3 Ways to Use Tequila Besides Making a Margarita
This year, let loose and commemorate Cinco de Mayo by using tequila in these three creative preparations which carry you from dinner to dessert.
Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) commemorates the army’s unexpected victory over French troops at the Battle of Puebla. Nowadays, the occasion is celebrated widely in and out of Mexico. There’s arguably no better way to join in the fun than by imbibing tequila with your favorite people. The excellent news? Beyond taking shots in good company, there are plenty of other ideas for how to incorporate this liquor’s distinct flavor into legit dishes you’ll want to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo—and on all the other days, too.
Distilled from abundant blue agave plants grown in the Mexican city for which it’s named, tequila is a popular liquor with a complex flavor. It boasts unique peppery and earthy notes and a smooth taste, making it perfect for drinking, of course, but also for lending unexpected flavor to dishes you love. From frozen drinks to dinner to dessert, we’ve got you covered. This year, let loose and commemorate Cinco de Mayo by using tequila in these creative preparations.
Spicy Tequila Granitas
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 cups water
1½ cups lime juice, bottled or fresh
¼ cup tequila
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Makes 4 cups
Prepare Ingredients: Rinse lime and zest. Save naked limes for use in another recipe as desired.
Make Granita Mixture: Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Whisk continuously until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Reserve about 1 teaspoon lime zest, then add remainder to pot and stir to combine. Set aside mixture to cool completely, then add lime juice, tequila, and as much cayenne pepper as desired—it’s spicy! Stir to combine.
Chill Granitas: Transfer granita mixture to a freezer-safe dish, cover with plastic, and place in freezer to chill for about 1 hour. Remove and using a fork, break up frozen mixture. Return to freezer and chill, removing every ½ hour to scrape mixture, until completely frozen. Serve granitas in pretty glasses. Garnish with reserved lime zest for a picture-perfect finish.
Tequila and Lime Chicken
grill or grill pan
large resealable plastic bag (optional)
Prepare Ingredients: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Rinse jalapeño and using a knife tip, discard seeds. Mince ½. Mince garlic. Halve limes and orange. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
Marinate Chicken: In a large shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine tequila, juice of 3 limes, juice of 1 orange, chili powder, jalapeño, and garlic. Season with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper as desired. Place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Save remaining jalapeño to spice up another recipe as desired.
Grill Chicken: Remove chicken from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Season all over with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper as desired. Brush grill with ½ tablespoon canola oil. Add chicken skin-side down to grill and grill until browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue grilling until cooked through and no longer pink, 8-10 minutes more. Remove from grill and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes, then enjoy with a salad alongside….or shred and make tacos!
Tequila-Glazed Grilled Pineapple
1 large pineapple
¾ cup tequila
¾ cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream
grill or grill pan
Prepare Pineapple: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Trim off pineapple skin using a knife, then cut crosswise into 1-inch rings, and then remove center core from each slice.
Make Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together tequila, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until sugar is dissolved.
Grill Pineapple: Brush glaze on both sides of pineapple slices. Place pineapple on grill and grill until lightly charred on bottom, 4-5 minutes. Flip, brush more glaze on top, and continue grilling until lightly charred all over, 4-5 minutes more. Remove pineapple from grill and serve with scoops of ice cream on top. Enjoy ASAP.