Habanero Pixie Margaritas

(Handpainted signs by Brenna Berger Design)

I love planning a party with Tara Bassi for numerous reasons.  For one she is calm and always in control of the wild cards that come with event planning (such as the PG & E power outages on the day of the event.)  She always has a solution as if it was just meant to be.  She calls and says "It is all taken care of but I just wanted to let you know..."   The client and guests never know of the behind the scenes challenges.  But above and beyond her strong problem solving trait, the main reason I love working with Tara is because she loves beautiful little details.  Like these hand-painted signs by Brenna Berger designs for the drinks and all of the menu items.   She asked if I could make specialty cocktails for this last event and because it was in Ojai she thought of Pixie Margaritas.  Then when we found out the client liked habanero salsa we decided to have a "Secret" addition behind the bar for those that wanted a little extra kick in their drink.  For those who do not like spicy drinks you can just skip the Habanero part.

If you are not near Ojai and do not have access to fresh tangerines to squeeze, the Trader Joe's makes a freshly squeezed Tangerine Juice that is delicious.  Use that.  Also, I make my own simple syrup in a glass canning jar and it takes about two minutes.  The directions are here.

Also you will need to infuse your favorite tequila with habanero chilies before you make this drink.  I usually use an empty bottle of tequila or another pretty bottle with a pour spout.  You definitely want some kind of pour spout or something to ensure that you don't pour too much because it is HOT STUFF.  One Habanero (aka Scotch Bonnet Chile) is plenty.  You can use two but one does the drink.  Be sure not to use any seeds and just use the outside.  I usually wear gloves when working with chiles but even with gloves be sure not to rub your eyes, lips or nose.

Thinly slice the Habanero and add it to the tequila.  I usually do this at least two days or a week before the event.  I'm not sure how long it actually takes to infuse but I'm sure 24 hours would be enough if you needed it sooner.

I make these by the gallon because they are so good why not make a lot!  And I needed at least five gallons for the party.  If you'd like the larger batch measurements please email me and I will be happy to send them.  (Click here to contact me)   Below is the single glass version.  The heat is a really smooth heat.


4 ounces (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed tangerine juice
1 ounce tequila (I like Añejo tequila)
1 ounce orange liqueur (I use Mandarine Napolean)
1 ounce simple syrup


2 teaspoons habanero infused tequila (see directions above)

Mix the first four ingredients together and stir well.  Pour over ice and let fully chill before serving. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the habanero infused tequila.  Stir.  Garnish with sliced mandarins, kumquats, or pixies.  Or if you REALLY like it hot you could garnish with a sliver of habanero.


You always have such delicious recipes! I look forward to trying this !! I am working in the Garden Center at B and B do it center in Cam. And we have lots of Scoville rated peppers this gives me a reason to get one LOL! Wishing you the best of everything Maili

Warmly ��Stacy H!

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