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Tamarind Martini: a Mexiterranean candy cuisine cocktail

“It doesn’t need more to be delicious.”

Romesco Tamarind Martini
Romesco Tamarind Martini
  • YVette Lara
  • Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro
  • 4346 Bonita Road
  • Bonita

“The Tamarind Martini is our top selling drink,” says Yvette Lara about Romesco’s signature fusion-inspired cocktail. “It’s very tasty, because it has that spice — we use a chili powder on the glass — and the sweetness of the tamarind. So it’s a mix of flavors but it’s very tasty, very fresh.”

Yvette Lara

She explains that tamarind is “a fruit that represents the Mexican culture. We are a Mexiterranean restaurant, so it’s part of the vision for Mexiterranean cuisine.”

House-made tamarind purée produces a simple yet powerful twist on the classic vodka martini. “We use a little bit of tamarind syrup and Tajín on the rim. There aren’t too many ingredients in the recipe. The tamarind has its own flavor, it doesn’t need more to be delicious.” Lara describes the cocktail’s flavor for those unfamiliar with the fruit. “The taste of the tamarind is sweet, but with a little sour. And when you combine it with any spice like the chili powder, it’s like an explosion in your mouth, because you feel all the flavors. It’s a very pleasant sensation,” she says excitedly.

Place

Romesco

4346 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA

An orange-red chili-lime salted rim complements the burnt brown color of the martini. “Some fruits are very sweet, some are more tropical. But tamarind is very unique. Maybe you wouldn’t think it’s a fruit, you might think it’s something else, like a spice.” She adds with assurance, “If you like different flavors, not [common] flavors, you’re going to like this.” Imagine a Mexican candy recreated in the form of a cocktail. “Some people get attracted because they think, ‘Oh I remember this kind of candy I tried in Mexico and it was delicious’, so they want to know how it will taste combined with vodka.”

The Tamarind Martini is nothing new to those in the know. “Romesco has been around for 16 years, and all this time it has been very popular.” Lara believes that while it may have proved a challenge to introduce, the cocktail has become part of the restaurant’s identity. “It represents Romesco — a lot of people say, ‘I’m going to Romesco to drink some tamarind martinis,’ and we see a lot of comments online like, ‘Oh the tamarind martini is excellent, try it.’ People recommend it a lot.”

As for food pairings, Lara finds it difficult to narrow down her recommendation. “Well, some people order a lot of tapas! Maybe pulpo asado, gambas al Romesco, we have the cazuelitas — cazuelita de cachete, cazuelita de costilla…” One must-try, Lara insists, is the paella entrée. “When you come, you can order a Tamarind Martini and paella — both of them are our most popular, so you’re not going to regret it.”

Romesco Tamarind Martini
  • Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro’s
  • Tamarind Martini
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 2 oz. tamarind puree
  • Rim a martini glass with tamarind and Tajín seasoning. Pour vodka and tamarind puree into tin with ice, shake, and strain into glass.
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Romesco Tamarind Martini
Romesco Tamarind Martini
  • YVette Lara
  • Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro
  • 4346 Bonita Road
  • Bonita

“The Tamarind Martini is our top selling drink,” says Yvette Lara about Romesco’s signature fusion-inspired cocktail. “It’s very tasty, because it has that spice — we use a chili powder on the glass — and the sweetness of the tamarind. So it’s a mix of flavors but it’s very tasty, very fresh.”

Yvette Lara

She explains that tamarind is “a fruit that represents the Mexican culture. We are a Mexiterranean restaurant, so it’s part of the vision for Mexiterranean cuisine.”

House-made tamarind purée produces a simple yet powerful twist on the classic vodka martini. “We use a little bit of tamarind syrup and Tajín on the rim. There aren’t too many ingredients in the recipe. The tamarind has its own flavor, it doesn’t need more to be delicious.” Lara describes the cocktail’s flavor for those unfamiliar with the fruit. “The taste of the tamarind is sweet, but with a little sour. And when you combine it with any spice like the chili powder, it’s like an explosion in your mouth, because you feel all the flavors. It’s a very pleasant sensation,” she says excitedly.

Place

Romesco

4346 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA

An orange-red chili-lime salted rim complements the burnt brown color of the martini. “Some fruits are very sweet, some are more tropical. But tamarind is very unique. Maybe you wouldn’t think it’s a fruit, you might think it’s something else, like a spice.” She adds with assurance, “If you like different flavors, not [common] flavors, you’re going to like this.” Imagine a Mexican candy recreated in the form of a cocktail. “Some people get attracted because they think, ‘Oh I remember this kind of candy I tried in Mexico and it was delicious’, so they want to know how it will taste combined with vodka.”

The Tamarind Martini is nothing new to those in the know. “Romesco has been around for 16 years, and all this time it has been very popular.” Lara believes that while it may have proved a challenge to introduce, the cocktail has become part of the restaurant’s identity. “It represents Romesco — a lot of people say, ‘I’m going to Romesco to drink some tamarind martinis,’ and we see a lot of comments online like, ‘Oh the tamarind martini is excellent, try it.’ People recommend it a lot.”

As for food pairings, Lara finds it difficult to narrow down her recommendation. “Well, some people order a lot of tapas! Maybe pulpo asado, gambas al Romesco, we have the cazuelitas — cazuelita de cachete, cazuelita de costilla…” One must-try, Lara insists, is the paella entrée. “When you come, you can order a Tamarind Martini and paella — both of them are our most popular, so you’re not going to regret it.”

Romesco Tamarind Martini
  • Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro’s
  • Tamarind Martini
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 2 oz. tamarind puree
  • Rim a martini glass with tamarind and Tajín seasoning. Pour vodka and tamarind puree into tin with ice, shake, and strain into glass.
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