Be sure to opt for a blanco tequila here. Reposado and añejo tequilas are aged to develop deeper, more mature flavors. While these tequilas definitely have their place in a backbar lineup, for infusion purposes, blanco tequila features the most stripped-down profile, making it an ideal canvas for taking on the profile of the chiles.
While we’re on the subject of flavor, selecting the right tequila for the job is crucial to creating a knockout infused spirit. There’s no need to use your top-shelf liquors here. Distillers are paid the big bucks to make sure that those bottles are complex and perfectly balanced by the time they’re uncorked. But, as a general rule, you shouldn’t use any tequila that you wouldn’t want to drink on its own, sans infusion. Those flavorful peppers will make a big difference for your liquor, but they can only go so far, and paint-thinner tequila is still going to taste like paint-thinner tequila even if it’s infused with fresh veggies.
To really showcase the flavor of the peppers, opt for a tequila with a naturally peppery or savory profile. Espolòn Blanco features notes of pepper and grilled pineapple, making it a natural fit for some chile infusion. Plus, at around $30 per bottle, it’s also a good fit for your home bar budget. Suerte Blanco is a slightly pricier mid-range tequila, but with its vegetal citrussy notes, it’s an ideal profile for infusing with some chiles.