By Joanne Thomas

If you enjoy the occasional margarita, no doubt you've sipped the classic version over tacos at your local Mexican joint and perhaps cooled off with a tropical fruit-infused frozen one by a sunny pool or beach. The tamarindo margarita, flavored with the unusually rich, sweet-but-tangy tamarind fruit, promises a somewhat more sophisticated drinking experience. Its complex flavor profile is both boisterous and nuanced – think Latin-Caribbean fine-dining margarita, rather than Tex-Mex margarita. Yet it's relatively easy to prepare at home, given you've acquired the necessary tamarind.

Chili Lime Mango Margaritas
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How to Make a Tamarindo Margarita

Look for tamarind in the market or online and you'll find it's available as dried pods, as dense blocks of hard pulp that need to be reconstituted in hot water, as ready-made syrups or as concentrate, also known as tamarind paste or nectar. The latter is the most convenient choice for tamarindo margaritas, as it can be added to the mix as is, and you can save the remainder for other culinary uses. You can use the same recipe for a tamarindo margarita on the rocks or a blended frozen version; just switch out a cocktail shaker for a blender. This refined cocktail calls for margarita glasses with salted rims (you might substitute cinnamon sugar or salt mixed with chili powder for a creative twist), but other glasses are OK too. Don't forget the lime wedges.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 ounces white tequila
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur, e.g., high-end triple sec
  • 1 ounce agave syrup
  • 2 ounces tamarind concentrate
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • hot sauce (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pour a layer of coarse salt onto a plate. Rub one of the lime wedges around the rims of your glasses. Then press the glass rims into the salt.
  2. Add a handful of ice to each margarita glass; then set the glasses aside. Be careful not to disturb the salty rims.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add the remaining ice, tequila, orange liqueur, agave syrup, tamarind concentrate, lime juice and lemon juice. If you'd like a little heat, add a few dashes of hot sauce.
  4. Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  5. Strain the tamarindo margarita into the salt-rimmed glasses.
  6. Serve the margaritas garnished with lime wedges.
  7. For frozen tamarindo margaritas: Add all the ingredients (minus the salt and lime wedges) to a blender with the full 2 cups of ice. Blend the mixture in pulses until the ice has broken down into a slushy consistency. Pour the blended margarita into salt-rimmed glasses.