Tequila Mussels in a white bowl with a tomato on front and some green herbs behind the mussels in the dish

Tequila Mussels with Jalapeños

A spicy starter spiked with tequila

This mussel dish is how how I recommend starting a saucy, boozy-themed, aphrodisiac dinner for two. (For more on creating a spirits-laced dinner for two, read my article, “Hitting the Sauce.”) These tequila mussels are my version of classic, French shellfish steamed in white wine. Only I use tequila. What can I say? It’s the Southern Californian in me!

This is an incredibly fragrant dish, the one kind that will have your lover drooling, thinking that you’re performing miracles in the kitchen. But in truth, you won’t even have to break a sweat with this one. This recipe is that easy.

The joys of cooking tequila mussels

As I explained in my introduction to cooking with alcohol, when it’s cooked down, tequila loses its biting, alcoholic edge. And what is left is the smooth sweetness of roasted agave. But, of course, you don’t have to worry about getting drunk from these tequila mussels. Although they’re drinking in the gorgeous flavor profile of the tequila as they cook, much of the alcohol’s intoxicating effects dissipate. What you’re left with are succulently moist fruits of the sea kissed by tequila’s essence.

A dish layered with aphrodisiacs

Of course, tequila isn’t the only aphrodisiac in this dish. The mussels themselves are considered aphrodisiac and actually have several properties to help boost sexual health. Learn more about the aphrodisiac side of mussels here. And then there are the two other title ingredients. Slut red tomatoes make the list of the world’s greatest aphrodisiacs. And so does the stinging heat of jalapeños.

Serve Tequila Mussels as a starter before my Salmon in Juniper Gin Sauce and Madeleines with Vodka Lemon Glaze. And don’t forget the Lavender Lemon Shooters!

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Tequila Mussels in a white bowl with a tomato on front and some green herbs behind the mussels in the dish
Tequila Mussels with Jalapenos and Tomatoes

Diane Brown offers this boozy recipe for mussels steamed in super-sexy tequila. 

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Southwestern
Keyword: Mussels
Diet and Health: Healthy, low carb
Seasonal: New Year's Eve, spring, Valentine's Day, winter
Ingredient: mussels
Servings: 2 servings as an appetizer
Created by: Diane Brown
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno chili sliced 1/2 inch thick with seeds
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 lb mussels about 30, scrubbed, debearded
  1. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Mix in tomatoes, then next 5 ingredients. Add mussels.
  4. Cover and steam until mussels open, about 7 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).
  5. Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large bowl.
  6. Simmer sauce uncovered until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
  8. Pour sauce to complete the tequila mussels and serve.

View the whole menu and get more boozy recipe ideas with my Diva Dish dinner plan, “Hitting the Sauce.”

Love the recipe? Get my cookbook,  The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers.

Tequila Mussels with Jalapeños 1

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