Are you ready for a new take on the classic margarita? I sure hope so, because today we are taking this traditional favorite for a walk on the savory side. By swapping out the margarita’s classically sweet fruit juices in favor of red bell pepper and jalapeño, the Salsa Sunset perfectly highlights the depth of flavor in my new favorite tequila: Cantera Negra’s delicious Añejo. And what makes it so good? Cantera Negra is a small, family-run distillery where tequilas are carefully aged in oak barrels; the Añejo is typically set aside for anywhere between 30 and 36 months. The result is a smooth taste that is amazing on its own, or as part of a great tequila cocktail!
Because Cantera Negra tequilas are so delicious, and their brand story so powerfully unique, I knew I didn’t want to use their palate-pleasing spirit in just any old cocktail. Instead, I was looking to come up with an out-of-the-box cocktail experience. After all, who doesn’t enjoy trying something new?
What I dreamt up surely delivered on that goal. Juicing red peppers and jalapeños was a Queen Bee first! Trust me when I tell you that the slightly sweet taste of the red pepper pairs perfectly with the natural hints of cinnamon and vanilla that the Cantera Negra Añejo develops during its aging process. With a little bit of spice from the jalapeño, this savory cocktail rounded out to be an incredible balance of sweet and spicy.
What you should also understand about me is that I rarely—if ever—utilize a spirit in a recipe that I wouldn’t also enjoy sipping straight up. I think one of the reasons I love Cantera Negra so much is that its not only a fantastic base for any cocktail, but each product in their incredible line of tequilas has enough amazing flavor to stand all on its own. So, if you mix up a Salsa Sunset, don’t hesitate to take a taste of Cantera Negra solo—I promise it won’t disappoint!
Bell pepper jalapeño juice can be made by juicing 2 red pepper and half a jalapeño. Add more or less depending on level of desired spice.