Possibly one of my favorite things to do is to come up with margarita variations. The Green Garden cocktail isn’t quite just a margarita but was definitely my inspiration for creating this drink. I’m also very excited to be partnering up with my friends over at Exotico Tequila again. So expect a lot of delicious tequila drinks for the rest of 2019! I teamed up with Exotico last year for my Mango Kombucha Margarita + Bistec Mango Tacos post. Those recipes are well worth a revisit and are currently making my mouth water. If you missed that post and you aren’t familiar with Exotico Tequila it is handcrafted with tradition by the Destiladora Gonzalez Gonzalez.
The Destiladora Gonzalez Gonzalez is a family distillery spanning three generations and one of Mexico’s most respected makers of tequila. The tequila is made from 100% Blue Weber agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco. From my many travels to Jalisco I learned that the red clay soil there produces larger and much sweeter agaves which is why Exotico gets their agaves from this region. This type of agave, once distilled, gives Exotico its floral, well-rounded taste. I love the Exotico Blanco because it has notes of roasted agave with a peppery finish which makes it delightful to use in drinks or sip on its own.
I’ve been on a cucumber juice kick and thought it would make a wonderful summer ingredient in a tequila-based drink. I love spicy and savory elements in cocktails and decided to make a green bell pepper syrup to use as well. The results were amazing if I can say so myself. 😉
Green Garden, makes one serving
1 1/2 oz. Exotico Tequila
1/2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
1 oz. fresh cucumber juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. green bell pepper syrup
handful of basil leaves
salt, paprika and chili flakes, for rim
Green Bell Pepper Syrup, makes 1 cup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 green bell pepper
To make the syrup, cut a green bell pepper in half, remove seeds and rinse. Chop into small pieces. In a small saucepan add sugar, water and chopped green bell pepper. Let simmer on the stove until all sugar has dissolved then remove from heat and let completely cool. I left the green bell pepper in the syrup overnight and then strained to extract the most flavor.
Next, get your cocktail glasses ready! I did an equal part combination of course sea salt, paprika and red chili flakes. Run a lime around the rim of your glass and then roll the outside rim of your glass through the salt mixture. To make cucumber juice I ran a few cucumbers through a slow juicer. If you don’t have a slow juicer the other option is blending the cucumbers and straining the cucumber juice out through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Combine tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, cucumber juice, lime juice, green bell pepper syrup and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Finally, add ice, shake and strain into your salt-rimmed glasses.
Not only does this cocktail taste magnificent but the color is very stunning. I called it the Green Garden for the use of all the green ingredients and of course the color. I love the green bell pepper syrup and I can’t wait to play around with it in other drinks. Perhaps even test out some other peppers in syrups as well. This cocktail is herbal, refreshing and savory—perfect for a hot day! But always and most importantly, perfect in the company of tacos. And chips. And guacamole. You get it. xo