Keeping a specialty cocktail on the menu for years says something about the drink — it’s clearly a customer favorite (in addition to its being profitable). But what makes a cocktail a customer favorite? It’s hard to pinpoint a single factor, but freshly squeezed ingredients are usually involved.
“This cocktail has been on the menu since we opened in 2014,” says Ian Soukup, bar manager at Verde Kitchen and Cocktails, a Mexican restaurant located in Bay Shore, N.Y., known for making all its margaritas with 100 percent Blue Weber Agave Tequila, organic agave, and fresh-squeezed citrus. “When we opened, we wanted to showcase that we were using fresh seasonal ingredients and homemade infusions.”
Verde’s spicy watermelon margarita is made up of pepper-infused tequila, fresh watermelon juice, fresh-squeezed lime juice, triple sec, and agave syrup. It’s garnished with salt and a jalapeño slice.
“We wanted to pair the sweetness of fresh watermelon juice with our house-infused pepper tequila,” Soukup says. “The watermelon really helps balance the cocktail and allow all of the flavors to be highlighted without being overpowered by heat.”
To make the cocktail, add all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Cap and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Then pour the tin’s contents into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass. Garnish with a jalapeño slice.
“The most challenging aspect is waiting for the infusion to finish and taking the time to squeeze the juice from the limes, but I assure you that if you use fresh juice, your hard work will be rewarded,” he says.
He describes the cocktail as, “Summertime in a glass, especially when we are in peak watermelon season.”
“It stands out as a great intro for someone wanting to try spicy cocktails,” he says.
Verde Kitchen and Cocktails is located at 70 E. Main St., Bay Shore. It can be reached at 631-665-6300. verdekitchen.com
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