Taste buds, at the ready: This one's going to be spicy.
Eschewing the sourness of the typical margarita, El Vez
's jalapeno-infused strawberry margarita -- which you'll have to ask for specifically if you want to order it there -- lands at about a seven or eight on the spice meter. In flavor, it's like a form-fitting blend of both schools of liquor: It boasts the sweetness of tequila and the bite of bourbon.
"It's a sweet drink upfront, because of the use of jalapeno tincture rather than habanero, but the finish leaves a bite in the back of the palate," says El Vez bartender Eric Tsurumoto. "Jalapeno and chipotle add almost a white pepper taste."
As for a food pairing, he recommends serving up a mild guacamole or an enchilada with mole sauce -- drawing that contrast of a rich, chocolate sweetness with the smoky spice of the jalapeno.
Or, he says, simply save it as an after-dinner drink. It'll work just fine as a standalone -- with a glass of water nearby, of course.
Jalapeno-infused Strawberry Margarita
By Eric Tsurumoto of El Vez
1 ounce strawberry puree
Splash of agave nectar (preferably 100 percent pure -- anything else will taste sweeter and feel syrup-like)
1 1/2 ounces Espolon Blanco tequila
1/2 ounce jalapeno tincture (it's concentrated in the same way bitters are; add more at your own risk)
1 ounce Cointreau
Directions: Shake, don't stir, and strain if you don't want the drink's spiciness to dilute over time. Garnish with a habanero pepper and a chili-salt rim.
Tip: If you're not into jalapeno, Tsurumoto recommends bypassing the jalapeno tincture and soaking a pepper of your choice in tequila for about four days.