Monday, June 25, 2018

Margarita al Pastor - It's a Tacos al Pastor Devilish Cocktail

Margarita al Pastor
Photograph © Leticia Alaniz 2018
All Rights Reserved
Want to know about a tongue tickling summer beverage that has tacos al pastor written all over it?  It’s the Margarita al Pastor.  Literally, if you love tacos you don't neeed a translation for tacos al pastor.  If you like the namesake tacos, you’ll love the take on this smooth Margarita that’s an explosion of flavors reminiscent of the famed Mexican street tacos.  It’s a diablura (devilish) of a cocktail that will make you hungry and by the third sip, you’ll be hooked.     

It starts by combining spices, herbs, pineapple juice, lime juice … and all that goes into a traditional Margarita (except triple sec, it's sweet and sour enough without it).  Creative mixologist Gabriel Orta shares his recipe for a spicy cordial that can be pre-made for the Margarita al Pastor.  But my take on the Margarita also includes muddled cilantro and basil as the base for the preparation.  It’s kind of like the fresh cilantro you add to your tacos before enjoying.  

Have a Margarita al Pastor and enjoy the recipe below.  Let me know in the comments what your friends or family say about it when you surprise them with this amazing taco-in-a-glass cocktail that pairs the flavors of Mexico, elixirs, and the famed blue agave mezcal of the regions.  One last thing, I recommend you use good quality spirits. 

First Step: Chorizo Spice Syrup


2 qt of water
1/4 C cumin seeds
1/4 C smoked paprika
1/4 C black peppercorns
3  dried chiles, halved and deseeded  (Ancho, Morita, or Chipotle)
1 C sugar
1/2 C mezcal joven

In a large pot, bring water to a boil.  Add the cumin seeds, smoked paprika, peppercorns, and dried chiles.  Stir and boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Add sugar and stir to dissolve.  Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce heat, simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Strain liquid into a container.  When liquid has cooled, pour half (4 cups) into a container and add 1/2 a cup of mezcal joven.  The rest of the spice syrup can be reserved for up to a month in a sealed container, refrigerated for another batch.  Just make sure to add the 1/2 cup mezcal before making more cocktails.      

Margarita Al Pastor

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Chorizo spice syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz 100% blue agave mezcal 
  • Fresh cilantro, fresh basil leaves

Spicy Rimming Sugar

  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Sliced pineapple for garnish

  • Directions

  • Roll a cocktail or traditional Margarita glass around with a cut lime or a piece of pineapple, then press into the spicy rimming sugar on a plate.  Set glass aside.  In a cocktail shaker muddle a few leaves of cilantro and one basil leaf.  Next, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add lime juice, pineapple juice, Chorizo Spice Syrup, and mezcal. Cover and shake until mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds. (In general, the drink is ready by the time the shaker mists up.)  There should be a froth on top from the vigorous shaking.  Fill glass with ice cubes,  Strain margarita into the glass.  Finish with a little dusting of the spicy rimming sugar and garnish with a pineapple slice.  Serve.  

  • © Leticia Alaniz 2018  All Rights Reserved