Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

Entertaining
4 Unexpected Ingredients You Should Be Using in Margaritas

By

If you saw a Broccoli Martini on a cocktail menu, would you drink it? What about a Cheese Whiz Old Fashioned? Or a Mushroom Margarita? Ignacio “Nacho” Jimenez, the bar manager at New York’s Ghost Donkey, is making one such cocktail: a Margarita infused with huitlacoche (a truffle-like corn fungus also known as corn smut).

Jimenez’s cocktail is jet black and extremely funky, with flavors of wet dirt, smoke, black garlic and freshly shaved black truffle. And it is one of the bar’s most popular cocktails. After trying Jimenez’s unexpectedly delicious drink, we asked him about all the other unusual ingredients we’ve been denying our Margaritas. He gets his inspiration from the seasons, so summertime is all about berries and watermelon, fruits we frequently add to Margs, but his colder season recommendations were more intriguing: “You can use cucumber, celery or beets in the winter—even carrots,” he says.

Don’t wait until summer to get your Margarita on. Hit up the farmers market now and make one of these out-of-the-box recipes. From a Margarita with fresh beet juice to a one with avocado, these are the best unexpected, savory ingredients to use in your next South of the Border Sour.

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Created by barman Josh Goldman at the Santa Monica, California, location of Belcampo—a beloved California butcher shop slash restaurant chain—this unusual take on a Margarita is more health tonic than cocktail. It’s made with fresh beet juice (you can either make your own or buy it at specialty groceries), citrus-infused agave syrup and añejo tequila, which pairs perfectly with the beets’ inherent earthiness.

The Essentials

Añejo Tequila
Beet & citrus agave
Lemon & Lime
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
You might not expect it, but cucumber and tequila are a perfect match. Simple to make, this frozen Margarita is essentially the classic cocktail we all know and love, with the added bonus of cucumber. Blanco tequila gives the drink an extra boost of vegetal flavor and a bright white pepper heat, which contrasts the cooling effects of the cucumber, while an added splash of St-Germain boosts the sweetness and provides a touch of floral flavor. It is show-stoppingly delicious and seriously thirst quenching—after one sip, you’ll want to take another, and another until it’s gone, and then you’ll start blending up another batch.

The Essentials

Blanco Tequila
St-Germain
Cucumber
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
While most cocktail drinkers relegate celery to being just a garnish for their Bloody Mary, this take on the Margarita proves that the leafy stalk is so much more. Made with a celery shrub—a tangy syrup that combines fresh pressed celery juice with sugar and rice vinegar—this cocktail is bursting with vibrant acidity and vegetal flavors. With blanco tequila at the base and fresh pineapple and lime juice in the mix, it has a zesty backbone and bright, tropical undertones. Sipped as an aperitif before a big meal, it awakens your appetite. And it is the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods—especially any Mexican dish with pastor, slow-cooked pork with pineapple.

The Essentials

Blanco Tequila
Celery Shrub
Pineapple Juice
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
No, this Margarita doesn’t taste like guacamole—but it would go perfectly with a heaping bowl of the Mexican dip. Almost creamy on the palate, it’s like a semi-savory Piña Colada made with tequila instead of rum. And, like its Puerto Rican cousin, this Margarita variation is blended with crushed ice to achieve a smooth, whipped consistency. Made with vanilla-forward reposado tequila (in place of a Margarita’s usual blanco tequila), it’s luxurious, sweet and tangy. The next time you’re tempted to make yourself boring avocado toast for Sunday brunch, mix this cocktail up instead. We swear it’s just as delicious and healthy-ish.

The Essentials

Reposado Tequila
Lime Juice
Avocado

Published on

More From Around The Web