When times are tough, I pull out my favorite bitter liqueurs — Italian amaros — for happy hour. There are a lot of different amaros, of course, but they're all characterized by, well, a medicinal bitterness — of which I happen to be a fan. But you can't just drink them straight all the time. No, you should also make cocktails with them, cocktails like this smoky twist on a margarita.This recipe first appeared in the Pantry Raid video series.
1lime, halved (with a thin sliced reserved for garnish)
1 1/2fluid ouncesblanco tequila
1/2fluid ounceItalian amaro
Boston-style cocktail shaker
Small fine-mesh sieve
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutesminutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutesminutes
Juice the orange half and the lime through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Measure out 2 fluid ounces (60 ml) of the juice mixture and transfer to a cocktail shaker.Shake, don't stir, 'cause juice, syrup, and liquor all have different viscosities.
Add the tequila, amaro, agave, and liquid smoke to the shaker, then fill with ice cubes. Shake until the exterior of the shaker is very cold, 20 to 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail coupe, garnish with the lime slice, and consume immediately.