Category Archives: Recipes

Quinceaneras are for Divas: Diva Tequila Cupcakes

diva tequila, silver, blanco, citrus, penasco

We’re expecting the gentlemen from Del Bravo for a visit on Monday so I’m doing a little preparation in the kitchen today.

Whenever we’re contacted by brand owners who will be coming through San Antonio, we like to invite them to the Tequila Aficionado Headquarters for drinks and a chat.  We like to film a great deal of the chatting part which you’ll soon see in several articles coming up from Mike Morales.  Since I love to pair and prepare foods with tequilas and mezcals, I usually make a little something so we don’t send our guests off into the night hungry.  I’m particularly excited about meeting the gentlemen from Del Bravo Tequila, the makers of Penasco and Diva Tequilas. diva

I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of infused tequilas for the sole reason that nine times out of ten, they are overdone, poorly done, or are just a company’s way of putting sub-par products on a shelf to sell to those women who still think tequila is for shooting.  (Yes, I’ve become a bit of a tequila snob.)  Diva Tequila is one of the very few infusions to pass the sip test here at Tequila Aficionado.

My first reaction upon seeing Diva’s presentation was a very girly “Ooh, what a pretty bottle!”

Let’s face it, the tall, faceted bottle topped with the brilliant-cut diamond style stopper is just plain gorgeous.

The question that followed was a practical one “But how’s the juice?”

Truth be told, I was afraid of being disappointed yet again with the promise of a pretty bottle with no substance to back it up.  So I gave Diva a day and tried the Penasco blanco instead.  After enjoying Penasco, I was prepared to give the Diva my undivided attention the next evening.

diva cupcakesI wasn’t disappointed.

Instead of the usual overdone, sugary sweet concoctions marketed to the female drinker, I found the same crisp, clear blanco that Penasco delivered only this time it had a delightful twist of pink grapefruit.  Not too tart, not too sweet, and still a wonderful sipper!  (Like Goldilocks only with tequila instead of porridge!)
The Del Bravo folks know what they’re doing.  From the Diva Tequila bottle design (which would look lovely placed in a box of long-stemmed roses for Valentine’s Day *hint*) to the juice inside, they’ve done this right.

2014-05-14 13.20.43After a few sips, I knew I had to take this lovely lady into the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  I could see pairing her with brunch items, desserts, salads and so much more.  Yes, this is the guest you must invite to your girls’ night in or ladies’ brunch.

My first project was to tweak a Strawberry Margarita Cupcake recipe I’d found on Pinterest.  It was a hit!

Here’s the original recipe:

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes
  • 1 box dry white cake mix
  • 2 .30 oz dry sugar free strawberry jello mix
  • ¾ cup bottled strawberry margarita mix
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 3 eggs

[Tweet “Diva Margarita Cupcakes from the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen by @lisapietsch”]

2014-05-14 13.33.432014-05-14 13.34.45Here’s my version:

Diva Margarita Cupcakes

  • 1 box Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow cake mix
  • 2 .30 oz dry sugar free orango jello mix
  • ¾ cup JLP (Ready to Drink) Golden Lime Margarita
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup Diva Tequila
  • 3 eggs

I prefer to cook sugar free since I have sugar issues and, nobody trusts a cook who doesn’t eat her own creations!

The orange jello was the perfect complement to the pink grapefruit in Diva.

The JLP Golden Lime Margarita was a no-brainer.  I absolutely love these margaritas and knew it would be excellent in this citrus dream.

[Tweet “JLP Golden Lime Margarita – Ready to drink and great for cooking & marinades too!”]

I thought coconut oil might give the cupcakes just a pinch of tropical flavor to set off all the citrus and I was right.

2014-05-14 14.54.17This recipe yielded 18 cupcakes. 

When it came time to top off little darlings, I wished I had created tiny white chocolate crowns.  As it turns out, they didn’t need anything so glamorous as all that.  Instead of the Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting, I used the Pillsbury Sugar Free frosting and added a tablespoon of Diva.  It worked out great!  Then I topped each cupcake with a single chocolate pearl.

We enjoyed them for a very long time!

2014-05-14 21.25.38Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Tequila
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • zest from 1 lime
  • optional-white sparkling sugar

2014-05-14 14.24.20
Of course, if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of baking, Diva Tequila pairs just as well with dark chocolate covered strawberries!

No matter how you enjoy Diva Tequila, you WILL enjoy it.

Salud!

 

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Celebrate Summer with Don Julio

Don Julio Celebrates the Solstice

Saturday, June 21st marks the official first day of summer, and what better way to celebrate the summer solstice than with specialty cocktails from Tequila Don Julio.

Try mixing up a Highway 71, a spirit-forward beverage made with complex, quality ingredients including Tequila Don Julio Añejo, coconut infused sweet vermouth and chocolate mole bitters. A summery twist to the classic Manhattan, this variation of the timeless cocktail is the perfect celebratory drink to enjoy the season.

For more of a tiki-style vibe, you can try mixing up a Don Siegel cocktail, a great drink that is perfect for summertime patio lounging.

[Tweet “Celebrate summer with these great cocktails from Don Julio.”]


Highway 71, don julioDon Julio Highway 71

Created by NYC Mixologist Thomas Waugh

Ingredients:

1 ounce Tequila Don Julio Añejo
1/2 ounce Coconut Infused Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Chocolate Molé Bitters
Smoked Cinnamon Stick for Garnish

**To create Coconut Infused Sweet Vermouth:
Ingredients:
1 750 ml bottle Sweet Vermouth
1 cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes

  1. Add sweetened coconut flakes to a bottle of Sweet Vermouth.
  2. Let sit for 2 hours.
  3. Strain out coconut and add liquid back to the bottle
  4. Label and refrigerate.

 

Preparation:

  1. Combine Tequila Don Julio Añejo, coconut infused sweet vermouth and chocolate molé bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  2. Strain contents into a rocks glass over one large piece of ice.
  3. Garnish with smoked cinnamon stick.

Ideal Serving Glass:
Rocks Glass

Yield:
1 drink, no drink contains more than 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol

[Tweet “Try the Don Siegel, a refreshing new cocktail from Don Julio.”]

The Don Julio Don Siegel

Created by NYC Mixologist Thomas Waugh

Ingredients:Don Siegel, don julio
1 ounce Tequila Don Julio Reposado
1/3 ounce Dry Amontillado Sherry
1/3 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 ounce Agave Nectar Syrup
1 tsp Apricot Liqueur
1 tsp Mezcal
Angostura Bitters
Cracked Ice
Mint Sprigs for Garnish

**To create Cracked Ice:

  1. Pour ice into a durable sealed bag.
  2. Crack ice cubes with muddler.

Preparation:

  1. Combine Tequila Don Julio Reposado, dry amontillado sherry, fresh lime juice, agave nectar syrup, apricot liqueur and mezcal into a shaker. Shake Well.
  2. Pour contents into a Collins Glass over cracked ice.
  3. Add a few dashes of angostura bitters.
  4. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Ideal Serving Glass:
Collins Glass

Yield:
1 drink, no drink contains more than 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol


 

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Hornito’s Lime Shot: A Must-Have For the Kitchen But Don’t Drink It!

2014-03-13 14.13.24

…But It’s Against Everything I Believe In!

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that excited about reviewing Hornito’s Lime Shot but the folks who do Hornito’s PR were so nice that I thought I’d set aside my prejudicial notions and give it a whirl for their sake.  As it happens, I was correct in my original estimation.  I don’t ever want to drink Hornito’s Lime Shot again, but I am head-over-heels in love with this product as a condiment!

That’s right.

Hornito’s Lime Shot is the best thing to hit my kitchen since the George Foreman Grill!  I absolutely love cooking with it and have several recipes I’ve tried and love that I know you’ll find quite handy as you entertain and barbeque this summer!

[Tweet “I don’t ever want to drink @hornitos Lime Shot again, but I am head-over-heels in love with it!”]

But I must reiterate:

DO NOT DRINK THE LIME SHOT!

This is not tequila as we know and love it.  It is diffused and infused and not at all what we would consider a sipping tequila.

[Tweet “DO NOT DRINK THE LIME SHOT! @hornitos”]

But it is a fantastic cooking tequila!

So, when the dust settled, I found Hornito’s Lime Shot to be a winner, but not for the purpose Hornito’s intended.  Lucky for me I set aside my prejudice and took a shot on this cliche’.

Following are several summertime recipes you’ll love mixing up with Hornito’s Lime Shot:


Grilled Chicken Breast Tenders for Fajitas & Salads2014-04-12 18.09.36

  • 4lbs Chicken Breast Tenders or sliced Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Cup Hornitos Lime Shot
  • 2Tbsp Fajita seasoning or 1 Capful of your favorite Mrs Dash.

Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag, seal and massage to mix.  Place the bag in a bowl (you never know when they’ll sprout a leak) and marinate in the refrigerator 6-8 hours or more.  Grill on gas, open flame or on a George Foreman grill.  This chicken will cook quickly and be tender, juicy and tasty!

[Tweet “Grilled Chicken Breast Tenders for Fajitas & Salads @hornitos”]

2014-04-12 18.12.482014-04-12 18.21.21

The first time we made these, we prepared them in the morning and grilled them that night.  They were phenomenal!  We used them in fajitas and salads all week.

The next time we made them, we marinated them overnight and grilled the next evening.  Still great!

2014-04-12 19.23.31

Serving suggestion: For low-carb, have these on romaine leaves. If you aren’t concerned with carbs, gluten, or have any other bread phobias, throw those babies on a tortilla, dress with cheese & salsa, and enjoy! We accompanied ours with a delicious JLP Golden Lime Margarita that was another delightful surprise in that it was the best pre-mixed margarita Mike or I had ever had.

 

chicken tacosCrock Pot Chicken Tacos

  • 4lbs Chicken Breast Tenders or Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Cup Hornitos Lime Shot
  • 1pkg McCormick Gourmet Smoked Paprika Chicken Taco Recipe & Seasoning Mix

 

chicken tacoPlace all ingredients in a crock pot and mix thoroughly.  Cook covered on low for 8-12 hours.

Pull pieces apart with two forks to shred the meat.  It should just fall apart.  Mix again to be sure it all gets covered with seasoning and keep on warm setting until ready to eat.  If you aren’t entertaining and just can’t eat this much, tuck half of it away in an airtight container in the freezer.  It keeps well.

[Tweet “Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with @hornitos Lime Shot”]

 

refried beansCrock Pot Refried Beans

  • 2lbs dry Pinto Beans (Soak overnight in water and rinse)
  • 1 Cup Salsa (any flavor)
  • 1 Large Onion (chopped)
  • ½ Cup Hornitos Lime Shot
  • 1 Roasted hatch Green Chile (or a small can of chilis or jalapenos)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (or crushed/powdered equivalent)

Add all ingredients to a crock pot, cover with water, then add 4 more cups of water.  Cook on high until it reaches the consistency you prefer.  If it is too soupy, allow it to cook with the cover removed until enough water has evaporated to suit your taste.  If they aren’t soft enough, add water as necessary.

If I’m in a hurry, I’ll mash them with a potato masher after they’ve cooked soft.  If not, I’ll forget about them and just cook them on low for a couple days.  Big batches like this work great because they keep well in the refrigerator and freeze well.

[Tweet “Crock Pot Refried Beans with @hornitos Lime Shot: Delicious!”]


coleslaw_2Cole Slaw

  • ½ Cup Miracle Whip (or Mayonnaise)
  • ¼ Cup Hornitos Lime Shot
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1tsp Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes (You’ll love the color!)
  • 1 Thinly Sliced or Chopped Onion
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 (14oz) Packages Coleslaw (or shred ½ head Cabbage + ½ Bag Carrots)

Place first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Add Coleslaw (or Cabbage & Carrots) and mix well.  Add Miracle Whip (or Mayonnaise) to taste and chill until served.

*Entertaining tip: Fill a bowl the size of your serving bowl ½ full with ice and then set your serving bowl on top of the ice.  This will keep your slaw fresh even on a warm summer day.  

[Tweet “Cole Slaw made with @hornitos Lime Shot? YES!”]

hornitos lime shot, hornito's, lime, tequila, recipes

 

And if you’re looking for dessert, try our fruit salad with tequila dressing recipe.

 

For more great recipes you can make even better with Hornito’s Lime Shot, check out our Pinterest Pinboard specifically for Hornito’s Lime Shot.  (But don’t drink it!)


 

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Lime Free Margarita

no lime margarita, hibiscus, Lime Free MargaritaLack of Limes

Severe rain and disease have driven the cost of limes to triple in value.  When it’s essential to your food and beverage menu, what do you do?

For Barbara Sibley, owner and executive chef of La Palapa Cocina Mexicana, necessity quickly becomes the mother of invention.

Using less lime in food garnish and beverage—while obliging customers with an extra squeeze in their cocktail if desired—has helped keep costs in line.

“We’re known for our fresh lime margaritas and won’t compromise its quality and authenticity.  My solution was to create a No Lime Hibiscus Margarita.  It delivers that delicate balance of zesty tartness and floral aroma similar to lime our customers crave and enjoy.”  Viva La Palapa!

No Lime Margarita

(Created by Barbara Sibley, chef/owner of La Palapa Cocina Mexicana, NYC)

palapa 2, Lime Free Margarita, hibiscus margarita1 oz pure hibiscus Heart-Tee, chilled

1-1/2 oz Tequila Corazon Blanco

½ oz Cointreau

½ oz fresh orange juice or blood orange juice

Garnish with -

Hibiscus-chile piquín salt

Edible candied Wild Hibiscus Flower

 

In one cup of boiling water place 3 hibiscus tea bags and steep for 15 minutes. The tea will be a deep red color and very tart.   Chill for at least half an hour. In a shaker full of ice combine 1 oz hibiscus tea with tequila, Cointreau and juice. Serve on the rocks in high-ball glass rimmed with hibiscus-chile piquin salt and garnish with candied hibiscus flower.

la palapa, hibiscus, Lime Free Margarita

 

77 St. Mark’s Place NYC – (212) 777-2537

Mon-Fri 12pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11am-12pm • Delivery: 12pm-10pm

facebook, Lime Free Margarita, la palapa twitter, Lime Free Margarita, la palapa

 

 

 

Products to get you through the Lime Shortage

 

wild hibiscus, rose syrup

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Rose Syrup

hibiscus, salt

Wild Hibiscus Flower Pyramid Salt Flakes

hibiscus, flowers, syrup

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Simple Syrup



 

 

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Perfect Pairing: Memorial Day BBQ with Hornitos Lime Shot

Hornitos Plata Bottle Image, hornitos lime shot

Hornitos Lime Shot

Yes, we went there!  The good folks at Hornitos were kind enough to send us some samples so we did what we do – Tasting & Testing.  Look for our review of Lime Shot – and the reason why you absolutely must have this in your kitchen – coming this week!

According to Hornitos:

This Memorial Day weekend, master the art of cocktail-and-food matching—and just in time for all the warm-weather backyard festivities. Your readers can fire up the grill with Hornitos® and try some of these seamless pairings of mouthwatering food and thirst-quenching cocktails.

Hornitos® Lime Shot takes the process out of the whole tequila experience. No need for blenders or the lick it-sip it-suck it ritual, this shot already combines the salt + tequila + lime!

Serve the shot chilled and in a salt-rimmed shot glass for the ultimate Memorial Day experience.

 

Patriot's Plata, hornitos lime shot, hornitos, tequila Patriot’s Plata

This cool, sweet drink offsets spicy heat of your summer barbecue
• 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Plata Tequila
• ¾ part Lime Juice
• ¾ part Pineapple Juice
• ¼ part Agave
• Pinch of Cilantro leaves

Preparation: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass.

Lime Shot Bottle Image, hornitos lime shot, tequila, recipeHornitos® Tequila Lime Shot Chicken

• 1 cup Hornitos® Lime Shot
• ½ cup orange juice
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chilies
• 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
• ¼ cup honey
• ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
• 6 boneless chicken breast halves

Preparation: Before adding chicken, mix all other ingredients in a bowl to form a marinade. Once mixed, place marinade in a large resealable bag and add chicken. Refrigerate overnight. Once prepared, place chicken on the grill (low to medium heat) and cook for approximately 15-18 minutes. Remove chicken from the grill and enjoy your Memorial Day barbecue!

 

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