The Margarita is one of the most popular and versatile drinks in bartending. While the base recipe is pretty unimpeachable, it lends itself to all kinds of twists and additions. For instance, fruits like strawberry, pineapple and watermelon are all common ingredients to include in a Margarita, as are peppers, especially the jalapeno. Bell peppers, on the other hand, are far less prevalent, but that’s exactly what the Savory Margarita, from bartending icon Charlotte Voisey, uses. In her take on the drink, fresh red bell pepper juice adds a savory, zesty kick that is balanced with honey syrup and enlivened with fresh cilantro.
If you have a juicer, the fresh red bell pepper juice is easy to make. Add three to four bell peppers into the juicer and be greeted with some fresh, zesty juice. If you don’t have one available, an ordinary blender can do the trick. Seed and dice the peppers before adding them to the blender and pulse until liquified; you may need to add some water if it’s too thick. After blending, strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth into a clean glass jar and store for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can swap some or all of the red peppers for yellow or orange ones, but keep in mind that it will affect the sweetness of the drink, as well as its ruby hue. Green pepper will throw the flavor off greatly.
In addition to the savory qualities from the bell pepper juice, the Savory Margarita also gets some vegetal notes from a handful of cilantro. If you’re making the drink for someone who tastes soap whenever they eat cilantro, you’ll want to omit it entirely, as substitutions don’t really work for the herb.
- 1 1/2 ounces Milagro reposado tequila
- 1 ounce fresh red bell pepper juice
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce honey syrup
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- Garnish: lime wheel
Add the tequila, red bell pepper juice, lime juice, honey syrup and cilantro to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wheel.