Two Things You Might Never, Ever, Ever Do with a Jalapeño
Or, simply, how to improve your life with the pepper of the gods.
Today, we're making a jalapeno-infused cocktail and a jalapeno relish. Let's go.
Firstly, and most desperately, you will need booze.
Here's my bar setup. It's looking a little light these days but the drink we're making today is a spin on the aviation, so we have everything we need.
For the aviations I made, you will need:
- 2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons maraschino liqueur, preferably Luxardo
- 1/4 ounce Crème de Violette
- Lemon twist, for garnish.
The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early twentieth century. The first published recipe for the drink appeared in Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Ensslin's recipe called for 1½ oz. El Bart gin, ¾ oz. lemon juice, 2 dashes maraschino liqueur, and 2 dashes crème de violette, a violetliqueur which gives the cocktail a pale sky-blue color.
Harry Craddock's influential Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) omitted the crème de violette, calling for a mixture of two-thirds dry gin, one-third lemon juice, and two dashes of maraschino. Many later bartenders have followed Craddock's lead, leaving out the difficult-to-find violet liqueur.
We used "Navy Strength" Gin. "The declared reason for the high alcohol content was that that was the proof level at which the ship’s gunpowder could still be fired should it accidentally get soaked with booze." Gunpowder. Booze. I'll take it.
I was able to find Violette liquor but you could probably skip it if you wanted. The stuff isn't cheap and the recipe only calls for a dash anyways.
To make the drinks:
Combine the gin, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Drizzle the Crème de Violette into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist. I'd make one like the recipe calls because we are going to get wildly off course here in a sec.
It's time to dice some jalapeños.
Cut them up small. Your great-great-grandfather worked on the railroads. I'm asking you to cut a pepper. Do a good job.
Throw some gin in there. (Later, when you run out of gin like we did you can substitute tequila. They work, but you better count on not driving or being able to offer your honest opinion of your mother-in-law.) We used exactly half of the jalapeño infused liquor with the regular stuff and even then it was spicy. Try a few and adjust to your liking.
Measure everything out...
Now kick back and enjoy like my buddy Steve here. If anyone's earned it, it's you.
On to the jalapeno relish:
We used the other half of our jalapeño, a little onion, and some pickles and finely diced them. Throw 'em in a little jar. You'll need 'em in a sec.
Cut your hot dogs.
Insert a skewer in one end and cut the hot dog diagonally around the skewer. Pull those skewers out and throw those bad boys on the grill.
Cutting them in spirals allows the insides to get kind of crispy--it's really good and does great things for texture.
Toast the bun, add a little mustard and add your relish.