Add a little "Fuego" to your February!

Why wait for Valentine's Day to set February on Fire? Do it now - with or without a partner!

Truth be told, I drank my fair share of Cosmopolitans and Appletinis back in the day - mother's milk for all the single ladies of the 90s and early 2000s. But these days I find the sugar content a little much, and have instead fallen in love with spice! What's not to love about clean, aromatic cocktails that finish off with a kick of heat? I still remember my first fuego adventure: a gorgeous mezcal/habanero/grapefruit concoction at Coqueta about a year ago - wow! did that open my eyes and palate! (It's like the day I discovered Bourbon, but that's for another time!)

My latest love, a jalapeño tequila cocktail ("The Heat is On" from Epic Steak), is like a mojito for the new millennium! Super refreshing with cucumber and lime, topped with a kick of heat from the jalapeño - superb!

The Heat is On
-blanco tequila
-muddled cucumber
-jalapeno syrup*
-lime juice

*To make jalapeño syrup: 1 cup sugar, 1cup water, 1 minced jalapeño (seeds removed). Boil until all sugar disolved. Then run mixture through blender. Strain through cheese cloth to remove pulp and skin. Allow to cool before using. Refrigerate.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle two chunks of cucumber (skin removed), add one ounce tequila, ice and 1 ounce jalapeño syrup (all little less if you're shy of the heat), and juice from half a lime. Shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture. Then strain one more time - cocktail strainer if you're lazy or in a rush, cheese cloth if you are elevating your cocktail craft. Garnish with a slice of persian cucumber and slice of jalapeño. FUEGO!

Sending habanero wishes, and serrano dreams!
Dita Blackwell