I love it when Cinco de Mayo falls on a weekday - that just means we have the weekend to celebrate too!
In my opinion, a staple of this fiesta is a well-crafted margarita. Normally I like a very straight forward approach to this drink but the addition of the exotic tamarind is well worth a try.
Tamarind a tangy, chewy fruit indigenous to North Africa and Asia is a common ingredient in Indian, Thai and Mexican foods alike. It is also a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce. Often referred to as Indian dates, the sweet varieties like those from Thailand make an excellent snack food albeit a bit tedious to peel and eat.
For this drink make sure you buy the pulp sold in specialty markets NOT the concentrate in a jar. There is a huge difference in taste, texture and color.
Tamarind Margarita for 4
- 1 Tbsp tamarind pulp
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 cup silver or blanco tequila
- 2 Tbsp superfine sugar
- Crushed ice
- 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 Cup Cointreau
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt mixed with 1 tsp ground Ancho chile powder & 1 tsp finely grated orange zest for spicy salted rim
- 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. Add 1/2 cup of the tequila and the sugar; shake vigorously. Add ice to the shaker, then add 1/2 cup of lime juice, the Cointreau, the orange juice and the remaining 1/2 cup of tequila; shake well.
- Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice and the salt/chile/orange zest mixture into 2 bowls. Dip the rims of 4 glasses first in the lime juice and then in the salt mixture. Strain the ice cold drink into the glasses and enjoy!
If you're only willing to try this drink if it magically turns up in your hand - with no shopping for ingredients, mixing or shaking and you're in the SF Bay Area, I highly recommend this place.