Recipe: Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita

Margaritas are the only drink that I get a real craving for often. This craving is often followed by a desire to eat all the chips and guacamole I can find. And then definitely enchiladas in mole sauce. Or tacos al pastor. But usually I crave the mole sauce and a good citrusy margarita. So that's what we're making today (the margarita, that is. I'll leave the mole to the professionals).

This recipe is pretty straightforward. Juice from blood oranges and limes, tequila, a little triple sec for good measure. But we're mixing things up a bit with a jalapeno simple syrup. It's subtle, but after a few sips you start to feel the burn in the back of your throat. If you are into the super in-your-face-spicy, feel free to throw more than one pepper in the sugar/water mixture. I like my jalapenos a little more subtle.

Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita

Makes one drink

1/2 cup blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 1/2 oz jalapeno simple syrup (recipe below)
2 oz tequila
1 lime
splash of triple sec

To make the jalapeno simple syrup: Bring 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and a jalapeno sliced into two pieces lengthwise to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally so sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove jalapenos, and pour through a strainer into an airtight container. Let cool completely in the fridge before use.

To make the cocktail, dip rim of glass into a little water or agave and then into coarse salt or sugar (optional). Fill glass with ice, add blood orange juice, jalapeno simple syrup, tequila, and triple sec. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into cocktail. Stir to incorporate and garnish with jalapeno and blood orange slices.