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The best ginger cocktail recipe is here (Hint: It’s a margarita with a twist)

tequila ginger lime cocktail

Ginger isn’t featured in many cocktails other than ginger beer in Moscow mules, and that’s just not OK. While pondering this cocktail injustice, I realized I could infuse tequila with ginger and use it to make an upgraded margarita. But not only shall this inspired creation have the spice and bite of ginger, but it shall also be balanced with the mildly sweet and refreshing flavor of green tea and honey. Thus, the ginger green tea Zen-garita was born.

ginger cocktail slicing ginger

To make this boozy masterpiece, I infused blanco tequila with ginger by cutting ginger lengthwise into thin slices. This cut exposes as much of the ginger to the tequila as possible.

MORE: Dessert cocktails are in and this Vanilla Chai Martini takes the cake

The length of the soak depends on how much ginger you want to taste. One day will give the tequila a mild ginger flavor. Three days will make the ginger profile much stronger. With that said, planning is key, since this infusion takes time.

If you’re throwing a Cinco de Mayo party, I suggest starting your infusion experimentation the Thursday before. You can always store it in the fridge if it reaches your preferred flavor profile before the day of the fiesta. (Learn more about infusing alcohol here.)

ginger tequila infusion

Green tea is essential to this recipe, too. When I started creating this recipe, matcha green tea wasn’t my first choice — but the earthiness of the matcha added a unique flavor and made this ‘rita all the more surprising and satisfying. That said, if you’re not a matcha fan, use a traditional premium green tea. You’ll still get delicious results.

To use the green tea, freshly brew tea bags — not powder — and chill the tea. The final cocktail tastes best with strong green tea, so I suggest using extra tea bags or steeping for longer.

MORE: Looking for a spicy margarita recipe? This frozen mango lava version is it

Now that you have your ginger-infused tequila and freshly brewed green tea, you’re ready to shake your cocktail for Cinco de drinko (or really, for any time of year).

Final note: Make big batches of this one! This cocktail is so good that you should share it.

Ginger green tea Zen-garita

Yield 1 cocktail

Ingredients

For ginger-infused tequila

  • 5–6 long, thin slices of fresh ginger
  • 300–350ml blanco tequila

For cocktail

  • 2 ounces ginger-infused tequila
  • 3 ounces strong chilled green tea (matcha or regular green tea)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 ounce honey simple syrup
  • Ice
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • Optional garnish: Lime wheel, ginger stick or mint

Instructions

For ginger-infused tequila

  1. Place ginger in jar and fill with tequila.
  2. Let sit in cool, dry place out of direct light.
  3. Infuse for up to three days.
  4. Strain tequila into clean jar.

For cocktail

  1. In cocktail shaker, combine tequila, green tea, lime juice and honey syrup.
  2. Fill shaker with few scoops of ice.
  3. Shake for 10 seconds to chill and combine ingredients.
  4. Strain cocktail into glass over ice.
  5. Float orange liqueur on top.
  6. Garnish and enjoy.

Notes

  • Brew your own green tea. Store-bought tea is too diluted for the cocktails. To brew strong tea, use extra tea bags when steeping, or steep tea for longer.
  • Matcha gives the cocktail an earthier flavor than regular green tea.
  • Orange liqueur can be incorporated into cocktail shaker. Floating liqueur on top is more reminiscent of a Cadillac-style margarita.
  • For honey simple syrup, combine equal parts water and honey. Heat over low heat until dissolved, or heat in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Stir well to incorporate. Chill syrup before using.

 

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