I have talked about tamarind paste several times here on my blog. In fact, I have several recipes using this tangy pulp that comes already prepared in a paste form. The magic that tamarind paste adds to a recipe, any recipe, seems almost indescribable because its flavor is so unique. It’s definitely has tangy characteristics, but it also has sweet and savory properties that make any meal or drink, so darn good.
I had my first tamarind margarita on my 50th birthday, a few years ago in Los Cabos Mexico. At first I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it, considering I have used tamarind in mostly savory recipes in the past. However, when this dark brown colored drink started heading my way, I knew I was up for something delightful. For starters, the rim of a good tamarind margarita has a mix of salt and chili powder, which gives it some slight and I say “slight” heat with every sip. The mix of tequila, lime and lemon juices, tamarind paste, and a splash of simple syrup for sweetness, make it all come together in one big glass over ice.
I used mezcal and tequila in my recipe, so a hint of smokiness would come through. I have learned to really enjoy mezcal, combined with a bit of tequila because I think the softened flavors of smoke seem to please my palate, than just straight mezcal. This cocktail is prepared in a martini shaker and strained over a nice big cube of ice. But, don’t forget to salt the rim first, you don’t want to miss that part of this wonderful drink.
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce mezcal
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon simple syrup or agave nectar
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lime + more for garnish
(Makes 1 Cocktail)
- On a salad plate, add salt and chili powder, stir.
- Using a slice of lemon or lime, wet rim of glass. Dip into salt mixture, set aside. Save remaining salt mixture for more cocktails, including Bloody Marys.
- In a martini shaker filled with cubed ice, add remaining ingredients. Shake, shake, shake.
- Place one large cube of ice, or fill with smaller cubes in glass. Strain drink into glass and top with lemon or lime wedge. Enjoy!