My it was quiet off-season!

No one went on any dance competition shows, got arrested, gave ill-advised interviews, was burned by something they said on Twitter, hurt themselves, argued with other players, got married, called off weddings to reality stars, was dragged through a labor dispute, made voodoo dolls out of Roger Goodell and Al Davis (okay, that one was me), modeled Uggs, was suspended before they were even drafted, or has threatened to move their team to Los Angeles if they don’t get a new stadium. It’s like the whole league decided to put a giant “GONE FISHIN’” sign over the the NFL logo and give us fans a break from thinking about football this whole summer.

It was such a relaxing off-season not thinking about football, we were all able to enjoy the Pirates rise to first place of the NLCD. Stop laughing, it really happened! A couple of times as a matter of fact, look it up yourself if you don’t believe me.

We spent so much time not thinking about football this summer, I’m a little concerned no one is ready to tailgate or living room-gate (nope, still not giving up on that phrase) once college football starts this weekend. If my fantasy drafts so far this year are any indicator, most fans feel rushed and are in need of a serious ramp-up to get ready for football.

Which brings us back to same lecture I’ve been giving for five (!!!) seasons of the Football Foodie warning fans they need a preseason just as much as players:

Well do you think you, the football fan, are any different? Are you ready for at least one – if not two – days spent entirely on your sofa? After a summer’s harvest of nothing but the freshest fruits and vegetables are you ready to settle in and allow yourself the unhealthy snack foods that are best enjoyed with copious amounts of booze and yelling? Can you whip-up something besides the number for Domino’s, (GOD HELP ME DO NOT TELL ME YOU ORDER DOMINO’S), that will feed you and your crew?

I doubt it.

If you go into September without at least one or two practice runs, you’re going to find yourself sad and lonely with just your box of Bugles and six-pack of Natty Light come kickoff.

Exactly. So in the interest of being ready for football, we’re going to have a week of Football Foodie Kickoff Recipes and posts to get everyone back in shape for the season.

Jalapeno Cilantro Beer Margaritas

Beer margaritas are a fairly commonplace tailgate drink because they’re easy, tasty, scalable and contain a serious amount of alcohol. Generally made with cheap beer, a can of sickly sweet frozen limeade and tequila, traditional beer margaritas tend to taste like they belong in a Slurpee machine and not your cup.

This drink was inspired by a cocktail I had over the summer at the LA Live Marriott while checking out the Farmer’s Field stadium presentation and screening of RUDY during the LA Film Festival. (While I cannot say I’m surprised that AEG is using every Los Angeles event possible — especially ones held at LA Live — to reach out to perspective football fans, I never thought I’d see a perspective NFL ownership group shilling at a film festival either.)

The spicy notes of jalapeno, biting cilantro, fresh lime and agave make for a refreshing choice during these late-summer tailgates while the sun is still high in the sky, and are certainly more drinkable than anything you might have stirred in a giant vat with a lacrosse stick.

You will need:

  • 24 ounces beer (2 12 ounce bottles), preferably a Mexican pale lager brew
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) tequila, preferably a mild reposado style tequila
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) lime juice, about 7-8 good sized limes plus one more for garnish
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) agave syrup
  • 1-2 jalapenos, depending on desired heat and garnish
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • Ice

If you want, you can add couple of ounces of triple sec to sweeten it up, but I believe it’s a better drink when served tart.

Juice the limes until you have about 1 cup of juice.

Why do we have to juice all those limes when we can use ready-made lime juice? Well, you can use the lime juice in a bottle if you want. Fresh lime has a brighter, tarter taste to it though, and bottled lime juice while passable for some cooking just doesn’t stand up as well when making a drink. Its mellower taste doesn’t hold up on the palate as well as fresh limes. While I do agree with the Kegs N’ Eggs Tailgating Guide that you don’t necessarily need the best beer in town for a football party, I do think you and your fellow fans should make this drink right and use fresh limes.

Also, I’m sure fresh limes are better at keeping away scurvy. No one will watch your pick’em pool if you’re listed on the injury report as being out with scurvy.

Remove the seeds from your jalapeno then roughly chop, remove the stems from the cilantro. No need to use too much cilantro, its herbal notes will carry in the drink well enough with just a small bunch.

In a large pitcher, gently muddle together the agave, jalapeno and cilantro.

Note: If you’re making this ahead of time, do not add the cilantro until serving as its strong floral notes will slowly overtake the jalapeno as it sits in the fridge.

Mix in the lime juice and stir until the heavier syrup no longer separates to the bottom.

Stir in the beer and tequila and serve over ice, garnished with a lime wedge and jalapeno ring.

Cool and hot, yet not too cloy and sweet from the agave. A great drink as we head into the season which is easily doubled or tripled for your kickoff tailgate.

The Football Foodie NFL and CFB Pick’Em Leagues are back this year by popular demand. Join up here!

Football Foodie: Jalapeno Cilantro Beer Margaritas
Print
Recipe type: Beverage
Author: sarah sprague @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 4
A surprisingly refreshing spicy cocktail for the hottest of tailgates.
Ingredients
  • 24 ounces beer (2 12 ounce bottles), preferably a Mexican pale lager brew
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) tequila, preferably a mild reposado style tequila
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) lime juice, about 7-8 good sized limes
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) agave syrup
  • 1-2 jalapenos, depending on desired heat and garnish
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the jalapenos and coarsely chop.
  2. In the bottom of a large pitcher, lightly muddle the jalapeno and cilantro in agave syrup.
  3. Dilute the agave syrup with lime juice.
  4. Mix in tequila and beer.
  5. Garnish with an extra lime wedge and jalapeno ring and serve over ice.
Serving size: 11 ounces, not including ice
Notes

Easily doubled or tripled.

If prepping ahead of time, wait to add the cilantro until serving as the floral notes of the herb will overpower the drink if added too far in advance.

 

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4 Responses to Football Foodie Kickoff Week: Jalapeno Cilantro Beer Margaritas

  1. Ally Garner says:

    Well NOW it’s officially football season. Praise God the lockout didn’t ruin the season. I’d dive into a depression without Friday Foodie.

    I’m on board with any cocktail that requires muddling. Can’t wait to make these!

  2. [...] Football Foodie Kickoff Week: Jalapeno Cilantro Beer Margaritas. In the interest of being ready for football, we’re going to have a week of Football Foodie Kickoff Recipes and posts to get everyone back in shape for the season. This drink was inspired by a cocktail I had over the summer at the LA Live Marriott while checking out the Farmer’s Field stadium presentation and screening of RUDY during the LA Film Festival … [SarahSprague.com] [...]

  3. Clare says:

    Ohhhhhhh snap, this season you’ve added a printable version of the recipe to each post.

    I cannot tell you how hard I lobbied to make these at the shore house yesterday. My dad makes these baked clams with parsley, garlic, and olive oil and these margs would have been delicious with them.

    • sarah sprague says:

      Clare, that sounds awesome. (And I’m not even a big clam fan.)

      Yeah, I’ve got to go through the archives and re-post all the recipes with the new form.

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