Habanero Infused Mezcal

20 Apr

habanero infused mezcal

I’ve recently become obsessed with mezcal. Similar to tequila, mezcal is made with agave, but the plant is roasted before distillation, lending a pleasantly smoky flavor to mezcal that is missing from tequila. Since I happen to love the flavors that are usually paired with tequila (lime and salt? Orange juice and grenadine? Yes, please!) and also anything smoky (bacon, good barbecue, smoked cheeses, smoked salt – all irresistible to me), it’s really not all that surprising that mezcal has grabbed my attention. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking things a step further and infusing my mezcal with habanero peppers for a spicy punch on top of the smokiness. The result is amazing with anything fruity although definitely not for those without a high spice tolerance. My habaneros may have been extra spicy (or maybe this was because I opted to only infuse half of my bottle of mezcal rather than the whole thing), but I actually needed less than 24 hours to reach a level that tested my (rather high) limits. So be careful to keep tasting the mezcal as it infuses so it doesn’t get too spicy. This technique can, of course, be used with tequila instead of mezcal and with different peppers instead of habaneros (although I like the fruity and citrusy notes they lend).


Habanero Infused Mezcal (adapted from Food & Love)
Yield: 750 ml

Ingredients:

  • 3 habanero peppers, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle mezcal*

*You don’t need to use great quality mezcal here (although it certainly won’t hurt) as the flavor of the habaneros will take over.

Method:
Add 3 habaneros, cut in half and seeded to 1 (750 ml) bottle mezcal. Taste every 12 hours until the mezcal reaches your desired level of spiciness – this will probably happen between 1 and 3 days, depending on your spice tolerance. Once the mezcal is sufficiently infused, strain out the habaneros, and enjoy!

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