In case you can't tell from my archives, I've pretty much made it my mission to make as many seasonal margaritas as I can throughout the year. A good margarita is definitely my drink of choice, and I absolutely love all the seasonal variations and spins. Strawberry-Rhubarb in the spring, blood orange and grapefruit in the winter, watermelon, cherry, and cucumber in the summer, and cranberry and pomegranate in the fall. And now I'm adding apple-habanero to my fall line-up as well.
This margarita is brought to you by the incomparable Rick Bayless; therefore it is completely fabulous. Although it takes a bit of prep-work, it's totally worth it. In order to get the most concentrated, pure apple flavor, you roast apples with some sugar before pureeing them along with a habanero. And to give the drink even more apple oomph, you use apple brandy in place of the traditional orange liqueur. The habanero doesn't over power the drink, but rather balances the sweetness of the apples and tequila with a hint of spice. You can make this as spicy or mild as you like, but it's recommended that you don't use more than half the habanero… lest you may need a chaser of milk, and I really don't see that ending well!
The final touch of these margaritas is the peppery cinnamon salt rim, which is simply ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper. I absolutely loved this addition, so don't skip it!
I see these margaritas being a big hit for any fall parties or tailgates, and I for one can't wait to spread the apple-habanero margarita gospel this fall!
These margaritas were part of a special fall-themed Mexican dinner I cooked over the weekend, and I can't wait to share the rest of the dinner with you guys!
Apple-Habanero Margaritasbarely adapted from Frontera, by Rick Bayless
makes 6 to 8 cocktails
- 1 1/2 cups tequila
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup apple brandy (preferably Calvados)
- 1 1/2 cups apple-habanero puree (recipe follows)
- 1 lime wedge
- Peppery Cinnamon Salt (recipe follows)
In a pitcher, combine the tequila, lime juice, apple brandy, and apple-habanero puree. Stir well and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 2 hours.
Use the lime and peppery cinnamon salt to rim your glasses, fill them with ice, then divide the margaritas among the glasses. Serve immediately.
- 2-3 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 wedges (preferable Granny Smith, or another tart apple)
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1 habanero chile
- 1/4 cup simple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then toss the apples with the sugar. Arrange the apples plus the habanero in a single layer on the baking sheet, and cook for 15 minutes. Flip the apple pieces and chile, then roast another 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are lightly browning and completely soft.
In a food processor or blender, combine the apples, syrup, and 1/2 cup of water. Blend until completely smooth. Chop the hanbanero, and add about 1/4 of it to the mixture (seeds and all). Process to blend thoroughly, taste, and add more of the chile as you see fit.
If the puree is the same consistency as apple sauce, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, to achieve a slightly thinner consistency.
Strain the mixture into a glass bowl or jar, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Peppery Cinnamon Salt
To make the peppery cinnamon salt, mix 3 parts kosher salt with 2 parts ground cinnamon, and 1 part freshly cracked black pepper. Store covered in a small bowl.