In a class of vegetables where status is measured in Scoville units, the perennially pleasant, unchallenging, heat-free sweet bell pepper wins the Ms. Congeniality award hands down. Red bell peppers are just ripe green peppers, and like all ripe fruit they are juicier, sweeter, and more aromatic than their younger counterparts. But when this nice girl of capsicums is infused into pepper-scented reposado tequila, perfumed with orange oil, and sweetened with cactus syrup, she takes her rightful place as the saucy señorita of potent potables.
2 cups vodka (80-100 proof)
1 cup reposado tequila (80 proof)
3 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup agave syrup
Combine the vodka, tequila, bell peppers, orange zest, and agave syrup in a half-gallon jar. Stir to moisten everything.
Seal the jar and put it in a cool, dark cabinet until the liquid smells and tastes strongly of bell pepper, about 7 days.
Strain the mixture with a mesh strainer into a clean quart jar. Do not push on the solids to extract more liquid.
Seal and store in a cool, dark cabinet. Use within 1 year.
L'chaim! Use in a supernatural Bloody Mary, a Manhattan Rustico, or a Capsaicin Cocktail.
Excerpted from Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits © by Andrew Schloss, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
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