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Bonus recipe: Spicy Cucumber Margarita

For my column today on Kara Newman's book "Spice & Ice," I had a lot of fun experimenting with chili peppers in cocktails, and even though all of my experiments were not successful, most were. What I like best about Newman's book is that the recipes really encouraged me to make my own personal tweaks. It's my hope that people who read the Spirits column feel the same way; cocktails are supposed to be fun and personal, and endless customization is encouraged.

I mention another great cocktail called a Spicy Cucumber Margarita. We didn't have room for it in print, but it was one of my absolute favorites.

-- Jason Wilson

Spicy Cucumber Margarita
This a light, fresh cocktail with great balance, one for people who like spice but don't go in for the extreme stuff. Kara Newman calls for an ounce of reposado tequila, but I recommend slightly more of a blanco tequila, which is crisper, cleaner, more herbaceous and blends better. As always, go for a top-quality orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Adapted from "Spice & Ice" (Chronicle Books, 2009).

1/2 small cucumber, peeled and cubed
2 slices jalapeno pepper, minced
1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 small jalapeno or other chili pepper, for garnish

In a shaker, muddle the cucumber and jalapeno. Add all liquid ingredients, and fill halfway with ice. Shake well, for at least 30 seconds or more, then strain twice into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the small chili pepper.

By The Food Section  |  December 9, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Spirits  | Tags: Jason Wilson, Spirits, chili peppers, cocktails  
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They serve a version of this drink at Toloache in NYC. It was delicious! I'm interested to try making one myself...

Posted by: Dontneednosteenkingid | December 9, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

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