Strawberry Jalapeno Margaritas

Every time I drive past the strawberry stand on the Silverado Trail, I feel moved to buy some of those sweet little balls of fruity goodness. I imagine strawberry pie, the kind with the cream cheese on the bottom of the shell, or strawberry jam on warm buttermilk biscuits for breakfast.

But then I realize that I never make dessert (well, almost never) and I never eat breakfast (unless it’s some sort of Asian noodles.) So I keep on driving. One day a few weeks ago, I came across a way to use strawberries that would actually fit into my regular routine. Here’s a recipe for Strawberry Jalapeno Tequila, and a cocktail recipe to use it in.

4 bottles, 750 ml each, simple tequila. No need to blow the good stuff on this concoction.
4 pints of fresh strawberries (don’t waste your time with grocery store berries. Go to the farmers market if you don’t have you own berry stand close by.
2 ripe jalapenos, quartered.



Cut the stems from the berries, then cut them in half. Transfer them to a clean, non-porous container, then pour the tequila over.  strawteq4

Cover and allow to macerate. When the berries go in, they will sink. After a day or so, they will float. I usually give them a stir every day.


On the fourth day, strain the liquid from the berries. The leftover berries make very nice weekend smoothies…

The flavored tequila tastes fresh and fruity, but starts to fade after about a week. Or at least that is what I’ve heard. I’ve never personally had the chance to find out for myself.

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita
1 Mexican lime, quartered
4 ripe strawberries, 2 stem off
1 oz. agave syrup
1 oz. Mexican lime juice, freshly squeezed
4 oz. infused tequila from above
Kosher salt for rim

strawmarg1Gather everything including a shaker glass set, a muddler, and a strainer.


Place the lime wedges and the two stemless berries in the shaker glass with two or three ice cubes, then muddle (click on the photo for a muddling video.)


Add the lime juice, and the agave syrup.


Then add the tequila. Cover and shake vigorously for about ten seconds.


Push a ripe berry onto the rim of the glass, then run it all the way around and remove. Dip the wet edge of the rim into kosher salt, and replace the berry. Fill the glass with ice, then strain the cocktail in.


Buvez en!


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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.