What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t whip up a devilish little treat for Halloween? In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to create a ghoulish drink with a kick. My creation? The monster margarita Halloween cocktail.
Fact: I love tequila–good tequila. What do I mean by good tequila? Real tequila–the stuff you should slowly sip and not slurp down in a shot glass–contains %100 Agave. Otherwise, you’re technically drinking a tequila mixto, which can have extra additives. This rule is a slippery one though, as under U.S. regulations, “tequila” with %51 Agave is still labeled tequila. Go figure. Next time you’re at the liquor store, pay attention to the label when choosing between brands and you may be surprised. Another fact: I do not love margaritas. Not in the classic sense, anyway. Typical margaritas usually pile on syrups and sugar. Thankfully, you can easily swap artificial mixers for fresh ingredients.
This margarita makes use of natural flavors and juices. Zesty citrus and refreshing cucumber notes play well with the complex, smokey taste of tequila. However, a sinful Halloween cocktail wouldn’t be complete without festive colors (check) and a little spice (again, check). Yes, the trick to this treat is the jalapeno simple syrup. Simple syrup is a snap to make at home. Plus, you can customize it with any flavor your heart desires. So why not add a little heat?
Monster Margarita Halloween Cocktail
For the jalapeno simple syrup:
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup water
1. Mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water in a pot. Add about 4 thin slices of jalapeno (with the seeds). Bring ingredients to a boil. Then, let the mixture simmer until the liquid thickens and becomes more like a syrup (10-15 minutes). Note: you’ll have leftover syrup. If you prefer to make less, just follow the same directions using equal parts sugar and water.
2. Pour jalapeno simple syrup over a strainer into a container. Store leftover mixture in the fridge for up to a week.
1. Salt the rim of a margarita glass (or mason jar) and garnish with an orange slice. The colors are festive! You can find green margarita salt at a specialty store or here.
2. Slice and peel about 2 thick pieces of cucumber. Muddle in a shaker that has a strainer top. Add about a full lime’s worth of juice. Also add the juice from about 1/2 of a small orange (1/4 of a large orange). Then, add 1 oz jalapeno simple syrup and about 2 oz tequila into the shaker. Top with ice and shake vigorously.
3. Pour over ice in your rimmed margarita glass. Enjoy.
And just so we’re clear, I like spicy. But if you don’t, be cautious of your internal heat-meter and adjust the amount of jalapeno you add to this drink accordingly. Case in point: it took me a few tries to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors. My failed attempts were a bit too hot to handle–my poor husband, the enthusiastic taste-tester. On the flip side, if you can’t get enough spice, you can always muddle a tiny slice of jalapeno in the shaker before adding in the other ingredients.