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Piña-Habañero Margarita

Try this Piña-Habañero Margarita recipe from the 'Hartwood' cookbook

Thick, fruity, spicy: this is a margarita with a lot of personality. It’s also a drink best made in batches. If you do your prep ahead of time (infuse the tequila with the habañero 36 hours before; purée fresh pineapple in a blender earlier in the day), you can mix together one round after another after your guests arrive. A trick from behind the bar: Shake the drink and pour two-thirds of it into the glass, then shake the rest of the drink again before topping it off, so that the margarita has a slightly frothy head.

Excerpted from Hartwood by Eric Werner and Mya Henry puréewith Christine Mulke and Oliver Strand (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015.


For the margarita:

  • Table salt, to taste
  • Chile Lime Salt (recipe follows), to taste
  • 1 scant shot tequila reposado
  • 1/2 shot habañero tequila (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 shot orange liquer, such as Cointreau
  • 1/2 Cup pineapple puree (or substitute fresh pineapple juice)

For the habanero tequila:

  • 4 Ounces tequila reposada, one-hundred percent agave
  • 1 habañero, halved

For the chile lime salt:

  • 4 dried árbol chiles
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • Grated zest of three limes


For the margarita:

Pour some table salt onto a small plate and the chile lime salt onto another one. Moisten the rim of a glass and roll it in the table salt, then in the chile salt.

Combine all the liquor and the pineapple purée in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into the glass (see headnote) and serve.

For the habanero tequila:

Combine the tequila and habañero in a jar, seal tightly, and let infuse for 36 hours. (You can go as little as 24 hours, or as long as 48 hours, depending on how much heat you want.)

Remove the habañero and reseal the jar.

For the chile lime salt:

Toast the chiles in a dry cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Pulse the chiles in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Mix with the salt and lime zest. Store in a tightly sealed jar in a cool place.