The recipes from Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks by Rick Bayless have me wishing I'd joined the seasonal exodus to Mexico or the Caribbean. Whether you are lucky enough to have parked yourself by a pool or are cranking the heat and dreaming of escaping the winter doldrums, I recommend throwing yourself a little mid-winter fiesta.

Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt's review of Frontera sings the praises of mezcal. Find out why:

Tamarind-Mezcal Margarita
Bartender’s Recipe


Makes 1 cocktail

Bartender's Notes: To make Chipotle Salt, mix equal parts pure powdered chipotle chile and coarse (kosher) salt. For a less spicy version, start with half the amount of powdered chipotle and add more to taste.


  • Chipotle Salt (see Bartender’s Notes) or coarse (kosher) salt

  • 1 lime wedge

  • 2 ounces Tamarind Puree (page 84)

  • 1 ounce Oaxacan mezcal (see page 96)

  • 1?2 ounce Cointreau

  • 1?4 ounce agave syrup (light organic syrup gives the best flavor) or Rich Simple Syrup (page 21)

  • 6 to 10 ice cubes (about 3?4 cup)


Spread the Chipotle Salt on a small plate. Moisten the rim of a 6-ounce martini glass with the lime wedge and upend the glass onto the salt to crust the rim.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the Tamarind Puree, mezcal, Cointreau, agave or simple syrup and ice. Cover and shake vigorously until frothy and cold; tiny ice crystals will appear in the drink after about 15 seconds of shaking. Strain into the salt-crusted glass and serve immediately.

Reprinted from Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks by Rick Bayless with Deanna Groen Bayless. Copyright © 2012 by Rick Bayless and Deanna Groen Bayless. Photographs © 2012 by Paul Elledge. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Read our review of this book.

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