Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to Make Cinnamon-infused Tequila

There's a Mexican restaurant called Lobo down the street from my apartment in Brooklyn that infuses its own tequilas. My favorite is its cinnamon-infused tequila, which the barkeeps store in glass jugs behind the bar. I wanted to try replicating Lobo's recipe in my kitchen, so I bought a bottle of Espolon tequila, which is high quality but not overly expensive. I transferred the tequila into a glass jug and threw in 10 cinnamon sticks.

I used the fattest, curliest cinnamon sticks I could find, as they're more flavorful and aromatic than the typical ones you'll found at the grocery store.

Immediately after adding the handful of cinnamon sticks to the Espolon, the tequila started to darken. After four days, the tequila had taken on a beautiful amber color, but its scent was still largely tequila, with little cinnamon essence.

By day 10, the tequila had darkened significantly and the scent of cinnamon was starting to overtake the smell of tequila.

I opted to wait a few more days before decanting it back into its original Espolon bottle. By day 14, the smell of tequila was hardly recognizable, and the cinnamon was the dominant scent. I used a strainer to filter out any broken cinnamon stick bits.

I poured out a single finger's worth as a taste test--SUCCESS! It was good for sipping, but I knew it would be even better in a blood orange margarita.

Stay tuned for my next post on how to make cinnamon-infused blood orange margaritas!