Have your tequila with a side of nutrient-rich juice.
Photo: Danny Kim
Since it’s kind of sweet and kind of earthy, tequila pairs perfectly with fruits, spices, and even vegetables. (So does tequila's cousin, mezcal, FTR.) So bar chefs are playing around with new ways to make the liquor shine beyond the margarita. These three fresh, creative takes (that each use fruit and veggie juices) will turn you into a fan. (And what's tequila without the guac? Check out these fun tips and tricks from Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski, resident guac king.)
1. Gaal Gulabi
This spicy-sweet drink (center)—created by Dzmitry Motuz, bartender at Rahi in New York City—pulls flavor inspo from Indian spices and gets its cool ombre color from a dash of beet juice.
Stir 2 ounces cardamom-infused tequila (crack cardamom pods and soak them in tequila for 12 to 14 hours), 1 ounce agave, and 1 ounce fresh lemon juice until well mixed. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Add 1⁄2 ounce beet juice, then garnish with pink peppercorns and a lime wheel. Serve immediately.
2. 24K Magic
Tequila combines with fresh veggie and fruit juices in this nutrient-rich cocktail (right) by Zachary Gross, beverage director at Sen Sakana in New York City.
Shake 1 1⁄2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce fresh carrot juice, 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice, and 1⁄2 ounce agave until well mixed. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a carrot ribbon. Serve immediately.
3. The Honeydew
Honeydew puree adds sweetness and texture to this hydrating, coconut water creation (left) by Jessy Fusco, assistant food and beverage director at the InterContinental New York Barclay.
Dip the rim of a glass in water, then rotate in flaky sea salt to coat. Put ice in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 1⁄2 ounces honeydew puree (2 ounces fruit blended with 1⁄2 ounce coconut water), 11⁄2 ounces silver or blanco tequila, 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice, and 1⁄2 ounce honey simple syrup (1/4 ounce each honey and water, boiled to dissolve honey and cooled), and shake vigorously until very well shaken and cold. Fill the glass with ice and strain cocktail over the ice. Garnish with lemon twist and serve immediately. (Serve alongside this simple guacamole recipe.)