05 May 2010

There's a New Margarita in Town

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, we had to share two margarita creations to expand your fiesta horizons ~ Tamarind and Campari.

See if these don't add a little "OLE" to your evening...

Tamarind Margarita

We've tasted some of the best while on travel in Puerto Vallarta.  This blended, more sour than sweet tasting margarita is now a staple for us.  If you read reviews, there seems to always be the word "complex" in the description of the taste - we would have to agree.

There is something to be said for the fresh tamarind approach, but the Mr. Manish Tamarind paste recommended by "Transcendent Agave Master" works well and is readily available where ever you can buy Mexican, Indian or Asian specialty foods.  If you have the time, it's worth trying the tamarind pulp.

Recipe Ingredients (serves 4)
4 oz tamarind pulp (from a block) OR
3 oz tamarind concentrate or paste (recommend Laxmi brand concentrate or Mr. Manish brand paste)

If using tamarind block - break into small pieces (should yield ~ 1/2 cup packed). Soak in 1 cup boiling water, stirring to break up and soften about 10 minutes.  Strain through sieve, using spatula to force as much pulp as possible. Discard solids.  Cool liquid to room temperature and add as noted.

8 oz. your preferred white tequila
2-3  tablespoons superfine sugar
2 cups ice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice + 2 tablespoons for lining rim
1/4 cup Cointreau (optional)
splash Orange Juice (optional)

Blend tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, sugar, and ice with chilled tamarind pulp (or tamarind concentrate).  If you prefer your margarita on the rocks, skip the blender and use a shaker instead adding the ice to the glasses.  

NOTE: some prefer to add a few tablespoons of orange juice to increase the fruit flavor.

Dip glass rims into reserved lime juice and then into salt garnish.

~ 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt mixed with finely grated orange or lime zest & chili powder to taste (recommend a 3:1 ratio of salt to other ingredients)
~ lime wedges

Campari Margarita

Despite our passion for all things Campari, we cannot take any credit for this bittersweet spin off.  

Coincidentally, two favorite sources of cocktail inspiration shared different versions of this margarita which we are thrilled to pass along for you to taste and compare.

The Intoxicologist posted this recipe, as part of the great series of Drink Recipe Cards through Facebook. The Intoxicologist is a favorite Savvy Host source of cocktail intelligence, so when we saw this, taste-testing for today's fiesta was mandatory.  We like including the tequila as a strong balance to the Campari (much like gin with a traditional Negroni).  The Cointreau adds that orange note which is always a winner with Campari and many margaritas.

Our friends at Campari suggest an even more simple approach in their version of this Margarita.  Be sure to test drive their Campari Cocktails How-To video!

Recipe Ingredients
1 part Campari
1 part lime juice and 2 tablespoons for rim garnish (we prefer freshly squeezed)
1/2 part Grand Marnier (or Cointreau)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, and pour into prepared glasses (see below).

Dip glass rims into reserved lime juice and then into sugar garnish.

~ 1-2 tablespoons superfine sugar mixed with finely grated orange or lime zest to taste (recommend a 3:1 ratio of salt to other ingredients)
~ lime or orange wedges

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