Tamarind Margarita

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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Slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and really refreshing, this tamarind margarita is such a fun spin on the classic tequila cocktail!

a tamarind margarita in a glass with dragonflies on it and rimmed with chili salt

Tamarind Margarita Recipe

This tamarind margarita is absolutely delicious. It’s a little bit tangy thanks to the tamarind paste, slightly sweet thanks to the agave, and completely refreshing thanks to the fresh lime juice. If you’re looking for a different take on the classic margarita, this is it. It’s one of those cocktails that feels fancy enough to serve at a poolside gathering but is simple enough (especially if you have tamarind paste hanging out in your fridge already) for any ole Friday night at home!

What Makes a Margarita a Margarita?

The signature ingredients that really define a margarita are tequila and lime juice. Many margaritas also have orange liqueur (think: Triple Sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier), while others swap that out for orange juice or orange extract.

While classic margaritas are delicious, there are also some really great variations on the classic that are worth trying: watermelon margarita, mango margarita, ginger beet margarita, fresh lime and jalapeno margarita, and THIS tamarind margarita! 

all of the ingredients for tamarind margaritas sitting on a marble surface

Ingredients for Tamarind Margarita Recipes

For this margarita, you’ll need the three main margarita ingredients, plus tamarind paste and a touch of agave nectar. Here’s the full list:

  • Lime Juice – fresh lime juice is always best, but especially when you’re making a margarita — the taste is truly unbeatable. For this recipe, you’ll need a ¼ cup of fresh lime juice (the juice from 2-3 *very* juicy limes).
  • Tamarind Paste – because this is a tamarind margarita, we will, of course, need tamarind! You’ll need 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste, and you can either buy this already made and jarred, or you can make your own homemade tamarind paste.
  • Triple Sec – another classic margarita ingredient: triple sec. For this recipe, you’ll need a ¼ cup of the popular orange liqueur. Do note that if you prefer Cointreau or Grand Marnier in your margaritas, that’ll work great too. 
  • Tequila – you’ll also need a ½ cup of tequila here. We prefer using a silver (or blanco) tequila for margaritas because of its mild taste (as compared with aged tequilas) and reasonable price tag. 
  • Agave Nectar – to sweeten the margaritas, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of agave nectar. Other natural sweetener options include honey + maple syrup.
  • Chili + Salt – while this is totally optional, we prefer a combination of salt and chili powder to rim these tamarind margaritas. 

What are Tamarind Pods?

Tamarind is a dark brown, sticky fruit that grows in pods from a tamarind tree. It has a sour taste (if eaten raw, it almost tastes like a Sour Patch Kid!) with a slight hint of sweetness.

Where can I buy tamarind paste?

If you're looking for tamarind paste at the store, you'll want to check in the international foods aisle. It can be a harder-to-find ingredient, so if your local store doesn't have it, you should be able to find it at an Asian grocery store. You can also make your own homemade tamarind paste!

a tablespoon tamarind paste being held over a measuring cup of lime juice
a measuring cup of whisked tamarind and lime juice
a measuring cup of lime juice and tamarind paste being whisked together
a measuring cup of whisked tamarind and lime juice

How To Make a Tamarind Margarita

This yummy cocktail is incredibly easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Whisk together lime juice + tamarind paste – add the lime juice to a jar, then add the tamarind paste, and whisk the two together well.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients + shake/stir – add the triple sec, tequila, and agave to the lime juice and tamarind mixture, and shake or stir until everything is combined.
  3. Salt the rims of your glasses – again, this step is optional, but we think it adds so much to these margaritas! For a chili salt rim, simply stir the chili and salt together, then put it on a plate. Run a lime wedge around the outside of your margarita glass rims, then dip them in the chili salt and shake off any excess.
  4. Pour + serve – pour the margaritas into your salted glasses, then serve!

What is the best tequila for Margaritas?

When it comes to margaritas, we recommend going with a silver or blanco tequila because they tend to have a much milder flavor profile than aged tequilas. Because the quality of tequila makes a big difference in your margarita (especially when making a classic margarita), we recommend buying at least a mid-priced tequila. Espolon and Casamigos are our favorite tequila brands for margaritas.

a tamarind margarita in a glass with dragonflies on it and rimmed with chili salt

What can I use instead of Triple Sec in a Margarita?

Great question. If you’d like to leave out the triple sec, simply substitute it with an equal amount of fresh orange juice or a ¼ teaspoon of orange extract. 

Is Tamarind the Same as Turmeric?

It isn’t. Tamarind is a sticky, sour, sweet fruit that grows in pods from a tree while turmeric is a flowering plant with roots that we use in cooking (think: powdered turmeric is what gives curry powder its signature yellowy-orange color). 

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Tamarind Margarita

This tamarind margarita is perfectly tart and sweet, and a refreshing twist on the classic!

  • Author: Cassy Garcia
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup of fresh lime juice (about 23 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste, storebought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • ½ cup of tequila
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, for the chili salt rim (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, for the chili salt rim (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the lime juice to a jar, then add the tamarind paste, and whisk the two together well.
  2. Add the triple sec, tequila, and agave to the lime juice and tamarind mixture, and shake or stir until the agave is fully dissolved.
  3. For the chili salt rim, simply stir the chili and salt together, then put it on a plate. Run a lime wedge around the outside of your margarita glass rims, then dip them in the chili salt and shake off any excess.
  4. Pour the margaritas into your salted glasses, then serve!

Keywords: tamarind, tamarind margarita

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