The Starburst will not meaningfully infuse into your tequila.
The big assumption here is that there are people out there who actually want Starburst-infused tequila, but hey, there is a time and a place. If you like candy and like tequila, how could the two things be bad together, right? Wrong. When the hot tequila passes over the Starbursts, very little of what is delicious about the candy is captured in the liquid. My knowledge of the physical sciences is insufficient to explain this, but the tequila only picks up the candy’s coloring and uncanny chemical-ey taste. Everything ostensibly “good” about Starburst is left in the filter. Which brings me to my next point.
Your coffee machine will clog.
Though not irreparably, your machine will clog pretty early on in the process when the candy turns into a gooey sludge. I had to pick up the filter and squeeze it to get all the liquid out. It’s not a “hack” if you have to put in extra work in order to achieve the desired result. That said, I did not permanently damage my coffee machine—only my dignity. To clean the machine, I ran it once with plain water and after that the coffee it made did not taste at all like tequila or Starburst. Plus, using the carafe as a cocktail pitcher is a neat trick in a pinch.
This drink is not “skinny.”
Actually, no drink is “skinny.” Not only is branding drinks as such a fatphobic moralization of physical pleasure, this drink is literally made out of sugar and alcohol. The only way this drink will help you lose weight is by killing your appetite altogether.
Shoving jalapeños in a toaster is (probably) a fire hazard.
There are certain lines I will not cross. It seemed like testing the physical capacity of a toaster oven by shoving fruit in it was a great way to start a fire, so I used my air fryer instead. I now have a new favorite method for roasting jalapeños, by the way.
This drink is gross.
This cannot be emphasized enough. If the drink was in any way appealing, I might be able to forgive the aforementioned issues, but it is not. I’m actually struggling to articulate what is so bad about it. Usually I can sniff out structural flaws in a beverage pretty easily. When tasting this drink, I lost my capacity for analytical thought. All I could perceive was my deep lizard brain sounding alarm bells for me to pour every last drop of this drink down the drain.
Make this drink instead.
There is a much simpler way to fuse Starburst and tequila—simply put them together in the same container overnight and call it a day. Once you have that, you’re working with something that slightly resembles a liqueur rather than a spirit, so if you want a quick drink, all you’d need to do is add a bit of acidity and you have yourself a balanced cocktail.
I put together this riff on a classic Martinique’s national cocktail, the Ti’ Punch, which is akin to citrus-inflected Old Fashioned made with the island’s distinctive Rhum Agricole. (The Ti’ is short for petit, by the way.) The classic recipe is sweetened with a hint of cane syrup, but here it’s not needed since the infused tequila brings plenty of sugar. Sip this in your fire-free apartment while admiring your still-intact coffee maker, with the firm knowledge that there is always a better way.