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La Bruja {A Halloween Cocktail}

La Bruja {A Halloween Cocktail}

I’m in charge of ghoulish cocktails and I think you’re going to like this one. First off, you make this perfectly sweet and sour tamarind simple syrup. “How the heck do I do that?” You ask. Good question. You buy yourself a bag of tamarind pods from the Mexican market.
— Kate Ramos, Hola Jalapeño

OR order tamarind pods here.

Remove the papery outer skin.

Place the pods with water and sugar in a small saucepan and cook them until they are really soft. Let it cool a little bit. Pour the whole she-bang in the blender and blend until liquified. Warning: there are seeds inside the pods which will produce a very loud noise while blending. Its okay, it won't break your blender. Strain out the seeds and voilá, tamarind simple syrup. 

For a kid friendly drink you can serve the simple syrup with some sparkling water over ice like a fizzy tamarind agua fresca. But for you and me, who need something a little more potent after freezing our butts off walking around the dark all night, this is what you do: combine the simple syrup with lime juice and dark anejo tequila, serve it in a glass rimmed with chipotle chile powder and salt and you have a witches brew no broom-flying being could resist. 


For the Tamarind Syrup:

  • 5 ounces tamarind pods (about 6 pods)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

For the Cocktail:

  • 4 ounces dark anejo tequila
  • 2 ounces tamarind simple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • lime wedges, salt, chipotle chili powder for rimming the glass


To make the syrup, remove the outer husk and stem from the tamarind pods. Combine pods, water, and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and then bring to a boil. Boil gently until pods are soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Pour tamarind mixture into the blender and blend until liquified. Strain out the seeds and discard. Syrup can be made up to a week in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the cocktail, cut a slit in a lime wedge then rub it around the outer rim of your glass. Pour salt and chili powder into separate small plates then dip the glass in salt and then chili powder to coat (you can use as much as you'd like to make it spicy for your tastes).

Combine tequila, simple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Pour into the prepared glass and serve.

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