Friday, June 19, 2009

A Tamarita From Modern Spice

When Monica Bhide asked this margarita lover to participate in her Virtual Bloggers Dinner to celebrate her new cookbook, Modern Spice, the first recipe that caught my eye was the Tamarind Margarita or Tamarita. A long-time fan of Mexican food, I frequently enjoy margaritas with this spicy fare. A year ago I also fell for an unusual twist on this classic when I tasted my first avocado margarita at a Texas restaurant, and later recreated one at home.

Then Monica introduced me to the tamarita - an Indian-inspired margarita with plenty of its own spice. Sour mix, tequila, and triple sec were already familiar ingredients, but I had never heard of tamarind date chutney and had no idea what a tamarind tasted like - or even what it was. So I hit the Internet, where I learned it is a fruit from a tropical tree. In chutney, it was accompanied by vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Monica assured me I could find a bottle of the chutney at any Indian grocery store, which I did, and the experiment began. About five minutes after I'd assembled my ingredients, I was hooked on a third version of margarita and made the tamarita again on the following night. Simultaneously sweet, spicy, and refreshing, it was a perfect drink to sip on a hot and steamy Kansas night and one that I plan to make many, many more times. *Here's the recipe:

Serves 1

Ice as needed

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) tequila (such as Cuervo Gold)

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) triple sec

1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) store-bought tamarind-date chutney (see note)

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) sour mix

Lemon wedge for garnish

Fill a large glass with ice. Add the tequila, triple sec, chutney, and sour mix. Stir well. Serve garnished with a lemon wedge.

Note: Please do not use tamarind extract, tamarind paste or fresh tamarind juice in this recipe; it will not give you the right taste. The tamarind-date chutney has just the right mix of surgar and spice to really play up the taste of the tamarind.

*VOE - The tamarita pictured is the basic recipe, doubled. I also used Cuervo Silver because I had some on hand.


Christie's Corner said...

This is the kind of research I should do more of! What was I thinking taking on a healthy veggie dish?

Love the idea of using tamarind in a drink.

Kelsey B. said...

This screams summer! I am printing this out and taking it on vacation with me - hello cocktail hour. This was such a fun event to do!

lisa waterman gray said...

I have made this MANY times in the few short weeks since Monica sent me this recipe and every person who has tried it loves it!