prefer a more refined orange liqueur like Grand Marnier. Then there’s the matter of using something like sweetened lime juice or fresh lime juice. Recently, I made one using orange-infused vodka and just a dash of lime-infused simple syrup which worked out quite nicely. I decided to give my mom a little “margarita basket” as a gift.
Considering my mom is used to the overly sweet mixes, I went the triple sec route. Here is what was in the basket (formulas will follow):
- 12 oz jalapeno-infused tequila
- 8 oz homemade triple sec
- bag of 8 limes
- small jar of kosher salt
I also included a simple recipe for making a margarita:
- 2 parts tequila (I figured she has her own plain tequila)
- 1 part triple sec
- 1 part lime juice
- lime wedge & kosher salt
Spread 1 – 2 tbsp of salt on a small plate. Rub lime wedge along the rim of a rocks glass or margarita glass, then dip it in the salt or sugar. Fill glass with ice. Shake all liquid ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with lime.
I also noted that shaking in ice is preferable but not required, and to try blending with a cup of frozen strawberries for a nice frozen.
I used nice bottles from a local stemware warehouse and a little spice jar for the salt. I had a leftover jicama shell I picked up while traveling that worked nicely as a basket.
Since my 5-year-old niece was visiting this past weekend, we had our family christmas already (I’m fairly certain 5-year-old girls are the true dictators of the world).
Jalapeño infused tequila
- 3 cups tequila
- 5 large, fresh jalapeños
- Remove stem from peppers and slice in half lengthwise.
- Combine peppers and tequila in a jar and shake well.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 10 days (for maximum heat and flavor, you can always dilute with plain tequila to suit your taste).
- Pour through a metal strainer and store in a cool, dark place. Will keep well for at least 6 months.
- 3 large oranges, juiced and zested (or peeled thinly so no white pith is removed)
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 cups vodka
- Take juice and add enough water to make 2 cups of total liquid. In a small saucer, bring liquid, zest, and sugar to a light boil then simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool until it’s relatively cool (luke warm is good enough).
- Combine liquid-sugar-zest with vodka in a jar. Seal and shake well.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 2–4 weeks.
- Pour through a metal strainer. I’ve kept mine stored in the cabinet with no problems for over 2 months (it’s still quite nicely fresh), but you could also refrigerate if you’re worried about the fresh juice.