Fruit, especially citrus fruit, is a staple ingredient used in bar menus. It’s difficult to imagine a bar that doesn’t at least have some lime and lemons on hand, while other kinds of fruits are often added to drinks like the Margarita and the Daiquiri. Vegetables, conversely, are less frequently seen in drinks. But every cocktail at Terra Mare—a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida—contains a freshly pressed juice and not all of those juices are made from fruit. “We wanted to use the natural characteristics of our fruits and vegetables to enhance our cocktails instead of sugars, syrups and other additives,” says general manager Ryan Zemel. One such example is the Jessica Rabbit, a vivid orange tequila drink that looks to the other side of the garden for some of its flavors.
The Jessica Rabbit is named for the red-haired femme fatale in the seminal 1988 animated film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” In this Margarita riff, carrot juice replaces some of the sweetness normally brought by orange liqueur and simple syrup. The vivid orange of the juice mimics the ginger hue of the namesake character’s signature mane; plus, it’s the vegetable most closely associated with cartoon bunnies like her beau Roger Rabbit. Making carrot juice at home, especially without a juicer, can be taxing, but there are plenty of decent bottled versions at grocery stores. Though not a common ingredient in cocktails, there are other drinks that call for it, including the Bunny Mary and the Lunar Eclipse.
Besides the requisite carrot juice, the Jessica Rabbit receives additional botanicals from cilantro simple syrup and jalapeño slices. An ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice balances the drink by tempering some of its heat and adding more sweetness while enhancing the bright orange look. The carrot and orange juice replace some, but not all, of the orange liqueur and lime juice that normally goes in a Margarita. Like with any good Margarita variation, the cocktail is finished with a salted rim and a lime wheel.
- 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 2 ounces carrot juice
- 1 ounce orange juice
- 1/2 ounce cilantro simple syrup*
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 3 slices jalapeno pepper
- Garnish: salt rim
- Garnish: lime wheel
Rub a lime wedge on the outside of a Collins glass, coat with kosher salt, and set aside.
Add the tequila, Cointreau, carrot juice, orange juice, cilantro simple syrup, lime juice and jalapeno slices into a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into the prepared Collins glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
*Cilantro simple syrup: Combine 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Simmer until the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat. Add 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, muddle gently, and let steep for 40 minutes. Strain out the solids, and store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.