It took some dedicated research, but it is indeed possible to get tired of Margaritas. Mexico’s signature cocktail – white or silver tequila, a splash of orange-flavoured triple sec, fresh lime and lots of ice served in a glass rimmed with salt – is a simple and refreshing drink. The problem is, far too many bartenders use pre-mixed lime juice.
At dinner three nights ago our server at the great restaurant Sufi (another story) here in Mexico said he had a special Margarita I needed to try. “Tamarind”
I’m used to seeing tamarind on South Asian and Thai menus, but the sour and slightly salty brick red-coloured fruit surrounding large seeds is also very popular in Latin America, especially here Mexico. Instead of using lime, the Tamarind Margarita gets its acidic kick from the tamarind, which mellows nicely with a hefty shot of cointreau.
The tequila seems subtler in this cocktail than the traditional Margarita, but it makes its presence known quickly.
I grew quite fond of this elegant drink over the past 48 hours (don’t ask) here in Mexico and there was no way I plan to pack it away with my flip-flops when I get back home in San Franciso.
Tamarind is easy to find in most big cities. You can find it in a mexican or most ethic food markets. A 250-gram jar or bar of tamarind paste costs about $2.50. The Mexican bartender used tamarind juice, so I did some experimenting to replicate the taste for today’s recipe.
- 1 tablespoon tamarind juice or use 1 tbsp pulp and 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup Herradura Silver tequila or your favorite
- ice cubes
- 1/4 cup Cointreau
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp of Tajin (mexican spice salt)
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 4 lime wedges
- If using tamarind pulp: in a saucepan, simmer the tamarind and water over low heat, stirring, until the pulp dissolves. Press the mixture into a shaker through a fine-mesh sieve. Combine tamarind, tequila, cointreau, orange juice and ice in a blender and blend smooth.
- Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice and the tajin spice on to 2 plates. Dip the rims of 4 glasses first in the lime juice and then in the tajin spice. Fill the glasses with the blended drink. Garnish with the lime wedges.