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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Jingle Bell Peppers
- 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
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:
- 2 bell peppers
- 8 oz Patrón Silver
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:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 bunch of fresh mint
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).
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!