I’m never one for flavored liquors, but imagine my surprise when I discovered Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila. This artisan product is infused with pure cinnamon and it tastes like sunshine in a bottle. I remember the first time I had infused tequila. It was down in the Yucatan peninsula. The high season is winter, with warm temperatures; occasionally cooler breezes make their way down from the northern reaches of the continent. For this rare occasion the Mexican people are ever resourceful, even with their intoxicating spirits!
With no sweaters packed and only down jackets for the plane trip back home in a week the circumstances appeared grim. Where there is a will, there is a way and we discovered along with the exceptional fresh juice Margarita cocktails, there were infused Tequila! These infused products gave the needed burst of heat to warm our sun-burned bodies against the 80 degree temperatures. It’s important to understand that the daily temperature in the winter months barely gets out of the 90’s so the low 80’s were practically a blizzard!
But first back to the Tequila. Tequila is a wonderfully, artisan made (in some circumstances) product that speaks clearly of the passion of this arid country. Without water plants cannot survive very long in this environment. Agave is the chief ingredient in Tequila and it does very nicely in this harsh climate. The natural sugars of the plant actually concentrate in flavor in the brutally dry heat. Further roasting caramelizes the sugars creating the base flavor for the distillate. Tequila when infused further with flavors of the region becomes part of the background. It’s important to understand that Peligroso is not so much a flavored product that it is infused with the cinnamon. This goes back to culinary techniques of making sauces.
The first way to add flavor to a sauce or a soup would be to place a cheesecloth bag of herbs inside the cooking stock. Making infused Tequila is very much the same proposition. A bag containing the cinnamon is dropped into the aging vats and the beguiling aromatics infuse the Tequila completely. What results is quite well balanced in both hot and cold experimentation. Here are two that will resonate with you.
First, you must stave off the cold that leaks into your bones.
The Widow’s Walk- named for those peculiar porches set on top of New England style houses, and some Southern house roofs. They are built for widows looking to the sea for their lost husbands.
The Widow’s Walk
2 oz. Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila
4 oz. Mexican Hot Chocolate- or regular hot chocolate with a pinch of chili powder added for good measure
2 oz. softly made, hand whipped cream- not fluffy, more liquid than puff… and NEVER use that stuff from a can!
Pre-heat a sturdy mug with boiling water (pour out)
Add the Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila
Add the Mexican Hot Chocolate
CAREFULLY spoon the hand whipped cream over the top of the mug
Scrape some fresh nutmeg over the top of the softly whipped cream
And a cold one.
Foliage of Six
2 oz. Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila
3 oz. Ginger Beer- I used the Goya variety with hot peppers
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
To a tall Collins glass, fill with hand cut ice (yes, it’s important)
Pour the citrus juices in first
Follow with the Tequila
Top the Tequila with the Goya Ginger Beer
Add a lime pinwheel and a straw and sip up from the bottom!
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.