Tag Archives: jalapeños

Pickled! Jalapeño Martini

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

My husband Mark was inspired by my pickled jalapeños

… to create a new drink, a zesty vodka martini.

Besides being a great photographer (see that lovely picture?) , author, and teacher (see Mark Holmes Photo), Mark is a bartender by training and inclination. And, to my taste, the best martini maker in the world (although my sampling might be limited).

Whether it is his famously dangerous Chocolate Martini or the more traditional Bombay Sapphire Martini (my personal favorite), he just seems to have the touch and technique for raising spirits to Jazz Age glamour.

I volunteered to accompany him on his latest taste adventure.

Since he wanted to showcase the pickled jalapeños, he chose vodka instead of gin, avoiding any argument between the botanicals of the pickles and those of the gin.

His technique was perfect. He filled two martini glasses with ice and water. The steel shaker got just ice, 1/3 full. Then, 1 teaspoon (1/2 for each drink) of the pickling juice from the jalapeños. Next, 4 large jiggers (that is, 6 ounces for 2 drinks) of premium vodka. Then, he stirred it with a long spoon.

“Never shake a martini — it bruises it,” he said.

Discarding the ice water from the glasses, he strained the palest golden liquid into the two glasses, dropping two jalapeños rings into each.

“Cheers!” we said, with a clink, eyes locking.

The first sip was a heady taste of Russian winter, the jalapeños more a fragrance than a flavor.  As we drank, it warmed, like gliding down to Mexico, awakening the jalapeños. The last sip was bold and spicy, with a touch of sweetness. The sting was in the tail.

You can drink your pickles, and eat them, too.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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In a Pickle (Pickled Jalapeños)

“Something unknown is doing we don’t know what.” Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington


Living in San Diego, I have grown to love jalapeños …

… with avocado in guacamole, with tomatoes in pico de gallo, roasted and blackened with tomatillos for salsa verde, even with watermelon and cucumber in a salad.

They are my “go-to” chili for a bit of spice, playing well with others, especially if there’s a little sweetness. Plump and muscular, like biceps on the Jolly Green Giant, jalapeños are genial and accommodating in a crowd.

Pickled jalapeños and hearts of palm
Pickled jalapeños and hearts of palm

But, they do well on their own, too, especially if they’ve had a little time to soak in sweetened vinegar, hang out for a while with friends like garlic and hearts of palm, relax with a few botanicals – bay leaf, oregano.

I find my Pickled Jalapeños don’t last long on a Happy Hour table.

My friend Mark, from Vermont, discovered that a wheel of pickled jalapeño is the perfect topping for a slice of Cabot Vermont Premium Cheese on a multigrain pita cracker. My husband Mark likes them right out of the jar.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Pickled Jalapeños

Makes two to three 8-ounce jars of pickles, depending on the size of the jalapeños. You can also mix the jalapeños with other types of chillies or bell peppers, or even hearts of palms, cut into bite-sized pieces.


Pickled Jalapenos in Jars
Pickled Jalapenos in Jars

3/4 cups filtered water

3/4 cups organic white vinegar

3 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar

1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

1 large bay leaf

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cloves garlic

6 jalapeños, cut into rings

Preparation (Chef's hat)Preparation

1 – In a saucepan over high heat, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf, and oregano. Bring to a boil for one minute.

2 – Remove pickling liquid from heat. Add jalapeños and garlic, stirring and cover with pickling liquid.

3 – Cover and let stand for 20 minutes or until cool. The jalapeños will have dulled in color and softened a little.

4 – Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the jalapeños and garlic from the liquid and pack into the clean jars.

5 – Pour the pickling liquid into a measuring cup. Divide the liquid among the jars, filling them up to the top.

6 – Cover and refrigerate for up to two to three weeks.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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