One of my favorite blogs is Kath Eats Real Food and I’ve been a loyal reader for almost four years now. She lives in Charlottesville and has talked about this Mexican restaurant, Mono Loco for years, specifically their spice a rita – a jalapeño margarita. She loves it so much that she actually had them invent a virgin spice a rita for while she was pregnant last year. After hearing all of the hype I had to try one for myself so on the last day we were in Virginia, Josh and I (and the kids of course) made a beeline for lunch at Mono Loco. Unfortunately we didn’t know that the restaurant is only open for dinner and since we had to begin the trek back to NY that afternoon we didn’t have time to wait around until 5pm for a margarita. I was seriously bummed but since Josh plans to live there one day, I knew I’d get a second chance at getting my hands on the famous drink. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait long because Kath figured out the secret recipe and shared it on her blog this week! So Josh and I gathered the ingredients and made it tonight after a Mexican pizza dinner (recipe coming soon!). Obviously if you want all of the details you can check out Kath’s original recipe and blog post but here’s a quick breakdown of what we did. *We altered her recipe a bit because we’re not manly enough to handle quite as many jalapeños with our tequila.
First I cut three jalapeños in half and threw them on a hot cast iron grill pan. While those blackened, I brought two cups of water and one cup of sugar to boil until the sugar dissolved. I removed the simple syrup from the heat and added two cups of lime juice straight into the hot pan and set it aside. I then took the grilled peppers and diced them up (seeds and all) and plopped them all into a pitcher. To the pitcher I added half of the lime mixture (about two cups) because I wanted to cover my ass in case these margs turned out to be too spicy. Even if we dumped the jalapeño cocktails, at least we could still have a few regular lime margaritas. I let the peppers meld into the lime mixture for about five minutes and then filled two pint glasses exactly how Kath recommended. Ice all the way to the top, tequila 2/3 of the glass, triple sec to the 80% area on the glass and jalapeño lime mixture topping it off.
First drink was interesting. Second drink was STRONG. Third drink and I knew I couldn’t drink this ratio so I grabbed another glass and poured about 3/4 of my drink in, topping it off with more of the lime mixture. Then it was perfect. This is definitely one of those recipes that is so strange it works. As I type this and sip, my lips are burning but the drink is delicious. It’s just kind of indescribable. So go salt your rims and chop up some peppers. It’s definitely worth a try!