The Margarita is a staple cocktail the world over for a reason. The simple concoction of tequila, triple sec, lime juice and – typically – a salt rim, is as welcome on its own as it is paired with the food synonymous with its mysterious origin: Mexican cuisine.
Stephen Lawrence, co-founder of Melbourne distillery and bar Brunswick Aces has put together his answer to the Margarita (but with a twist) – replacing the tequila with gin to create The Ginarita.
“We’ve been inspired by the Margarita, but also by Mexican cuisine and its spirit of sharing,” says Lawrence of his team’s gin-based twist on the Marg. Though it leaves the tequila on the shelf, he says it retains the share-style, festive intention of Mexican food like fajitas, tacos and burritos. It’s an easy one to whip up at home and its gin-based change up makes it an ideal one to pair with the Old El Paso Teriyaki Fusion Taco Kit, for a Mexican feast with a teriyaki fusion twist.
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“Making [Mexican-style] cuisine at the table with your family and friends is wonderful,” says Lawrence. “That pairs really nicely with the experience of sharing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails with people.”
Non-alcoholic? Brunswick Aces have form here. While the distillery was co-founded in 2017, in 2021 owners took the radical step of opening a completely non-alcoholic bar. It’s since transitioned into a “moderation” bar, that serves its range of gins in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties.
The Ginrita uses Brunswick Aces’ non-alcoholic, herbaceous gin Spades Sapiir in place of tequila. And rather than triple sec, it’s a booze-less wormwood spirit from Sweden’s Gnista distillery, which adds a woody, zesty element to the cocktail. Those combine in a drink Lawrence says pairs perfectly with Mexican food.
“Our gin is like drinking in your garden,” says Lawrence. “You’ve got all of these really delicious green, fresh notes. On the nose you’ll pick up lemon myrtle and parsley, which fit really nicely into this style of food. We’ve got green cardamom, which is the queen of spices and does a really great job tying other spices together. We also have pepperberry and clove in the back palate, which give you a nice Australian touch and an extra kick.”
Made with a chilli tincture that can be stored for future use, The Ginrita is designed to ba drink to pull out for those midweek meals at home – ideal for pairing with the heat and flavour of Mexican dishes, like the Old El Paso range of Fusion Taco Kits and other kits and spice mixes, the cocktail adds its own chilli warmth to a zesty Mexican feast. “We’re leaning into both the heat and the sour elements to balance out all the warmth from some of those spice mixes.”
Here’s how to make the Brunswick Aces Ginrita at home. Pair with an Old El Paso Fusion Taco Kit to reach its full potential.
Brunswick Aces Ginrita
10g chilli seeds
35ml spice mix
40ml Spades Sapiir
20ml lime juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp of salt
Lime wedge for garnish
5ml brine from Old El Paso green jalapenos
20ml lemon juice
15ml chilli tincture
1 tsp agave syrup
30ml Gnista Floral Wormwood non-alcoholic spirit
For the chilli tincture, crush chilli seeds and steep in 100ml boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain out seeds and store liquid for later.
Combine spice mix ingredients in a small bowl.
Add Sapiir, lime juice and spice mix to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Mix sugar and salt together and spread over a plate. Rub rim of rocks glass with lime juice and dip rim into sugar-salt mix.
Single strain the cocktail into the glass over ice. Garnish with lime wedge and serve.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Old El Paso. The new Fusion Taco Kit is available at your local Woolworths and independent supermarkets.