Spicy Cucumber Margaritas
Verdant and herbaceous, this margarita is slightly more work than the classic, but you can produce it hours in advance. Some cocktail recipes call for preparing simple syrup on the stovetop, then combining with other ingredients, but this one uses a blender to combine the cucumbers, cilantro, sugar, lime zest and juice as a shortcut. Using delicate, thin-skinned Persian cucumbers ensures a vibrant color, and cilantro adds grassy notes. Because the heat levels of jalapeños can fluctuate, allow guests to garnish with sliced jalapeño to taste.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1pound Persian cucumbers (about 7 cucumbers), roughly chopped
- ½cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
- ⅓cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest plus 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
- 2teaspoons minced jalapeño, plus more diagonal slices for garnish
- Sea salt, as needed
- 6to 8 ounces white tequila, depending on preferred strength
- Ice, as needed
Step 1In a high-speed blender, blend the cucumbers, cilantro, sugar, lime zest, lime juice and minced jalapeño until mixture is foamy and blended. (Reserve the lime rinds for Step 3.)
Step 2Pour mixture into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large measuring cup and strain liquid from solids. (You may want to stir the liquid a bit to speed up the process.) You should have 1 1/2 cups strained liquid; discard the solids. Stir in a large pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon). Mix strained cucumber liquid with tequila; set aside or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
Step 3When ready to serve, rim your glass with salt, if desired. Using the reserved lime rinds, moisten the rim of a rocks glass. Set 3 tablespoons sea salt in a shallow rimmed plate, and dip the moistened rim of each glass into the salt to coat. Fill glasses with ice.
Step 4Working in batches, shake margaritas in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Divide among prepared rocks glasses. Set a slice or two of jalapeño directly on top of the ice in each glass, as desired for heat, and serve immediately.