Wild But Bottled Up

Wild But Bottled Up

The hand-blown Patron bottle is a thing of beauty, and the Patron Silver Tequila is not bad either (see below for our perfect Margarita recipe). So, it came as no surprise when my wife asked me to retrieve an empty bottle from our recycle bin. What to do with an empty tequila bottle? Why, you re-fill it with home-made fruit-flavored Vodka. I’d expect nothing less from the woman who coined the word Chabernet. This time she substituted Vodka infused with foraged Pitanga (Surinam Cherry), but any edible fruit might work.


Patron Tequila Bottle

In Hawaii, Guava also grows wild, as does Lilikoi (passion fruit), and Mountain Apple. In Texas, Wild Plum trees abound, as do wild Persimmon and Mulberries. The first time I encountered a wild plum tree while walking along a Texas creek, I smelled the fragrance of the fruit before I spotted the tree. The smell is indescribable and I’ve sniffed it before in wild fruit like the Pitanga. How amazing that such a fleeting perfume can be captured and savored in a Vodka infusion. Conveniently, wild yeast grows on the skin of the plum making it perfect for handcrafted wine or your own sourdough bread starter yeast (but that is another story).
In the Pacific Northwest, wild berries are our choice – blackberry, raspberry, currants, goose berry, and huckleberry – just to name a few. I recall a sweet golden raspberry that we foraged in Oregon and its color and taste infusing Vodka might be a clever alternative to Chambord.
In any case, wild fruit is a renewable and healthy resource. Impress your guests by hauling out your own homemade hooch then offer a toast to their good health.

Recipe for Surinam Cherry Vodka is here. In our typical Chabernet style, we replace expensive spirits with inexpensive but good quality Costco Signature Vodka. By the way, we don’t add sugar or sweetener to our home-made flavored Vodka.

Quote from Patron regarding their beautiful bottle.
“Each bottle is individually crafted by a glass artisan from recycled glass and is hand-numbered”. – See more at: http://www.patrontequila.com/bottle#sthash.UqDwyMiV.dpuf
If you don’t drink Tequila, empty Patron bottles are sold on e-Bay.

Perfect Margarita Recipe

  • Yield: 1 Servings
  • Prep: 5 mins

Inspired by the House Margarita at Uncle Julio’s in Dallas, TX (our favorite Tex-Mex chain).



  1. Serve on the rocks in a glass with a salted rim (optional). My wife likes hers tart and not too sweet, so these are her proportions
  2. The Agave Syrup is a clever touch since Tequila is also made from the Agave plant. Simple Syrup may be substituted.

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Tasty Texas Broiled Shrimp

In this era of recycling and repurposing, I put my own spin on a recipe from one of my Father’s favorite cook books (now sadly out of print). Join me in another glass of Chabernet with an entre of Texas Broiled Shrimp.

Texas Grilled Shrimp

Texas Grilled Shrimp


Please share the secret of the very best shrimp you may ever eat. The texture and flavor of the shrimp are both uniquely satisfying. It is one of the first meals I learned to make as a young man, borrowing the recipe from my father’s favorite cookbook. I greatly improved the original recipe which contained only vegetable oil, lemon, parsley and garlic. One time we grilled the skewers over a portable Hibachi at Scripps Park in La Jolla and the aroma nearly caused a riot. Here’s the recipe as it has evolved over the course of 40+ years:

My take on Texas Broiled Shrimp

Serve skewers at the table from the platter over a bed of Polenta, Rice Pilaf, or Quinoa with a side of grilled vegetable such as romaine lettuce, asparagus, zucchini or eggplant. I’d just love to have a local restaurant or food truck pick up on this recipe and I’d eat there once a week.