One cocktail that I always enjoy in the summer is…
Margaritas with a little bit of a kick to them are very popular right now, and you can find a jalapeno margarita of some kind on the menu at just about every Mexican restaurant that keeps up, even remotely, with the trends. When I make a jalapeno margarita, I infuse simple syrup with jalapenos to get a lot of pepper flavor into the drink because jalapenos are actually relatively mild when it comes to heat. Serrano peppers, on the other hand, pack a lot of heat and I prefer to use them when I am looking for a drink that delivers a kick. This Serrano Pineapple Margarita is both sweet and spicy, thanks to a generous amount of serrano peppers in the drink.
I don’t make a simple syrup for this particular drink because the peppers are so strong that they start to infuse the drink immediately after you add them in. I simply shake them with the rest of the drink ingredients, then add more to garnish the drink after I strain it into a salt and spice-rimmed glass. This means that the drink will really change in flavor as it sits in the glass – and I like that effect. Drink it quickly if you want it to be on the sweeter side, because the longer it sits, the more of a punch it is going to pack.
2 oz. Tequila
3/4 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
5 Serrano Pepper Rings
Spiced salt: Kosher Salt and Tajin.
First, rim a glass with the mixture of equal parts Kosher salt and Tajin. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside.
Slice a serrano pepper into thin rings and drop five of them into a mixing glass with the rest of the ingredients. Fill with ice, then shake and double strain into the prepared glass. Throw some sliced serrano chili rings into the glass for garnish.