Montañita – Claudia’s Mesa Margarita

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Some say the origin of our state’s name, Montana, is derived from the Spanish-Latin, for mountain. Because I like the notion, true or fiction, I named my margarita Montañita. I dedicate this smoky and spicy drink to the land of the big sky. When possible, I support our local growers and use Montana’s cilantro and jalapeños. I am partial to Gallatin Valley Botanical, Cloud Nine and Running Strike Farms to name a few.

I served these Montañitas at a pop up dinner  – Nuevo Mexican – at EJ Engler‘s in Gallatin Gateway, read about it here. You can get my famous carnitas recipe here.

R E C I P E :

Montañita
Serves 20

Ingredients
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cubed in 1″ x 1″ pieces
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped, finely
Simple Lime Syrup with Mint (recipe follows)
1 bottle Pinot Grigio
30 ounces tequila
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Directions for the Montañita
Heat up a BBQ grill and line with foil, or turn the broiler to 400
Place the pineapple cubes in a large bowl, add sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, and stir
Roast the pineapple until it darkens on the edges. Make sure not to burn.
Add pineapple to punch bowl
Add remaining ingredients
Strain simple syrup and add to the bowl to taste. Adjust sugar, tequila, or wine levels to your taste.
Add ice cubes to serving glasses.
Sing while you sip.

Ingredients for Simple Syrup
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup of lime juice
¼ cup mint

Directions for Simple Syrup
Add sugar and water to a medium pot and heat over high heat until water boils, between 2-3 minutes minutes
Add lime juice and stir
Add mint and muddle with a wooded spoon
Allow to steep while you roast the pineapple

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