I tend to favor spicy, savory drinks, and one thing I am happy about regarding the upcoming DC summer is the return of spicy, jalapeno-based drinks to my local bars. I’m not sure why these seem to disappear from menus in winter. One exception is Shaw’s Tavern in Shaw/LeDroit Park, Washington DC — they have had a Mexican Old Fashioned on its menu in winter. It’s something like this from Food Republic, but I think Shaw’s use a darker tequila.
To tide me over before the spicy cocktails of summer return, I have been working on this “Fresno Margarita” cocktail recipe for the last few weeks. This recipe is based on the Red Pepper Martini recipe on Cookie and Kate, but I give it more spice, more liquor, and make it into a margarita. The recipe below has consistently worked for me. One time I swapped in a Scotch bonnet pepper, as I didn’t have a Fresno one — I do NOT recommend that! Scotch bonnets are notoriously spicy, and my drink was rendered (nearly) undrinkable. I don’t even think scaling back to a sliver would cut the heat that a Scotch bonnet chile lends to a cocktail.
I painted a few etegami of this recipe, leaving out the detailed steps that are in this blog post. The first example, at the top of this post, is on high bleed paper — you can see the “runny-ness” of the sumi and water color. Also, I made two “mistakes” — first, I left out the “l” in muddle, a mistake I fixed later with an awkwardly inserted “l”; and second, I forgot to add the important “sliced” to the bell pepper. The second example, at the bottom of this post, is on a medium-low bleed paper.Fresno Margarita (makes 2) Ingredients: 1 Orange bell pepper, sliced 1/2 seeded Fresno chile, roughly chopped (use less if you are sensitive to heat) 1/2 garlic clove, roughly chopped 1 lime, juiced (you should have about 1.5 ounces juice) 4 ounces tequila 1 tsp agave syrup hot sauce Salt and pepper equipment: cocktail shaker muddler (I don’t have one, I use a spoon with a wide handle — I know, I should just buy a muddler) 2 glasses (coupe or martini-style) steps: 1. Prepare the glasses by chilling them and then rimming them with salt and pepper — to do this, use a lime wedge to wet the rims and then mix some salt and pepper on a saucer and roll the edges of the glasses in the mixture. Try not to get much on the inside of the glass. Check out this post from the Kitchn for more details on this. 2. Muddle the bell pepper, Fresno chile, garlic, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. You want the peppers to lose their crunch. Also, regarding the chile, be aware that the heat from chiles really gets expressed here — even though you are using a small amount, you’ll really taste it in the drink. If you have a problem with heat, try using only 1/4 of the pepper, and adding it in half way into the muddling. 3. Add the tequila, agave syrup, a dash of hot sauce, and a little black pepper and salt to the shaker, and fill it with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for about 45 seconds. 4. Strain into the prepared glasses and enjoy.