Remember the Two Hot Tamales?   I was a huge fan of Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken‘s show back in the good old days of FoodTV Network.  When we lived in Los Angeles, I made a point to go to one of their restaurants in town, the “Border Grill”.   We chose a perfect day, Cinco de Mayo!  The place was packed, but the service was nonetheless outstanding.   We had their spicy margaritas with our dinner: a touch of jalapenos swimming in enough booze to make us happily oblivious to the heat.  It took me over a year to finally make those drinks at home, but it won’t be long until we make them again. A fitting drink for a summer evening!

(adapted from Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken)
Makes: 2 drinks

12 slices peeled cucumber
4 to 6 slices jalapeño (we used Serrano peppers)
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 heaping teaspoon superfine sugar
crushed ice
3 ounces silver tequila (we used Herradura)
1 + 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
2 cucumber slice, for garnish

Combine the cucumber, serrano pepper, lime juice, and superfine sugar in a small blender (or a cup suitable to use with an immersion blender). Blend everything together until smooth.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila and orange liqueur, then add the cucumber mixture.   Shake gently to combine, pour into a couple of margarita glasses, and garnish each with a cucumber slice.   Serve immediately.


to print the recipe, click here

Our main modification of the recipe was to process the cucumber using an immersion blender.  I tried my best to mash the cucumber as they do in the restaurant (according to the recipe in the link), but we were getting nowhere.  Cucumber was flying, pepper was flying after it, not exactly the atmosphere we were hoping for our Friday evening.    If you have the skill of a seasoned bartender, grab the mortar and pestle.   Moi?  I was a lot happier with this  setting:

But, no matter how you get around to it, make this drink! And play with the amount of pepper.  Next time, we’ll be up for  a little more heat, just because…  😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  Goodbye L.A.

TWO YEARS AGO:  Vermont Sourdough

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  1. Would you believe I actually had one of these in Hawaii of all places?! Well, without the jalapeno. That sounds like a great addition to the drink!!!! And I can’t think of a drink I enjoy more in the summer than a good margarita. Cheers! I hope the packing is going well….been thinking of you.🙂


    • Frantic times here…. but we are making some progress 😉

      Hawaii is THE place to have mixed drinks – they have so many with all those fruits available! Actually, Brazil is not bad either….


  2. Yay!! I love margaritas and the idea of cool cucber plying against hot pepper sounds fantastic!! I’m glad to be back because. Ow I have a new summer drink… I’m printing off to save for our next hot day!!


    • Cucumbers are a perfect addiction to drinks – I am actually quite fond of slices of cucumber floating in ice water – deliciously refreshing, a little mint and I need nothing else!


  3. Cucumber was flying🙂 – I can totally picture the fun and the dogs ready to catch the scraps. I’ve never had a spicy margarita before… I’m trying to imagine how the jalapeño might enhance or take away from the taste of lime? (I am quite addicted to the taste of fresh lime in margaritas…). What a fun and different recipe Sally… I should give this one a try by the lake😉.


    • The taste of lime is quite pronounced, but it is true that the heat distracts from it a little – you could tone down the pepper according to your taste. I like the heat it gives in the back of the throat, quite interesting


    • I think the main thing with tequila is making sure to get the best possible quality – they are not cheap anymore, but a bad tequila can ruin your next day. We like Herradura, after getting advice from “experts” 😉


  4. I’ve been know to toss in a little fresh jalapeno and a touch of the juice from the pickled one, but this one sounds like something I’ll make, thanks Sally. Big moves call for margaritas. I have recipe from Old Town San Diego that I’ll dig up…how goes the moving progress?


  5. I’ve never been to The Border Grill but had I realized they had margaritas this good, I would have gone sooner! The cooling cucumber with the hit of spice sounds fabulous!


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