If you really want to know how to make a fresh Tamarindo margarita, you’re going to have to start early. These exotic citrus wonders are sure to please and be worth your time. However, making a Tamarindo margarita isn’t a process for the faint-of-heart. You’re going to have to start with tamarind pods, remove seeds and threads, boil down the pulp and strain to make a paste, all before you start on your Tamarindo margarita. A far easier way to enjoy the wonderfully different Tamarindo margarita is to use pre-packaged tamarind paste or find tamarind syrup. But if you really, truly have your heart set on using fresh ingredients, find a local market that serves an authentic community of folks from Mexico, Asia or India. You want someone who actually carries the tamarind pods.
To make the tamarind paste, you will need:
- Tamarind pods
- A saucepan
- A sieve
- Shell enough tamarind pods (they kind of look like long, brown bean pods) to give you 2 1/2 cups of pulp. You’re going to reduce the pulp down to approximately 1 1/2 cups in the next steps.
- Place the pulp and enough water to cover in a saucepan. Cover tightly and simmer for 30 minutes or until the seeds fall off the pulp. The mixture will start to thicken. If it gets too thick, add a little more water.
- Once the seeds easily come away from the pulp, remove from heat and strain through a sieve. Press the mixture firmly into the sides of the sieve to drain as much paste as possible. If you do not have approximately 1 1/2 cups, add more water and repeat the process until you have 1 1/2 cups of paste. Any paste not used immediately can be stored in a tight-lid container in the refrigerator for two to three months.
Now that you have your fresh tamarind paste, you’re ready to make Tamarindo margaritas. To make a pitcher of Tamarindo margaritas, you will need:
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 cup tequila
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (depending on personal taste)
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 cup triple sec
- Salt (to rim the glass)
- Orange zest (to mix with rimming salt)
- Crushed ice
- A blender
- Margarita glasses
- In the blender, combine the tamarind paste, tequila, sugar, lime juice, orange juice, triple sec and ice. Blend until smooth. You may need to add more ice to thicken your margarita to taste.
- Mix one part salt with one part orange zest. Use the mixture to rim the margarita glasses.
- Pour frozen margaritas into the glasses. Garnish with lime wedges or orange slices and serve.
For the “on the rocks” version, blend all ingredients except the ice. Pour the mixture over ice in a rimmed margarita glass. You’ll still need to blend for the “on the rocks” version to make sure the tamarind paste is properly mixed and no chunks or seeds remain.