July 18, 2014 at 1:00 am

Simply the Best

Jalapeno, tequila give limeade a summer kick

Jalapeno limeade is a refreshing summer sipper. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)

Anything that Mudgie’s Authentic Artisan Deli owner Greg Mudge puts on the table in front of me is a fun masterpiece, and his food always makes me smile. His soups are inventive and sensational (even the chilled pea soup got a grin once I was instructed that the curried-red pepper chutney garnish was not there as just a pretty face but something that needed to be stirred into the stunningly green potage to lift all the flavors).

Mudge’s sandwiches are some of the best combinations that two slices of bread have ever contained (I love the Pulgini house-roasted chicken breast, artichokes, asiago cheese, spinach, tomato, and house-made pesto served on fresh ciabatta bread). And when I’m feeling the need for sugar or my no-dessert resolve crumbles for a moment, I revel in one of his waffle, Calder’s ice cream and whipped cream concoctions drizzled with a Sander’s fudge or syrup made from one of the specialty beers or wines that the Corktown hot spot carries.

In short, I never, ever leave Mudgie’s in a bad mood (this week particularly, when he’s serving his much ballyhooed lobster rolls that people queue up for). The last time I was there (I try to go at least once a week), he presented a couple of refreshing libations, peach iced tea and a lovely limeade spiked with jalapeno. Thirst quenching, yes, but again with flavors so marvelous I could have sat at the table by the window all day listening to the house music and watching the people.

Instead, I dragged myself back to the office, already deciding that the weekend would bring a jalapeno-spiked limeade with a shot of tequila to enjoy on my perch on the deck. Sadly, some good things don’t last forever; Mudgie’s lobster rolls are available only through Sunday. The limeade, on the other hand, just might be there for the summer along with some of Mudge’s other imaginative potables. Or here’s my version of this refreshing sipper so you can make some at home.

Jalapeno Spiked Limeade

Adapted from Cooking Light

4 ½ cups water
¾ cup sugar
½ cup agave nectar
2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (about ½ cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
9 lime wedges, divided for serving
1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (about 10 limes)
4 cups ice
Tequila (optional)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in jalapeño. Let stand 30 minutes. Pour jalapeño mixture into a large bowl; cover and chill at least 3 hours.

For serving: Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a shallow dish. Rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip the rims of glasses in sugar mixture.

Strain jalapeno mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, discarding solids, stir in lime juice. Fill each prepared glass with ½ cup ice. Add ¾ cup limeade to each glass and 1 ounce tequila if using. Garnish with remaining 8 lime wedges. Serves 8.

Per serving: 163 calories; 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat; 0 percent calories from fat); 44 g carbohydrates; 38 g sugar; 0 mg cholesterol; 74 mg sodium; 0.5 g protein; 1 g fiber.