Grilled Lime Margarita with Mesquite Smoked Salt
Margaritas are great when they are made with fresh lime and good alcohol. It’s a classic drink that’s now part of the Mexican experience. I wanted to change things up a bit and make something a little darker, a little more mysterious and alluring. That’s what the mezcal and the smoke are to me. It permeates the entire drink, from the char of the grilled limes to the smoky mezcal to the shot of smoked salt on the rim of the glass. You can, of course, forgo grilling the limes and just use regular salt and good tequila blanco to make the classic margarita, but I hope you find the smoky version I created here to a sultry companion to your tacos.
Makes 4 Drinks
- 8 large limes, cut in half diagonally (see note)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 4 shots mezcal or tequila reposado or añejo
- 6 tablespoons (2 shots) Cointreau or other good quality orange liqueur
- Mesquite smoked salt
- Sprinkle coarse sugar
- Option: Make it spicy by placing a dried chipotle meco at the bottom of each glass
I cut limes in half diagonally because it exposes more surface area of the lime to be grilled and it also makes them easier to juice.
Grill the limes until they develop blackened char lines. This will take about 5 minutes. Ideally, you should do this over a wood fire, but you can still do it with a gas grill. Flip the limes over and grill the round sides of the lime halves. This will further cook the lime and mellow out the flavor. Juice the limes into a pitcher or a bowl. Keep the lime rinds Stir the agave into the lime juice until they are thoroughly combined. Mix in the shots of mezcal and Cointreau. Take the inside of the juiced lime rinds and rim 4 margarita glasses. Sprinkle mesquite smoked salt and just a touch of sugar around the rim of the glasses. Add the margarita mix to the glasses and serve. This should be served at room temperature and not over ice, which does not play well with the smoky components.
From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.