DATELINE: DECEMBER 13
It's Taco Tuesday at Clementine, a high-quality, low-key restaurant here in Northeast Baltimore, and that's all the reason I need to proclaim Tuesdays on our calendar of slightly sloshed jetfueled merriment Local Tuesday.
Clementine's chef/owner Winston Blick has a thing for making and growing stuff himself, so the main dining room at Clementine features a view into the cold room (it's the blue room under the star in the photo above) so that diners can gaze at his cured meats (not a euphemism) and giant jars of pickles (not a euphemism) and coils of homemade sausages (still not talking about anybody's penis) as they enjoy the restaurant's smoked bluefish cakes or duck nachos or bacon-wrapped meatloaf and DAMN my stomach just made the most appalling noise. Oh wait that was the cat.
(It must be noted: how disgusting is my cat if, asleep on the couch beside me, she is capable of making a noise that I could mistake for human peristalsis? Very disgusting, is the answer. Why couldn't she be more like the real Buzz Aldrin?)
So I'd say this is exactly the right day to go ultra-local with our cocktail. Even though Clementine invents amazing drinks that are well worth going out of your way for (I like the Tequila Fresca and the Asian Pear), most of them involve Winston's homemade bitters, syrups or infused liqueurs, the recipes for all of which are closely guarded secrets (probably not, but I've never asked) so you'll just have to make a reservation. Tell them the pink haired librarian sent ya! I always wanted to say that.
This spicy delicious tequila cocktail, however, comes from right across the street. Take it away, Chris:
Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita, by Christine
This recipe’s origin, as far as I can tell, is a bar called Lonesome Dove, in Fort Worth. I lifted the recipe from the interwebs.
For four drinks:
- 8 slices jalapeño
- 8 slices cuke
- ¼ cup sugar
- 8 ounces orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
- 10 ounces silver tequila
- juice of 2 limes
- salt (preferably kosher)
Use a mortar and pestle to mash up the jalapeño and cuke and sugar together. Put the mess into a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, orange, lime, ice, and shake. Pour into a salted-rim glass, and garnish with slices of the pepper (or cuke or lime, I suppose, but why not the pepper?).
The jalapeño. Seed or de-seed the slices, depending on how much heat you like. Personally, I think the drink needs some seeds.
The orange. What I like best in this drink is fresh-squeezed orange juice, which takes the cocktail to 11. But boxed OJ is fine, and if you use the liqueur, you might as well use a cheap triple sec, since it’s a pretty penny cheaper than Cointreau, and also cheaper than Grand Marnier, which, I believe, is cognac-based, and you can’t really taste the difference much. The cheap stuff is probably sweeter, so keep that in mind for your hangover.
The lime. For the love of god, use fresh lime juice. If you make it with the bottled stuff, you are not allowed to say you got the recipe from me.
This is why I party with my neighbors. Standards, dammit. One has to draw the line somewhere. Thank you Chris, and stay tuned tomorrow for Weird Drink Wednesday!