It's no secret that I'm kind of a margarita snob. How so many bars and restaurants can screw up something so simple is beyond me. Shake 2 ounces of blanco tequila, .75 ounces of fresh lime, .75 ounces of Cointreau (or triple sec) and .25 oz of agave syrup (or simple syrup) with ice. Strain into a double rocks glass over fresh ice. That's it. Nothing fancy or complex. And that's why you should demand a better margarita.
As a way to celebrate National Margarita Day (February 22), I decided to come up with my own version of a tiki-esque margarita, the Mez-tiki-rita. It's loosely a margarita, but every bit as awesome.
I wanted something smokey, with a touch of heat and a bit of sweet, so I used a slightly smokey mezcal instead of tequila and replaced Contreau with Ancho Reyes chili liqueur. Pineapple pairs well with mezcal and passionfruit is a classic tiki flavor. I rounded it all out with a touch of lime and cream of coconut. The cream of coconut gives it a hint of creaminess, but it's not an overpowering coconut flavor. A dash of tiki bitters ties everything together. Recipe below.
- 1.5 oz mezcal (I recommend Del Maguey Vida mezcal. It's not overly smokey, it was made for mixing cocktails, as well as sipping neat and it's not overly pricey)
- .5 oz Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- .25 oz fresh lime juice
- .5 oz passionfruit syrup
- .5 oz cream of coconut
- A dash of Bittermens ‘Elemakule tiki bitters
Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold. Strain into a double rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge. Or feel free to get fancy with your garnish as this is kind of a tiki-esque margarita.