The weekend is nearly upon us and if you’re anything like me, it’s just about time for an adult beverage. Life, just like the weekend, is too damn short to not loosen our inhibitions every so often and enjoy the company of our friends whilst indulging in a cocktail (or 3). Our forefathers did us a solid in repealing prohibition, so how ’bout we show them a little respect? Am I right, or amiright?!
LET’S PLAY WITH OUR BOOZE
Beer, wine or liquor on its own is fantastic. There’s no denying that. But, since we are a curious species who have survived merely due to our intellect and highly evolved brain function (this can certainly be argued nowadays), let’s make a good thing even better. Let’s infuse booze with fruits and herbs and veggies!!! Like…pickles and tequila!!!
Stay with me here. I know it sounds awful and crazy and ridiculous and crazy and disgusting and crazy…but fear not…this stuff is crazy good.
We had it for the first time over at our good friend’s house after the company Christmas party a few years back. To this day, I’m glad I was already drunk, or I wouldn’t have tried it. Pickle tequila. It just sounds wrong. Guess what tho…it tastes SO right. There’s something about the briny, salty flavor of the pickles that just works so well with the tequila. I was blown away. I had another shot.
We enjoyed it so much, that my wife and I had to find out how to make the stuff. FYI, it’s really simple and anyone can do it.
STUFF TO PICKLE THAT TEQUILA
- 1 bottle of Tequila Blanco (get something decent, would ya?)
- 1 jar of Dill Pickles (spears or slices)
Now, there’s a couple different methods for infusing booze (I’ll get into that in a minute), but for this witches brew, I go with the low maintenance option. Infuse in its own bottle.
Basically, all you need to do is remove (aka: drink) about a quarter of the tequila from the bottle, then stuff as many pickles in there as you can. Once the tequila nearly reaches the top of the bottle, VERY lightly cap the bottle and put it in your fridge for two weeks. Now, I use the term “lightly cap” because if you fully seal this thing, science will blow the top off the bottle as the infusion takes place. It’s happened before, and it makes a mess. So, moral of the story is, only cap it enough to keep any airborne particles from dropping in your concoction. Nobody likes airborne particles in their booze.
The alternative method for infusion is to use mason jars. I don’t own mason jars, nor do I feel like spending money on them (a guy can dream tho, right?). Therefore, I just use the vessel the booze came in. I’m being “green” and it’s what the environment would want. Ok…maybe that makes no sense. In a totally unrelated story, I may have sampled some tequila.
Anywho…if using the mason jar method, take whatever flavor you’re planning on infusing your booze with and drop that into the jar. Top off with your alcohol of choice, seal the jar and shake. Some methods have you shake once a day. Some don’t specify. Some have you store at room temperature. Some have you refrigerate. I say, do what you want. It’s your life and your booze. Do what you want, damnit!
GET IN MY BELLY!!!
After a couple weeks, your delicious distillation is ready for consumption. The purist will take this approach, but tread lightly my friends. More than a few of these will result in significant amounts of fun, followed by some memory loss concluding with a wicked headache the next morning.
- Pickle Tequila
- Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses (could always just do the ol’ salt on the hand thing too)
- Hot Sauce (Cholula is my fave, but use whatever you’d like)
If using the salt shot glass (HIGHLY recommended), pour the tequila in there, put a drop or two of hot sauce on your hand, cheers your friends, lick the sauce off your hand and knock back that shot. If using a regular ol’ shot glass (still a fine vessel) mix the hot sauce in with the tequila and put a little salt on your hand (as you would for any other tequila shot).
Now, if you’re looking for a classier, brunch friendly, or perhaps “civilized” manner of living up this ludicrous libation…I give you – a new way to Bloody Mary…
THE VERDE MARIA
- 1 cup Pickle Tequila (or Pepper Vodka if tequila ain’t yo bag, baby)
- 2 cups Tomatillo Salsa (Frontera makes the best on the planet)
- 1 cup Diced Cucumber (seed it if you want to make extra work for yourself)
- 1 Jalapeño or 2 tbsp Green Tabasco
- 2 tsp Celery Salt
- 2-4 tbsp Horseradish (all depends on how horseradishy you like yo Marys)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- Juice of 4 Limes (more cut into wedges to serve…if ya want to be all fancy n stuff)
- Salt to taste (most likely not necessary if using the Pickle Tequila)
This could not be easier to prep. Take all the ingredients, drop into a blender, plug in the blender, turn on said blender, blend until smooth, pour into glasses and enjoy. If you want yours stronger (aka: more booze), just top off your glass with the alcohol of your choice…ya big lush.
OTHER INFUSIONS…BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL NOT CONVINCED PICKLE TEQUILA IS AWESOME
I get it. Pickle Tequila can be a pretty significant mental hurdle to clear for a lot of you. So, here’s a few other suggestions/pointers for infusions just to get you going. The really fun part of this (besides the drinking part, of course) are the endless combinations one can come up with for flavoring just about any type of booze.
WHAT TO USE
- Herbs: Use them whole, including the stems
- Vegetables: Leave the skins on, then chop coarsely
- Citrus: Slice thin or just use the zest
- Fruit with textured or tough skin, hard shells, or rinds (banana, mango, melon, etc.): Remove and discard skin, remove pits or seeds, then chop coarsely
- Fruit with soft skin (peach, apple, etc.): Leave skin on, remove pits or seeds, then chop coarsely
- Berries: Remove greenery, then leave whole
- Peppers: Remove seeds, chop coarsely
- Ginger: Peel, then slice thin
- Vanilla: Split lengthwise
- Spices: Break with mortar and pestle
HOW LONG TO INFUSE
- Herbs, hot peppers, vanilla beans, ginger, cinnamon, citrus: 1 to 3 days
- Melons, sweet peppers, berries, stone fruits: 3 to 6 days
- Cucumbers, most vegetables, apples, pears: 7 to 14 days
- Most dried spices: 8 to 14 days
These are, of course, merely guidelines. The longer you let an infusion go, the stronger the added flavor will be. So, make sure to sample your creation within the suggested time guidelines and judge for yourself (YAY!!! EXCUSES TO DRINK!!!). FYI, softer fruits (ie: strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc.) have a tendency to break down quite a bit the longer they sit in the alcohol, so it’s usually a good idea to remove them from the infusion before they compromise the integrity of the booze (this is where the mason jar method works really well). The great thing about the Pickle Tequila is that you can leave those spears in the bottle for as long as there’s tequila in there. They won’t break down and they won’t go bad (yes, fruit and veggies can grow mold even if submerged in alcohol).
So that’s the long and short of it my friends. Enjoy the weekend and whatever beverage you decide to consume!