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Guava Margarita with Tamarind Salt

We recently spent some three weeks in my second hometown of Cebu, where time with my parents and family is always worth it. We love to eat out and loved the burgers at Fat Cow, and the Mexican restaurant and bar right next to it, called Pueblo Mexicano. I also happily ran into Carla, one of my best childhood friends, whose husband Joel owns the restaurant, Pino.

Carla recommended the Guava Margarita with Tamarind Salt. Margarita isn’t my drink, but this one was delicious, refreshing, and with a twist that makes it special. And I couldn’t wait to try and make it at home.

Tamarind has this jolting sourness that is used to flavor soup. When the fruit is candied, it becomes sticky and somewhat addicting. Don’t use the drier candy that is coated in sugar, it’s not as sticky. And I’m not sure if tamarind paste has that sweetness we’re looking for. The candied, sweet-sour tamarind is what is used in this recipe. The sticky stuff is also the perfect ‘glue’ for the salt on the glass rims.

Guava Margarita with Tamarind Salt

Inspired by the margarita at Pueblo Mexicano in Cebu. MAKES 2 MARGARITAS.

Ingredients
1 cup Guava Juice
1 cup tequila of your choice
juice of 1 orange, chilled
calamansi or lime for garnish
candied tamarind
salt for the rims
extra guava juice to make ice

* You can also use lemon or lime juice instead of orange

STEP ONE: Make the Ice
Place the extra juice in a small freezer-safe ziplock bag or container and freeze until icy (like sorbet). About an hour or so depending on your freezer.

STEP TWO: Salt the rims
Place the extra juice in a small freezer-safe ziplock bag or container and freeze until icy (like sorbet). About an hour or so depending on your freezer.

STEP THREE: Make the Margaritas
In a cocktail shaker, mix the cup of guava juice with the orange juice, then add the tequila. Mix some of the icy juice from the freezer, and shake well. Pour the mix into the chilled glasses. Garnish with the lime or calamansi and serve immediately.

Notes:
1. Use guava juice, not nectar, which is too thick. Just shake the juice box or bottle well before using. I prefer the pale greenish-yellow juice, although the pink one is pretty.
2. Use more of the guava ice or water down the margarita with plain ice.
3. Use a metal mug if you don’t have a cocktail shaker.
4. Use whatever short glass you have if you don’t have margarita glasses.
5. Don’t skip the tamarind salt, the drink isn’t the same without it.

Salud! And thanks for reading.

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