While a few of our Mixicles flavors are inspired by specific cocktails, most are borne of our imagination and then brought to life by Jason, our CFO (Chief Flavor Officer). Jason started working in restaurants the summer after he graduated from high school. He worked his way through the fast-casual world of Outback and Pizzeria Uno's — first as a busser and host, then as a waiter. During his junior year of college, Jason began bartending at the faculty club on campus. He enjoyed it so much that he kept on bartending all the way through law school. What really interested him was not the mechanics of making particular drink recipes (though he got those down), but how the different elements would meld and come together.
When it comes to spiciness, both Jason and Jen like the heat turned up. (In Jason's case, waaaaaaaaay up.) They both knew that they wanted a spicy Mixicles cube, but lacked a specific reference point. So, Jason set out to create a combination of piquant peppers and bright citrus that would match the flavor profile he imagined. To do so he needed to find the right blend of citrus fruits, and then marry it with a spicy simple syrup.
Scouring the juice aisles at several stores, Jason sought out pineapple juice that would taste as fresh as possible. Next he added lemon and lime, and finally some orange for sweetness and balance. (At some point he learned that pineapple is not actually a citrus fruit, but whatever.) Jason then went to work on a jalapeño simple syrup. Merely steeping jalapeños in a classic simple syrup with was not providing the "oomph" that his taste buds wanted, so he added a few serrano peppers and threw the whole concoction in a blender. The spice level went well beyond a hint this time. Success!
Tequila is the natural spirit pair for this spicy powerhouse, but Jalapeño Citrus Mixicles are also great with gin, in a dry white or sparkling wine, or with lime seltzer for a zero-proof option. One day, while making a video for this year's virtual Taste of Cincinnati festival, we tried adding a Jalapeño Citrus cube and a Cucumber Lime Sage cube to tequila, gave it a little shake to get the party started, and a star was born.
Spicy Cucumber Margarita
- 1 Jalapeño Citrus Mixicles® cube
- 1 Cucumber Lime Sage Mixicles® cube
- 2 ounces tequila
- Salt rim, lime for garnish (optional)
Place the Mixicles® cubes and tequila in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds to get the flavor dispersion going. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice and rimmed with salt. Garnish with a wedge of lime.