Ancho Chile Margarita
Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.
For the Ancho Lime Syrup:
2/3 cup water
2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 2 limes
2/3 cup agave nectar
For the margarita:
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime wedges, to garnish
In a medium saucepan, combine water, chopped chiles, and lime zest (not the juice), stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and let simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lime juice and agave nectar, stirring until the nectar dissolves.
Let the syrup cool then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean jar or pitcher. Discard solids. To make an Ancho Chilie Margarita, add 2 oz. golden tequila to a shaker with ice then pour in ancho lime syrup and lime juice to taste (I did about 1.5 oz. syrup and juice from 1/2 a lime). Shake until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a glass with ice. Top off with sparkling water and garnish with a lime wedge.