I’m old enough to remember a day when if you wanted a hot pepper-infused tequila, you had to infuse the damn tequila with the damn peppers yourself. Oh, the burden. Now, any liquor store worth it’s… well, it’s liquor, likely stocks an array of hot-pepper agave spirits.
Until now, they’ve been mostly of the jalapeno variety. But here comes a new tequila from a Boston-based company called Ghost Tequila, which uses–you guessed it–ghost peppers rather than jalapenos. And while they’re based in Boston, this is a 100% agave blanco straight out of from Mexico, which they then infuse with just a touch of ghost pepper extract. (No word on whether they wear hazmat suits when handling it.)
And then they dress it up a bit. Their chief marketing officer is the former national brand ambassador for Fireball whiskey, so they know their way around the making and selling of spicy booze. The bottle is awfully handsome. Like something off a White Stripes album cover, it’s adorned with a rib cage and a chili pepper where the heart would otherwise be.
Ghost Tequila is being pushed to market primarily as a straight shot. I can attest: it works perfectly well that way. On the nose, it’s all agave, with just a hint of spice. Throw it back, and it’s round and full, with the heat coming on late. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy, but has just enough to wake you up. Most appealingly, there’s a little earthiness that comes along with the kick of heat here, an improvement over the green vegetal quality that’s too often overwhelming in jalapeno tequilas.
But I’ve also had some fun playing around with Ghost Tequila in cocktails. A Margarita is perfectly obvious. As a base spirit, this stuff also plays nicely with blanc vermouth, a spoon of syrup and any kind of citrus you’d like to throw at it. And just as you might add some Islay scotch to a martini for a little smoke, a few drops of this on the surface can add a little heat to your gin.
— 40% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★