Category Archives: Recipes

La Palapa Cocina Mexicana Celebrates National Tequila Day!

la palapaLa Palapa Recipes You Can Create at Home

What is more appropriate to enjoy on National Tequila Day than an authentic Mexican culinary experience you can accomplish at home with the direction of Barbara Sibley, chef-owner of New York City’s La Palapa Cocina Mexicana.  She graciously provided us with three exceptional and easy to replicate recipes that either call for tequila, or another flavor equally indigenous to Mexico, hibiscus.  Viva La Palapa!

  • Flor Chelada and “the sweet spot” (art of sipping Chelada)
  • Pepito – tequila/lime marinated skirt steak sandwich
  • La Dona – tequila-hibiscus-citrus cocktail, perfect for summer sipping

 

Flor Chelada

la palapa, flor cheladaYou will need Wild Hibiscus Flower and Syrup, hibiscus flower salt, lime juice and your favorite beer (preferably Mexican!).  

Dip the rim of your glass into wild hibiscus syrup and then into hibiscus flower salt.

la palapa, flor cheladaFill 3/4 glass with ice.

Add 3/4 oz of Wild Hibiscus syrup and the juice of ½ lime (1 tablespoon) to bottom of glass.

Carefully top with your favorite beer.

La Palapa recommends Pacifico or any Mexican lager.

Garnish with edible Wild Hibiscus Flower.

 

Watch Barbara Sibley of La Palapa create the Flor Chelada:


 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibleyBarbara Sibley explains The Chelada “Sweet Spot”

Layered Mexican beer cocktails such as Cheladas and Micheladas, are served in a tall glass rimmed with flavored salt and filled with ice. Delicious flavorings are then added.   For the Flor Chelada we use hibiscus syrup and fresh lime juice. To complete your chelada, slowly top with beer.  The sweet spot is where the syrup, juice and beer meet. To get the best mixture of ingredients, sip the beer through a straw, dipping lower or higher for a stronger or lighter flavor. Typically there’s enough flavoring to accommodate an entire 12-oz beer, so top off your chelada as needed and enjoy with that hibiscus-lime ‘sweet spot’ lingering at the bottom. Delicioso!

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito The Pepito

is a traditional Mexican torta sandwich of grilled skirt steak that’s been marinated in a tequila and lime mixture and layered with fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, plus pickled jalapeño and smoky chipotle crème. Here is a marinade for 3 pounds of steak.

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipeMarinade:

Combine 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup tequila, the juice of 2 limes, and 1 tablespoon each of sugar and salt.

Marinate for no more than half an hour, or the tequila will make the steak too soft.

(If you prefer chicken, check out this marinade recipe using Hornito’s Lime Shot.)

Serve with Flor Chelada or La Dona cocktail.

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon,La Doña

2 oz of tequila (La Palapa uses Espolon Blanco)

3/4 oz triple sec (Combier or Cointreau)

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Splash of agave nectar

Splash of orange juice

1 oz Wild Hibiscus Syrup

 

Put all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake vigorously and pour strained into a glass that’s rimmed with hibiscus chile piquin salt.

Garnish with a twist of lime and wild hibiscus flower.

 

Editor’s note:

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company just launched an exclusive line of all-natural, concentrated floral extracts and syrups:

  • b’Lure (ba-lure), made from the sensual blue butterfly pea flower, offering delicate sweetness and magical color-changing properties
  • Rose + Hibiscus, a fragrant blend of highly prized Bulgarian rose oil and fresh hibiscus juice
  • Hibiscus Flower, fresh hibiscus juice infused with premium dried hibiscus flowers for intensely brilliant red color and deep berry flavor

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon, wild hibiscus, tales of the cocktail sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon, wild hibiscus

 

 

 

National Tequila Day Giveaway!

– Win a complete set of Wild Hibiscus products – Original, Rose, Heart-Tee, Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes and NEW Floral Extracts, along with a signed copy of Chef Barbara Sibley’s beautifully photographed cookbook, Antojitos, Festive & Flavorful Mexican Small Plates, a collection of her restaurant La Palapa’s best-loved recipes. (Continental USA – excluding Alaska – Only).  $65 value.

Visit the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Facebook page on National Tequila Day (July 24) for details!

Visit the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Website today for more great recipes!

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon, wild hibiscus, tales of the cocktail

 

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Cool Off with the Don Julio Cucumber Mint Margarita

prod_blancoDon Julio Cucumber Mint Margarita

While tequila may be Mexico’s national spirit, we’re thrilled to see its popularity recently skyrocket in the United States.  From Margaritas and Bloody Marias to Palomas and Sunrises, tequila cocktails are being served up with regularity at thousands of bars, restaurants and homes across the country.

In honor of National Tequila Day on July 24th, Don Julio recommends celebrating this Mexican elixir with a refreshing (and spicy!) twist on the classic Margarita.

CucumberMintMargarita

Cucumber Mint Margarita
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup Don Julio Tequila Blanco
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce
6 ice cubes

Garnish:

Salt to rim glasses
2 cucumber slices

Preparation:

Blend ingredients in a blender for one minute. Divide between two 6-ounce salt-rimmed glasses. Garnish each glass with a cucumber slice.

About Tequila Don Julio Blanco:

Tequila Don Julio Blanco is the base from which all of our other variants are derived. Commonly referred to as “silver” tequila, its crisp agave flavor and hints of citrus make it an essential component to a variety of innovative drinks including margaritas. It can also be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

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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

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.

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.


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

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!

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.

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!

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.

 

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.


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.  

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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