So let’s continue on the summer theme, shall we? I am going to introduce you to another tequila derived summer drink. If you have ever visited the islands or other Central American or equatorial destinations, then you may be familiar with this fruit, and this drink.
Tamarind (Indian date) is the edible, pod-like fruit of a Fabaceae tree of the same name, indigenous to tropical regions. It is a long-lived, medium-growth, bushy tree, Leaves are evergreen, bright green in color, and at night the leaflets close up. The tamarind does flower with red and yellow elongated flowers.
Sometimes called a pod, the Tamarind fruit is 3 to 6 inches in length, with a hard, brown shell. It has a fleshy, juicy, tart pulp, and is mature when it turns brown or reddish-brown. The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in acid, sugar, B vitamins and, oddly enough for a fruit, calcium. It is used extensively in Central American and Asian/Indian cuisine. You will find it often in Mexican candies and confections.
I found one recipe for a Tamirindo Chill from Epicurious.com. It isn’t exactly the Island variety that is so popular in the Caribbean, but its close, and it tastes fantastic. The real deal is the Tamirindo (ironically the same name as the fruit) and here is how to make it.
Add to a clean blender container:
- ½ teaspoon of tamarind pulp, a tablespoon of simple syrup.
- 2 measures of 1800 Select Silver tequila.
- 1 measure of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
- ½ ounce of each lime and orange juice.
Blend the ingredients together for two to three minutes, or until you can no longer see any particulate of tamarind pulp. Add a cup of ice cubes and blend on the high setting for one to two minutes more, or until the ice is crushed and a slushy consistency is reached. Add more ice if necessary and blend again briefly. Strain the Tamarindo mixture through a fine mesh sieve and pour into your choice of glass and serve immediately.
In my humble opinion, this isn’t a true margarita, but based on the ingredients and directions from the locals you can serve it Margarita style in a salted rim glass. Should you go this route, try a different spin on salting the rim by adding ½ teaspoon of chili powder to your coarse salt. Cut a fresh lime into quarters and moisten the rim of a margarita glass with a lime quarter. Turn it upside down and rim the glass with salt and chili powder. Serve this to your guests and your latest fiesta and they will go away talking about your party, your drink, and how their host was truly swell.
(Images courtesy of: la-duchessa.blogspot.com, costarica1realestate.com, candyaddict.com, & utilisima.com)
- The Margarita (howtobeswell.com)
- Red Lentil Dal with Tamarind and Asparagus (thebittenword.com)