Man vs. Booze: Things heat up and we get spicy at Darwin's on 4th.
July 23, 2012
Posted By: Broc Smith and David Daly
Man vs. Booze: Spicy Margarita and Sailor Jerry Girls
I first fell in love with margaritas infused with varieties of hot chili peppers in some dark but swanky mixology den in the West Village of NYC a couple of years ago. I normally like my tequila straight up (not chilled, pussies), so for me to drink a margarita, it has to have something else going on. It turns out I prefer that to be some vehicle for capsaicin, like a jalapeno or habanero.
My current favorite spicy margarita is crafted at the Peruvian hotspot, Darwin’s on 4th, in the form of the Mercadito. The Mercadito blends a healthy amount of 1800 Silver tequila with fresh muddled cucumber, cilantro, jalapenos & lime juice. I’m not sure what they use for a sweetener like agave nectar, or if they sweeten it at all. I should have asked, but I was way too busy at both of Darwin’s social gatherings last Thursday. First, the chef put out the best spread I have ever seen offered for free to YPG members. Shortly after the YPG function ended, people were arriving en masse for Veronica Pastore’s new weekly Ladies’ Night. The ladies have it well, with free drinks from 9-10 and dance lessons. The guys have it better. It’s no mystery where the girls will be throwing ‘em back and shaking it.
Sorry, I get sidetracked easily, obviously. The best spicy margaritas counter the spice. In Darwin’s case, the cucumber cools the front end while the cilantro adds some nice aromatics. On the finish, I get a nice tingle that lingers on the tip of my tongue and across my lips. I should really branch out and try some of their Pisco sours, but the Mercadito has a flavor that I can’t resist every time I go there. I can say the same for the flank steak.
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If you would like to experiment at home, just remember to counteract the heat. Match the heat with the sweet, like habanero and mango. The heat can be real easy to overdo.