“Bourbon will always be my first love. Nay, my true love. But a good-quality tequila is a lot like that hot summer fling you had when you were full of youth –sexy, dirty, and all kinds of wrong in the best kinds of ways. These margaritas are smoky, salty, and totally crips. And there’s Tequila. Lots and lots of tequila.”
1/2 Jalapeño Pepper
1/2 cup flaky, coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Fresh lime wedges
1/3 cup diced cucumber
1 cube brown or cane sugar
1 1/2 ounces Cointreau
1 tablespoon lightly packed fresh min leaves
3 ounces Reposado or Silver Tequila
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (or approx. 5 lives)
To garnish: lime wheels and slices of cucumber
First, grill the jalapeño: Preheat your grill or broiler to 250°C. Place the jalapeño on the grate and blacken thoroughly, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and let cool to the touch. Chop roughly.
As the pepper chars, make the salt rim. Combine the salt and smoked paprika in a shallow rimmed dish. Set aside.
Prepare your serving glass: Take one of the lime wedges and run it along the lip of the glass. Dip into the salt mixture and twist your wrist to coat the rim. Gently shake off any excess. Set aside.
Now for the good stuff: Make your cocktail! Place the blackened jalapeño, cucumber, sugar, and Cointreau in a large mason jar or cocktail shaker. Muddle with a bit of force until the sugar breaks down.
Add the mint leaves, tequila, and lime juice. Muddle lightly. You don’t want to destroy the mint, but to extract the oils.
Top with ice, cover tightly and shake until your arm hurts.
Place a small, fine-mesh strainer over the prepared glass and pour the liquid through it.
Garnish with a lime wheel and slice of cucumber. Cheers!