Margaritas aren’t just for summer, and a shrub isn’t just a well-trimmed bush lining suburban driveways. Take the Raspberry Chipotle Margarita ($12) at Border Grill by General Manager Chris Mazza. Smoky earth tones melt into sweet raspberry and citrus layers for a palate-alluring effect that is nothing short of pure mastery.
Mazza’s trick to reaching such depth is the shrub, a syrup that in its simplest form is a combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar. The word “shrub” is derived from Arabic for “a drink,” and its rich history dates back to the Romans. Shrubs were popular among colonial-era sailors who carried vitamin C-rich shrubs to prevent scurvy. Today, they’re being revived from NYC to LA as the new cool kid on the mixologist block. Word.
Raspberry Chipotle Margarita
1 ¼ oz. blanco tequila
½ oz. raspberry chipotle shrub (directions below)
2 ¼ oz. margarita mix (directions below) mescal
Method: Add tequila, shrub and margarita mix to shaker with ice. Shake. Rinse inside of glass with mescal. Strain ingredients over fresh ice.
Raspberry Chipotle Shrub
3 cups sugar
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 dried chipotles
Method: Combine red wine vinegar, fresh raspberries, sugar and dried chipotles in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce the mixture as you would a simple syrup.
Equal parts fresh lime juice and water
Half as much agave nectar
Method: Combine fresh lime juice, agave nectar and water.