Virgin Tamarind Margarita
Makes 4 servings
For salting the rims of the glasses:
coarse salt or Tajin seasoning* for rim
1 lime, cut into wedges
For the margarita:
6 ounces (3/4 cup) tamarind pulp (see recipe below)
2 ounces (1/4 cup) simple syrup
8 ounces (1 cup) lemonade
2 ounces (1/4 cup) orange juice
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups ice
1. Salt the rims: Pour enough coarse salt (or Tajin) onto a small plate to cover the surface, then gently shake the plate to evenly distribute. Make a cut down to the peel in the middle of a lime wedge. Place the lime wedge onto the rim of a glass and gently squeeze it and run it completely around the rim. Then dip the rim of the glass into the seasoning on the plate, and let it sit for a few seconds, then set it upright and repeat with the remaining glasses.
2. Make the margarita: Place all of the margarita ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy. Pour into the rimmed glasses and serve.
* Tajin seasoning is what decorated the rim of my glass in Cancun. It’s a wonderful mixture of Mexican chili, lime, and salt, and makes a fun alternative to a regular salted rim!
Makes approximately 6 ounces
Adapted from Rick Bayless’s Fresh Tamarind Pulp Recipe
4 ounces fresh tamarind pods (about 4 large pods)
1 cup water
1. Remove the tamarind flesh from the pods by holding the pod in one hand, then pulling out the stem with the other hand, then removing any remaining shell and the strings that run down the pulp.
2. In a small, non-reactive (non-aluminum) saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tamarind flesh to the water, then remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit until the flesh has softened completely (depending on how fresh the pods are), approximately 1 to 2 hours.
3. Use your fingers to loosen the softened tamarind flesh from the seeds and fibers. Pour everything through a fine mesh sieve into a clean container, and discard the solids that remain in the sieve. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.