One of the fun things about the ever-expanding world of cocktails is that bartenders are always finding new ingredients, alcoholic or otherwise, to use in their drinks. Often, it means fruits, spices and syrups, but other times it means more vegetal ingredients. Sugar snap peas, for instance, can be pureed into a syrup that pairs well with spirits like tequila, as in the the Green Margarita. This playful take on a Margarita comes from Naren Young—an accomplished bartender and drinks writer—and its color lives up to the name.
Like any good Margarita, this one starts with a high quality blanco tequila. For the orange liqueur element, Young opts for Combier; it’s fantastic for a Margarita but can be replaced with something like Cointreau or Grand Marnier if need be, both of which fill in nicely. However, rather than simple syrup or another sweetener, the Green Margarita calls for dry vermouth, which brightens the drink while adding salinity and botanicals.
The most notable feature of this Margarita variation, however, is the sugar snap pea puree. Alongside the fresh peas that are blended into it, the puree also gets verjus. Verjus is unsweetened, unfermented juice that was pressed off from unripe grapes, often those used in winemaking. It comes in many varieties and generally has a bright, tart flavor like a mellower vinegar. It, along with a pinch each of salt and sugar, complements the flavors of the sugar snap peas. When making the puree, it’s crucial to use fresh peas—frozen peas will lead to a muddy, chalky flavor without the necessary sweetness.
The end result is a vivid green Margarita with bright vegetal notes and subtle sweetness, perfect for enjoying in a garden or on a patio on a spring evening.
- 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
- 1/2 ounce Combier
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 1 ounce pea puree*
- 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: lime wheel
Add the blanco tequila, Combier, dry vermouth, pea puree and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
*Pea puree: Add 2 cups peas (removed from their pods), 1 teaspoon verjus, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup water into a blender and puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.