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Tequila Infusions? (ISO cheap white tequila)

Has anyone tried infusing a tequila? I know people do this all the time with vodka.

I ask because one of my favorite drinks is a cazuela. There are different takes on it, but it's citrus (lime, lemon, grapefruit) mashed with some sugar (or agave nectar), tequila, and club soda (or grapefruit soda).

It's incredibly delicious, but I want to kick it up to the next level with grapefruit flavored liquor. I know I could infuse vodka, but it wouldn't be the same.

And before I embark on this, what's the least expensive white tequila that's drinkable? I don't want to buy anything even as expensive as Herradura, but I do want 100% agave.

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  1. I loooove cazuelas. I've infused tequila with habanero (for an awesome oyster shooter or a bloody maria).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maya

      Genius! How many habaneros per bottle, how long did they infuse for, and what color tequila did you use?

      I have a lot of bottles of blanco stashed away, so it'd be a great thing to do with them.

      1. re: Pei

        We actually used repo but I am sure blanco would be good too. We didn't put the habanero right into the bottle, we actually used a smaller bottle and only used one habanero (stem and seeds removed). We infused it for a week I believe, but then we had to cut it with non-infused tequila of the same type. You kind of have to just taste it every so often and get it right. Not a bad job!

    2. One that I saw recently while looking for interesting things to put in alcohol is this one that Bradley Ogden did for his Lark Creek Inn. Peel and cut a pineapple into 1-inch chunks, and place the chunks in a large glass container. Cut the top and tail from a serrano chile, slice it in half lengthwise, de-seed it, and put the de-seeded chile halves in with the pineapple. Put a sprig of tarragon in with the pineapple and chili. Pour in one 750-mL bottle of reposado tequila. Let it rest for 48 to 60 hours. As soon as the first 48 hours have passed, taste it frequently; as soon as you get a hint that the chile might be taking over the rest of the ingredients (the chile will take over the infusion in a hurry if you aren't careful!), strain out the pineapple, tarragon, and chile through a double layer of cheesecloth. Don't serve it too warm; neat from the freezer is ideal. Sip or shoot as desired.

      1. Sauza blanco is perfect for a couple steps up from cuervo but not nearly as expensive as herradura. I infused tequila w/ habanero once but cutting a habanero pepper in half and putting half a pepper in a bottle of tequila blanco. 24 hours later I tasted it and it was already super hot! I was afraid to leave the habanero in any longer and took it out, but it made great margaritas. Probably you could leave it in longer if you put a pepper in whole. I also went to a bar a few times that made a drink with lavender infused tequila that was terrific.

        2 Replies
        1. re: clintonhillbilly

          Sauza Blanco isn't 100% agave. But it is a good mixer. My favorite Blanco is 1800 select silver. It has a good agave taste, it's pretty damn smooth for 100 proof and it is cheaper then the top shelf tequila's.

          Honestly, I like it with a lemon twist. But you could try infusing it with a number of different fruits and I bet it would turn out great.

          1. re: theginguy

            Sauza Hornitos blanco is. decent and cheap.
            Cazadores blanco ois also good and inexpensive

            I have tried the 1800 line and find it terrible. way too harsh.

        2. I'm going to have to try one of these cazuelas; never heard of that drink before.

          I've made jalapeno/habanero-infused tequila a couple times with great results. I put in a few whole peppers - piercing the skin - and let them sit a few days. It can definitely get spicy in a hurry, so taste to make sure it won't be too hot. I used Sauza Hornitos Reposado (mainly just because it's what I had around and the price was right).

          This strawberry infusion, Tequila por Mi Amante, sounds pretty delicious: http://www.cocktailchronicles.com/200...

          1. I like El Mayor. It's 26.00 a bottle here. ( Des Moines )

            1. I have used patron before with lemons and limes and a little sugar for a week and it turned out pretty good. I have had better luck with vodka but its fun to test new things.

              1. Some people on the 'web have been posting about a tequila infusion called "Tequila Mi Amante", which is reposado tequila infused with strawberries:

                One blogger has been using it in a Paloma variation, which marries tequila w/ grapefruit:

                I'm hoping to try this recipe with some Cazadores, a very good line of 100% Agave tequilas that are not terribly expensive.

                1. My favorite tequila infusion is a dead rattlesnake, gutted and poison sacks removed.Very potent with a nice leathery taste.But, they don't have any damn rattlesnakes at Gelson's, so I have to get this in Mexico for now.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Tequila infusions are a great way to improve some lesser quality tequilas. Two I have done are:

                    -Jalapeno lime (couple limes worth of zest and 2 jalapenos in a bottle of tequila, left in the bottle until the color was leeched out then strained added some sugar at the end to help cut the spice and after some aging its become some pretty quality stuff)

                    -Vanilla Lime (Gotta keep a closer eye on this one, add the lime zest and a vanilla bean, but take out the vanilla when the flavor start becoming apparent. Strain out the lime zest after a while longer, add just a touch of sugar to smooth it all out)

                    The jalapeno is good for shots, but the vanilla lime is quite tasty on the rocks perhaps with a lime wedge.

                    As far as tequilas go my favorite blancos traveling along the increasing price/quality continuum are sauza, cazadores, milagro, and siete leguas.

                    1. I do blanco with 1 scotch bonnet or habanero and piquin peppers (mainly because I have a BUNCH of piquins). I let it steep in a mason jar for 24 hours, then strain it and put it back in the bottle.... Make sure to distinguish that bottle, because the tequila looks very close to the non-infused bottle :) I like very hot spicy stuff, and just a 24 hr infusion is enough for a smooth tinge of hot in the tequila. I use Herradura for the blanco, but I like Cazadores too... although, I've never had their blanco.

                      I make a chile simple syrup with serranos, and use that with fresh lime juice and cointreau and the habanero tequila for a margarita. If people want a salted rim, it's good with a that Mexican salt stuff they use on the Mexican candies... I have no idea what it's called.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: drdelicious

                        any thoughts about timing? I've generally read "36 hours" or thereabouts. But is there qualitative differences from shorter or longer infusions?

                        1. re: ricodanles

                          I like real hot stuff... but I realize occasionally from cooking for others, that not everyone does. Therefore, I let it infuse for 24 hours with the habanero and chiles. If I make it for myself, I use a serrano infused simple syrup (about 15 mins simmer/infusion). If I make it for people who aren't chile-freaks, I use regular simple syrup and the habanero is very subtle and delayed heat. I hope that makes sense.

                          I've never tried any other timing. I would assume you don't want to leave the habanero back in the bottle or anything, but I'm not sure you'd notice a difference in 24 hrs vs 36 hrs. 24 hours just worked into my schedule better. You could try two small batches and compare I guess.

                      2. Best buy in 100% Agave Blanco? Milagro. If you're in TJ-land it's $20/750ml. Not sure what it is elsewhere although I have seen 1.5l bottles at BevMo at a great price as well.

                        Haven't found anything to compare at that price point.

                        Not just my opinion: SF Chron reviewed blancos a few months back <http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-05-02...>. Two flights: high end and low end. For the low end:

                        "Our top pick was Milagro, a larger but estate-grown Tequila label from the town of Tepatitlan...like finding out that Smirnoff was running circles around Grey Goose. ...What pushed it over was that distinct vegetal agave smell, a clear reminder that you're drinking Tequila and not vodka."


                        "To further stir the pot, we re-tasted the three cheaper finalists and the three more expensive. The spendier were a bit more refined, but the gap was narrower than expected; the panel generally liked the Milagro as much as the 7 Leguas. Considering an 80 percent price difference, that's a big thumbs-up for a cheaper choice."

                        Of course, YMMV.

                        1. One cheap 100% agave blanco that I just found at a local (Boston) liquor store was Agavales. It was only $12 for a fifth, so I figured I had to give it a try. Not sure about the taste, but I prefer reposados, and it worked well enough in a margarita. Could be perfect for infusing.