Bittersweet Heat: Spicy Tamarind Margarita

It's the day before the day we move and all I can say is, thank goodness for Pau Hana Fridays. What better way to celebrate the end of an era than with a Bittersweet Heat. This spicy tamarind margarita is sweet and sour, mirroring my sentiments about leaving this beautiful city and the heat factor is all about our new chapter in Los Angeles. It packs a punch but it goes down smooth, making it the perfect packing companion. I'm suggesting you limit yourself to two and reassess shortly after because I adopted the Moses pour when portioning this bad boy out and it's heavy on the tequila. Also, as a wise woman pointed out, always drink with a friend, so plan to get your shake, as you'll be making a minimum of four of these spicy sweet numbers. 

In case you were wondering, and if you weren't, go ahead and skip down to the recipe portion, here's where we're at with our move. Boxes have (mostly) been packed. Movers arrive tomorrow morning to aid in the load out and then Moses and I will be driving a gorgeous U-Haul down the I-5. Look for us, or maybe don't. I may not be the world's best road tripper. Blame it on Hawaii, road trippin' didn't really exist in my world till about age twenty-something. To say I don't do well with long car-rides is an understatement. I'm the girl who gets sick after looking down at her phone for 10 seconds, who changes positions after a minute and yes, I also grip the handles when a bus gets too close. Essentially I possess all qualities that you might look for in your ultimate road trip companion! Not! Don't worry, I do much better on planes and trains in case you were looking for someone to accompany you on a Euro trip.


But I digress, back to the move. So after our journey down the 5 on Saturday, we'll be resting up and gathering more possessions and meeting a new set of movers to unload all our stuff into our new place on Sunday!! And I can't wait for that because while I'm not very good at packing things up, I'm not half bad when it comes to unpacking. So expect to hear less about that part. 


(Super side note: never knew I poured with my pinky up. Who knew!?)


I'd also like to send out apologies for my absence this week; I've been busy but thankfully not for much longer. Cheers to a new chapter and to many more Pau Hana Fridays. Don't know about you but I'm already looking forward to next week's. 

Bittersweet Heat: Spicy Tamarind Margarita

Makes one serving



  • 4 dried bird's eye chiles, crushed with stems removed
  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. tamarind concentrate/paste


  • 2 oz. tequila blanco (I recommend Don Julio Blanco)

  • 1.5 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice (roughly 3/4 normal sized lime)

  • 0.5 oz. cointreau

  • 1.5 oz. spicy tamarind syrup

  • Crushed hibiscus crystals (optional to rim glass--can also use chili salt)

  • Lime wheels and wedges (optional for garnish and rimming)




  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and stir until tamarind paste thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar has dissolved completely. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. 
  3. Let cool completely.
  4. Using funnel w/strainer, strain mixture into glass bottle(s).
  5. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. 


  1. Measure and pour first four ingredients into cocktail shaker and add ice.
  2. Shake at least twenty times.
  3. Remove glass from freezer.
  4. If rimming glass, wet outside rim of glass with lime wedge and dip in saucer with sugar (or salt), coating outer rim. Add large ice cube to glass.
  5. Strain mixture over the large ice cube.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge.
  7. Serve and enjoy!