I can’t exactly remember my first tamarind experience. Possibly as a child at the local taqueria, sipping a syrupy sweet tamarind soda. Maybe it was on the playground hopped up on sticky tamarind candy. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I tasted what tamarinds truly had to offer. The pulp from this pod-like fruit is widely used in food and drink around the globe. Its sweet and sour flavor tastes like a delicious combination of separate ingredients, yet is remarkably just one. For my first tequila recipe I knew tamarind was a must. I wanted something simple so the delicate floral and citrus notes of Patrón Tequila would shine, while also still being unique and festive. To add a hint more complexity I used serrano chiles, which give just a slight bite to the finish. Feel free to omit the chile if you’re not a fan of spice, but either way, you won’t be disappointed. This cocktail has it all: sweet, sour, spice and of course . . . tequila!

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Ingredients:

Tamarind Puree:

  • 1 cup tamarinds (peeled)
  • 1 cup water

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First make the tamarind puree by cracking open tamarinds and removing seeds/pulp from their pods. Add to saucepan with water and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and let pulp steep for 30 minutes. As the pulp soaks, it will soften and separate from the seeds. Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer, lightly pressing on the seeds with a spoon to loosen as much pulp as possible, and let cool.

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Next, add simple syrup to a mixing glass and lightly muddle the slices of serrano chile.

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Before you add the rest of the ingredients, prepare your glass by coating part of the rim with lemon juice, then dip in sea salt.

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Add remaining ingredients to the mixing glass, fill with ice, and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

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Double strain over ice into an old fashioned glass.

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Garnish with a lemon wedge and you’re ready to sip!

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(images by HonestlyYUM)