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When we were five years old, I convinced my friend Thomas to taste the water from the water fountain in our classroom for me to make sure it was OK. He graciously did, grimaced and assured me it was disgusting and that I should stick with my juice box. He bravely risked yucky 1986 tap water for me, so it should come as no surprise that this is a guy I put my utmost faith in when it comes to romantic advice, career maneuvers and, of course, beverage choices.
Twenty years later, when we were both living in San Francisco, he worked briefly as a bartender at a fancy restaurant where he made what has got to be one of the best cocktails I have ever imbibed: a cilantro margarita.
I could think of nothing else I’d rather sip under the sun right now, so I called him up and within minutes I had a PDF of the original recipe in my email inbox. I made a few changes, making it less expensive and easier to make, but the outcome is pretty close to the original.
This recipe would also work well with vodka in place of the tequila (for a cleaner, lighter flavor), basil in place of the cilantro and/or with the addition of fresh pummeled fruit, such as strawberries or mango.
- 6 oz. fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes) $1.50
- 6 oz. tequila $7 for 375 ml.
- 2 tbsp honey Pantry
- 3 tbsp fresh, finely-chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish $1 for a bunch
Total Cost of Ingredients $9.50
Combine lime juice, tequila and honey in a shaker or pitcher. Shake or stir until honey is mostly dissolved.
Add cilantro and enough ice to chill and stir or shake vigorously until very cold.
Strain into 3-4 glasses.