The Story Behind The Spicy Mandarin Margarita
Margarita Day is finally here, and I for one am pretty excited. I know we all fill our margarita void with the weekly Margarita Monday, but today both National Margarita Day and Margarita Monday collide like an interstellar alignment of the planets, creating a margarita celebration on steroids. You’d be silly not to have a drink.
I’ve crafted a margarita with a little firepower, so it’s like a fireworks celebration in your mouth – no I didn’t add gunpowder or light anything – but you will find the Serrano peppers do a sublime job of emulating a similar effect.
I began my process with the most important ingredient – tequila – and found a great bottle of Reposado Tequila, which provided a little more balance to the cocktail than I believe a blanco would in this instance. With my margaritas I like to replace the traditional orange liqueur with some fresh orange juice. This substitution has a double effect on the end product: it leaves more room for more tequila and it also helps balance the acidity of the lime juice. Speaking of which, I find there is no substitute for fresh squeezed juice in a good margarita, so I went out to the market searching for limes and oranges. While there, I came across some delicious looking mandarins, which led to an epiphany: substitute the oranges for mandarins.
The end result is a beautifully balanced, boozy and absolutely delicious Spicy Mandarin Margarita with an emphasis on spicy. I’m a huge fan of spice, but if you’re not the spice level is easily modified by adding as little less. Happy National Margarita Day!
- 2 ounces of reposado tequila
- 1 ounce of lime juice
- 1 ounce of mandarin juice
- 1 ounce of brown sugar syrup – Mix equal parts brown sugar and boiling water to make the syrup.
- 1 Serrano pepper, chopped
- 1 cup of ice
- Tajin seasoning to rim the glass
- Garnish: Serrano pepper
- Fill cocktail shaker with tequila, lime juice, mandarin juice, brown sugar syrup, chopped Serrano pepper, and ice.
- Shake mixture for at least 30 seconds to combine ingredients and chill the drink.
- Rim a margarita glass with Tajin seasoning, pour in the cocktail and serve.