A Holiday Cocktail That Breaks With Tradition: The Jingle Bell Peppers

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Patrón. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you start celebrating the holidays as early as my friends and I do (we try to wait for Halloween before playing carols, but hey, we’re only human), at some point your palate can get a bit exhausted with the usual holiday flavors. By mid-December, you’ve eaten so much gingerbread, peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberry that Santa himself is probably doubting your sanity.

This flavor fatigue can happen just as much with classic winter-y cocktails as it does with desserts (it’s mid December, which means I’m at least 5% nog at this point). But just because we might need a break from classic winter-y drinks it doesn’t mean we need a break from being festive; we just need to switch up the ingredients we associate with the season.

So this year when Patrón sent me their stunning Silver One-Liter Limited Edition bottle, I knew I wanted to do something different with it. Plus, I was having my other hardcore holiday-obsessed friends over for a party, and I wanted to mix them up something that was both perfect for the time of year but also a nice break from their mulled wine.

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But what would this mysterious and out-of-the-ordinary holiday drink be? It had to be both unexpected yet still perfect for getting us in the mood to deck some halls. TBH, I was a little stumped, so I decided I’d open myself up to divine recipe revelation by wandering aimlessly through the grocery store. I stared blankly at the shelves of liquor. I shuffled in a fugue state past the spices. And just when I thought it was time to give up and admit defeat amongst the persimmons, I found my inspiration in the produce section: red and green bell peppers! They were not only the perfect colors, but their subtle, sweet, and lovely fresh flavors would complement the Patron perfectly. Things were starting to look a little more merry and bright.

After zeroing in on the peppers, everything else fell into place, and I grabbed some mint, limes, and pineapple juice before heading home and beginning getting to work.

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I decided that the best way to incorporate the peppers was to infuse them into the Patron, so I sliced them thinly, and stacked them in a jar. Next, I added enough tequila to cover the peppers and then I set the jar in a cool, dark place where I’d let it infuse overnight.

The next morning I sampled my tequila. The pepper mingled with Patron’s smooth agave beautifully: the result was delicately bitter, vegetal, and subtly sweet.

Next, it was time to make the mint syrup. Mint syrup is a favorite of mine to have around the house, because it goes well in so many things (especially around the holidays).  After letting it cool, it was ready to use!

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Along with the infused tequila and mint in the shaker, I added the pineapple juice, strained lime juice, ginger liqueur, and orange bitters along with a generous amount of ice. Next, I shook the liquid for 20 seconds and then strained it over finely cracked ice in my chosen glass.

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Finally, I garnished the drink with the festive red and green peppers that give the cocktail its distinctive holiday character. The Jingle Bell Peppers was now ready to serve.

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Jingle Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz bell-pepper infused Patrón Silver*
  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice
  • .75 oz ginger liqueur
  • .75 oz strained lime juice
  • .5 oz mint syrup*
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Bell peppers
  • Mint leaves
  • Pineapple leaf

Instructions:

Add infused tequila, pineapple juice, ginger liqueur, lime juice, mint syrup, and orange bitters to a shaker 3/4 full of ice. Shake rapidly for 15-20 seconds, then strain it into a glass full of finely cracked ice. Garnish with bell pepper, mint, and pineapple leaf.

For the Infusion:

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 8 oz Patrón Silver

Instructions:

Wash the bell peppers thoroughly then remove their seeds and stems. Slice the peppers thinly and add the pieces to a glass jar. Pour the Patrón over the peppers, seal the jar tightly, and place in a cool dark place over night.

For the Mint Syrup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint

Instructions:

Add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and gradually begin adding sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Reduce heat further, add mint, stir, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to (barely) simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let the mint remain in the syrup for another 20-30 minutes before straining out the mint. Store the remaining syrup in a glass container and use within five to seven days.

If you’re looking to mix up these cocktails (or it you just want to gift a super pretty bottle) these Patrón Silver One-Liter Limited Edition bottles can be found at fine spirits and liquor retailers nationwide (for the suggested retail price or online at ReserveBar.com for $59.99).

Patron Silver and SpiritedLA Holiday Cocktails

Happy holidays!

For more original cocktails and tips on where to drink in California, check out @spiritedLA on Instagram. Tag me in your holiday recipes, I’d love to see what you’re up to!

Jingle Bell Peppers Holiday Tequila Cocktail
A fresh new take on holiday cocktails perfect for tequila lovers.

 

 

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