5 Game-Changing Margarita Recipes

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Cinco de Mayo is a special day. It's a reminder of Mexican democracy and freedom — things that we've all come to celebrate with copious amounts of tequila. But, this year, we were in the market for a change-up. And, we're not just talking about adjusting our recipes for the crazy lime shortage. We wanted fresh ingredients and an even fresher take on the classic margarita. So, we hit up two of the best bartenders in New York City for ideas. Chris Marshall, who mixes "prescriptions" at Apotheke, gave us two perfect tequila-infused drinks. And, Chris Scansaroli of Pulqueria gave us three new ways to make our margs. Ahead, five (yes, cinco) Cinco de Mayo drink recipes that are just what the doctor ordered — "fresh to death" is an understatement.
Advertisement
1 of 5
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Matador
Serves: 1

Supplies & Ingredients
Martini glass
Pint glass
Shaker with strainer
Fine strainer
Muddler
Jigger
Small red pepper
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz cantaloupe puree
2 oz reposado tequila
Dash of habanero bitters
Star anise salt
Black pepper
Ice

Directions
Simple Syrup:
Mix 2 parts sugar with 1 part water.

Habanero Bitters:
Place 4-5 habanero peppers (with seeds removed) in 12 oz of bitters for approximately 2 hours.

Star Anise Salt:
Place 5 pieces of star anise in a pan of Kosher salt. Drizzle with absinthe or Sambuca. Light the mix on fire for several minutes, then extinguish.

Cocktail:
1. Muddle 3-4 strips of red pepper in a pint glass. "This adds tang and zip felt at the front of the tongue," says Marshall. Add lime juice and simple syrup.
2. Add cantaloupe puree. "Normally, I'd just use one ounce of a fruit flavor, but cantaloupe has a subtler flavor compared to the others, here," explains our bartender. Add reposado tequila (though Marshall says any tequila will do). Top with a dash of habanero bitters. Add ice, and cover with shaker. Shake for about 10 seconds, or until the outside of your shaker starts to perspire. "When you start to see the shaker sweat, that means the cocktail is chilled," says Marshall.
3. Take an ice cube and line the rim of a martini glass to get it wet. "Normally we'd use a lime to do this, but in this case we don't want to overwhelm the drink with a citrus flavor," explains Marshall. Double-strain the mixed drink into the martini glass. Garnish with a thin red pepper strip and a dash of black pepper.
2 of 5
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The Paid Vacation
Serves: 1

Supplies & Ingredients
Coupe glass
Pint glass
Shaker with strainer
Fine strainer
Muddler
Jigger
3 slices of cucumber
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz hickory-smoked pineapple puree
1 oz tequila
1 oz mezcal
Dash of habanero bitters

Directions
Hickory-Smoked Pineapple Puree:
There's two ways to prepare this ingredient, according to Marshall. If the weather allows for outdoor grilling, you can simply line the grill or smoker with hickory wood chips, then roast the pineapple pieces for an hour or so. Or, you can invest in a "smoking gun" to infuse the hickory flavor.

Cocktail:
1. In a pint glass, muddle 3 slices of cucumber. Add fresh lime juice, simple syrup, hickory-smoked pineapple puree, tequila, mezcal, and dash of habanero bitters. Fill glass with ice.
2. Cover pint glass with shaker and shake for approximately 10 seconds, or until shaker starts to sweat, as Marshall explained previously.
3. Double-strain mixed drink into coupe glass. Garnish with pineapple leaf.
Advertisement
3 of 5
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Watermelon Pulque
Serves: 1

Supplies & Ingredients
Mug
Pint glass
Shaker with strainer
Half of a grapefruit
Chili salt
Ice
1 oz sour mix
1 1/2 oz watermelon puree
Cube of watermelon
1 oz pulque
2 oz blanco tequila
Star anise salt

Sour Mix:
Mix equal parts simple syrup with fresh lime juice.

Directions
1. Wet rim of mug with grapefruit. Dust half of the rim with chili salt. Set aside.
2. Fill pint glass with ice. Add watermelon puree, sour mix, pulque, and tequila. Cover pint glass with shaker, and shake it up for about 10 seconds.
3. Strain mixed drink into mug. Garnish with watermelon cube. Sprinkle with chili salt and star anise salt.
4 of 5
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Tomatillo Pulque
Serves: 1

Supplies & Ingredients
Mug
Pint glass
Shaker with strainer
Half of a grapefruit
Chili salt
Ice
1 oz tomatillo puree
1 oz sour mix
1 oz pulque
2 oz mezcal
Sliced tomatillo

Directions
1. Wet rim of mug with grapefruit. Dust half of the rim with chili salt. Fill with ice. Set aside.
2. In a pint glass, combine tomatillo puree, sour mix, pulque, and mezcal. Add ice and shake.
3. Strain mixed drink into mug. Garnish with sliced tomatillo.
5 of 5
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Clásico Margarita
Serves: 1

Supplies & Ingredients
Rocks glass
Pint glass
Shaker with strainer
Half of a grapefruit
Star anise salt
Ice
1 oz fresh lime juice
Lime wedge
Dash of fresh orange juice
1 oz orange liqueur
2 oz blanco tequila

Directions
1. Wet rim of rocks glass with grapefruit. Salt half the rim with star anise salt. Add ice and set aside.
2. In a pint glass, mix lime juice, orange juice, orange liqueur, and ice. Cover with shaker and shake well.
3. Strain and pour mixed drink into rocks glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Advertisement

More from Food & Drinks

Watch

R29 Original Series