This is the first in a series on summer cocktails crafted by Washington area bartenders. They were collected by Victoria Vergason, owner of the Hour, a cocktail accoutrements shop in Alexandria.
This dueling drink comes from John K. Hogan, co-owner and manager of Level Small Plates Lounge in Annapolis, which champions locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.
Hogan is an Annapolis native who returned home after spending 23 years honing his bartender skills, mostly in Las Vegas. He is recognized both locally and nationally for his craft in the beverage industry, having been featured in numerous publications and winning several awards in worldwide cocktail competitions.
- 1 tablespoon micro cilantro, plus a sprig for garnish (may substitute very small cilantro leaves)
- 1 small slice habanero pepper
- 1 1/2 ounces Herradurra Silver tequila
- 3/4 ounce St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)
- 1 ounce fresh margarita mix (see NOTE)
Muddle the tablespoon of micro cilantro and the slice of habanero pepper in a cocktail shaker. Add the tequila, St-Germain and the ounce of margarita mix and ice. Cover and shake vigorously, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with a sprig of micro cilantro.
NOTE: For the margarita mix, combine 2 parts freshly squeezed and strained lime juice and 1 part agave nectar. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, although it's best to use the mix right away.
Adapted from "Capitol Cocktails" (self-published, August 2012), by Victoria Vergason of the Hour in Alexandria.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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