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A Spicy Margarita for Cinco de Mayo

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Jeffrey Saad's Habanero Tequila and Margarita

Cinco de Mayo rolls into town this week, and while it may not be a major holiday in Mexico, it seems to have become important to Angelenos, if for no other reason except that it's a great excuse to indulge in Margaritas, guacamole and chips. Hey- every city needs its own special drinking holiday, right? (Think St. Paddy's Day in New York and Chicago, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans).

In my house, if we're lucky (meaning if I have the time and feel like it), we'll have home made Chiles Rellenos. This year, I'll have to add a new favorite recipe into the mix.

A few months back, I was privlileged to be served this fabulous spicy Margarita by Jeffrey Saad, contestant on season 5 of The Next Food Network Star, and host of a series of webisodes (Spice Smuggler) at food network. com. It was love at first sip. 

Saad was kind enough to share his recipe with me, and now I'm sharing with you. I'm sure you'll fall in  love, too.

Salut!

Jeffrey Saad’s Spicy Margarita

1     Bottle (750 ml) Herradura Silver,
1     Fresh habanero pepper, orange
2     limes, juiced
1     teaspoon agave syrup
1 1/2  ounces of the spiced tequila
1/2  ounce Cointreau

Crushed Ice

Cut the habanero chile in half (do not touch your eyes after handling the chile!)

Push the two halves of the chile into the bottle of Herradura Silver Tequila. Close the lid and
let sit it macerate at least 24 hours. It can sit as long as you like. Once the chile is fully absorbed that's all there is.

Per margarita:
In a shaker or pitcher add:
Handful of ice, tequila, Cointreau,  the lime juice and the agave syrup. Shake vigorously, and strain into a glass.

Take a sip and feel the burn go from the roof of your mouth down your throat. Enjoy!

Saad's Notes:

You can use any tequila or orange liqueur you like but do not use an aged tequila as the wood doesn't allow the full flavor of the habanero to come out.

Shake hard when mixing the drink so you get nice chards of ice floating on top when you pour the drink into the glass.

Gisele Perez, aka the L.A. Party Planning Examiner, is the owner of small pleasures catering in Los Angeles, where she helps her clients plan fabulous parties. Her contact info is: Gisele@smallpleasurescatering.com

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