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Sweet Heat Margarita
A few weeks ago, I got a text from my brother with a link to Jose Cuervo’s Margarita Shakeup competition. If you hang around long enough, you’ll learn pretty quickly that I love margaritas, and I feel like I know how to throw together a couple pretty killer options, so naturally, I had to put my name in the pot. Enter the Sweet Heat Margarita (which you should totally go vote for, BTW).
I don’t have some nostalgic story for you, or any vacation memories. This is just a cocktail, and it’s just awesome.
Raspberry Margarita Mix
Dark Chocolate Bitters
Ready to Drink?!
Yes. Ready to drink. You could go find some fancyrecipe and make a raspberry infused tequila, or make your own raspberry puree to stir in to a high end tequila, but that’s just so much work. Save yourself the trouble.
If you want to be authentic here, you should go with Jose Cuervo’s Raspberry Margarita since it was their contest that started this adventure. But, if you can’t find that on the shelf in your local grocery store, you can snag the 1800 version, and it’ll do just fine. (For the record, I currently can’t even find the raspberry margarita on the official Cuervo website, so my hands were kinda tied here).
Here’s the deal. Habanero peppers are hot. They are delicious, and are a solid addition to almost any margarita you can think of, but you need to tread lightly—especially if your heat tolerance is anything like mine (read: non-existent).
What you want to do first is cut a few slices off of one of the peppers. Don’t be a hero. You don’t need to cram an entire pepper into this thing. Unless you’re like a glutton for punishment or something, I guess.
When I say tiny slices, this is kinda what I’m talking about. I put less than a 3rd of the pepper into the drink, and it packed one hell of a punch, so dice the pepper slices a little bit, and toss them into a cocktail shaker.
Next, grab your muddler and mash that diced pepper until the lava juices start to seep out. Watch the eyes though. Once the juices are, uh, exposed? Nope. Not a good enough reason to use the word exposed. Look, just smoosh the bits a few times, and call it a day. It’ll be enough. I promise.
Now it’s time to grab that margarita mix. Pour in enough to fill your drink. This is pretty much the only source of liquid here, so don’t be shy.
Up next is the hibsicus syrup. Now, this stuff isn’t exactly part of my normal rotation. In fact, I picked it up specifically for this recipe, and kind of had no idea what to expect.
I’ve had hibiscus cocktails before, and enjoyed them, but I hadn’t tried using it in a recipe before now. It is a pretty interesting flavor, and it plays nicely with the raspberry, but if you put too much in, your drink will taste like potpourri, which is not a pleasant experience. Trust me. Give the concoction a good splash, but, you know. Pace yourself.
Last, but not least, we have the wildcard: Chocolate bitters.
To be clear, I only call it that in honor of the contest that inspired this thing. Chocolate bitters aren’t exactly what I’d call “living dangerously.” They’re kind of a staple in my cocktail pantry (and taste great in an Old Fashioned. Just saying).
Toss a dash or two (or three) into the shaker, and you’re ready for phase two.
Don’t worry. You’ve done the hard work. I just wasn’t sure how to handle this transition. Drop some ice into the shaker, cap it off, and shake it like there’s no tomorrow. The drink’s going to get nice and cold, and all the flavors are going to blend together.
After a good 20-30 seconds (or when you feel like your fingers are going to fall off, grab a glass, fill it with ice, and then pour the violently shaken cocktail through a strainer just to make sure you don’t get any smooshed pepper nubs in your drink.
Look, I know I already said it, but habaneros are hot, and a little bit goes a long way. The first time I made this drink, I took a sip, and I swear, my life flashed before my eyes. It was like the fires of Mount Doom were bubbling up inside me. I felt like I could take down an ambush of Dai Li agents (If you know, you know).
I take no responsibility for any damage caused by your inevitable lava breath, Consider yourself warned.
Here's the finished product one more time. You know, for good measure. (I regret nothing!)
4 Gud Measure is just one part of this multi-faceted disaster. There’s plenty to see, and plenty more still to come. If you want to follow this chaotic rollercoaster, then subscribe now!