This dragon-fruit-enhanced riff on a Margarita was created by Mariena Mercer Boarini for Overlook Lounge at Wynn Las Vegas, one of 31 venues for which she oversees the drink programs at the enormous Las Vegas resort.
A Tommy’s Margarita at its core, with tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar, this riff adds an unexpected ingredient: dragon fruit syrup, which lends the drink a lovely pink hue and subtle flavor. The garnish gets its own unexpected addition: a dusting of what she calls Electricdust, “a flavor and sensation-enhancing dust that is fueled by the buzz button to take your palate on a journey of flavor,” as she puts it, and which is available for purchase online in a variety of colors (for this drink she uses blue).
She used the flowers in her legendary Verbena during her days helming the drinks program at The Cosmopolitan; replicating their sensation through a new drink at a new property prompts reflection. “I came up with the Verbena 13 years ago,” she says. “Creating the Cleo helped me stop and think about how far I’ve grown as a mixologist since then.”
- 2 ounces Casamigos blanco tequila
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce dragon fruit syrup*
- 1/4 ounce agave nectar
- Garnish: dragon fruit slice covered with electricdust
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a dragon fruit slice that’s been covered in electricdust.
*Dragon fruit syrup: In a saucepan, combine 250 grams granulated sugar and 250 grams water over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add 25 grams freeze-dried pink pitaya (dragon fruit) powder and continue stirring until the powder hydrates. Add 4 dried hibiscus flowers and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 5 grams malic acid until all ingredients have coalesced. Allow to cool completely and strain out and discard solids. Will keep, tightly sealed and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.