Most nights, after arriving home from work, I pour myself a tequila. Not a lot, a couple of ounces. Usually a reposado. I’ll sip it while decompressing and figuring out what’s for dinner.

The habit has grown from my love of Mexican foods, visits to that country, hanging out and tasting in tequila bars and one heck of a wedding at which the tequila made at the bride’s family’s farm flowed generously. With that taste of tequila on the palate, the musings for dinner often turn to Mexican flavors, as with the shrimp tacos here.

And just as white wine I’m drinking might make it into a sauteed chicken dish, some tequila worked its way into this one. I like the bite it brings to the marinade.

Shrimp tacos with slaw

Prep: 15 minutes, Marinate: 10-15 minutes, Cook: 6 minutes

Servings: 4


¼ cup lime juice, about 1 ½ limes

1 to 2 ounces blanco tequila

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 jalapeno, finely minced

¼ teaspoon salt


2 cups shredded red cabbage

2 green onions, chopped

1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced, optional

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined

8 corn tortillas, warmed

Tajin, or chili powder

For the marinade, mix together the lime juice, tequila, olive oil, jalapeno and salt; reserve one-third separately. Pour the remainder into a zip-close bag along with the shrimp. Allow to marinate, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the slaw, mix cabbage, green onions and poblano, if using, in a bowl. Add the orange juice, cilantro, olive oil and salt. Toss to combine.

Drain shrimp, discarding marinade. Thread on skewers; grill over medium heat, turning once and brushing with the reserved marinade, 5-6 minutes total. Serve in tortillas topped with slaw and sprinkled with Tajin or chili powder.

Nutrition information:

Per serving: 292 calories, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 182 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 1,135 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.