During lockdown, I tinkered away to come up with a near-perfect spicy mezcal [or tequila] margarita recipe. Do you ever get frustrated by cloyingly sweet margaritas that lack balance? Why do so many margarita recipes call for sugar filled Cointreau, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier?
A couple dashes of orange bitters, mandarin juice and agave are the key substitutes to the orange liqueur.
Now, while I certainly enjoy the ceremony involved in this recipe, guess who isn't as patient? My guests who just want a drink in hand! ...
Enter AVEC to the rescue for when you need to:
1) keep it simple and unfussy
2) reduce your shopping list
3) limit your sugar intake (and avoid terrible hangovers)
This adapted recipe leans on Jalapeño & Blood Orange AVEC to provide a real nice kick and flavor profile without having to purchase jalapeños, cilantro [let's be real, most leaves would end up unused and wilting away], agave, and cutting the number of required limes by half.
By the way, don't be intimidated by the spicy rim. You can easily use Trader Joe's Chile Lime Seasoning Blend or Tajin mixed with a bit of salt if you don't have 'sal de gusano' or specialty spicy salt.
PS - another favorite is Campari AVEC Grapefruit Pomelo for an improved version of a Campari Soda
Fede's Spicy Mezcalrita
1.5 oz of your favorite mezcal [or tequila]
0.75 oz lime juice
1-2 tsp of mandarin juice [ = approx. 1/2 a mandarin]
6 dashes of orange bitters
SHAKE VIGOROUSLY OVER ICE FOR 30 SECONDS
POUR INTO A SPICY SALT-RIMMED GLASS WITH MORE ICE
TOP WITH 4 oz of Jalapeño & Blood Orange AVEC & GENTLY STIR TWICE
GARNISH WITH A THIN SLICE OF LIME
IF YOU WANT TO RIM:
Sprinkle rim salt onto a flat surface. Take a half lime or half mandarin and rim the edges of an empty glass. Turn glass upside down and twist around in the spicy salt mix until you have an evenly salted rim.