Why did the lemongrass skip the kitchen?
It wanted to be at the bar.
Yep, lemongrass (or dtakrai in Thai) is as common behind the bar as muddled mint, a fave with mixologists fusing a bit of Thailand into happy hour.
It's easy enough to find these long, fibrous green stalks with their pungent, distinct lemony flavor. (The flavor is key to Tom Yum—the sweet and sour soup you slurped the last time you had Thai.) Head to Chinatown, your specialty produce market or buy lemongrass online. Now go ahead. Infuse.
The Stalker (Lemongrass-Chili Infused Tequila)
750-ml bottle, small-batch tequila or Agua Azul
2 stalks, lemongrass
1/4 teaspoon minced and seeded red Thai chili pepper
Pour tequila into a glass container with a tight-fitting lid; save tequila bottle.
Peel outer leaves of stalks and discard, then chop off ends and discard.
Slice remaining portion of stalks into thin rounds and add to tequila.
Add minced Thai chili pepper to tequila.
Steep infused tequila for one week.
Strain lemongrass and chili pepper by pouring mixture through a sieve.
Return infused tequila to the original bottle, using a funnel.