“The impetus behind the drink was my love for spice. I knew I wanted to make a drink that utilized jalapeños, but I needed to figure out how to balance the heat level because I know it’s a polarizing flavor. One day, the owner of Plates was making chai tea near me and the smell – a spicy smokiness – struck me as a perfect pairing.
I made Chai, combined it with sugar and jalapeños (minus the seeds/pith, in order to capture the grassy flavor of the pepper without the heat) and created a syrup. Adding tequila was the obvious choice, and the passionfruit/lime juice added a pleasant blend of tart and sweet.
Finally, I served it with a fresh slice of jalapeño on the end of a small skewer. We tell our guests that they can swizzle stir the drink with the garnish – the longer you leave it in the drink, the more capsaicin is released from the seeds and pith and the drink is made spicier.
All in all, it is a dynamic drink that the guest can customize to their particular tastes right at their table!”
— Chris Brennan, Bar Manager at Plates Kitchen
Make it yourself
2 ounce reposado tequila (we use Olmeca Altos)
1⁄2 ounce chai + jalapeño syrup
1⁄2 ounce lime juice
3⁄4 ounce passionfruit puree
Shake all and double strain into a flute. Garnish with a fresh slice of jalapeño — and char it with a small torch if you are able for a great aroma.