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Black Radish’s Clarified Margarita: sophisticated with a bit of science

Bartender Adam Robinson’s successful milk punch experiment

Clarified Margarita
Clarified Margarita
Video:

DRINK RECIPE: Black Radish’s Clarified Margarita: sophisticated with a bit of science


Adam Robinson

I’ve been on this beat long enough to be confident in my declaration that clarified cocktails are damn delicious. So when I see a Clarified Margarita on the Black Radish menu, it’s a done deal.

Head bartender Adam Robinson weighs in. “Milk punch is something I hadn’t done before, so it really intrigued me. I went through gallons to start… many trials and errors in that.” The nearly translucent cocktail comes served with a large ice cube in a hefty glass garnished by a dehydrated lime. “With most milk punches, you’ll find a lot of people infuse with cereal. I feel like for clarification processes, there’s a point of trying to change the texture and taste of the cocktail. And then there’s the point of trying to clarify it for its looks. And those are two separate goals, and it boils down to your patience. With this drink, I think I leveled both of those out.”

Robinson likes simplicity — “straightforward cocktails that aren’t too show-boaty, but also have some intricacies to them.” Where you’d typically expect the brightly acidic flavors of lime and tequila, “here you’re going to get some different sweetness that you’re not used to in a margarita, that’s going to have you guessing.” He already knows the flavor I’m trying to pinpoint: vanilla. “We make our own vanilla extract. We have vanilla pods that soak in cognac, so I take one of those out and drop it in there when I batch it — and that’s what pulls it all together. And then with the milk profiling making it a thicker consistency, it sits on your taste buds longer so you get more depth of flavor.”

With a pineapple margarita as the base, Robinson uses the milk punch process to give the cocktail a silky mouthfeel. “What you’re going to taste is tequila, pineapple, vanilla…and then fresh squeezed lime juice comes through.” For his choice of tequila, “I just wanted an additive-free, nice, light blanco tequila. Then LALO came out — the nephew of Don Julio, the family name speaks for itself. There was some earthiness and a little bite to it that worked well with the pineapple and vanilla.”

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Robinson has heard his fair share of consumer reservations. “Hesitating questions are: why is there milk in it? Why are you using milk? Milk?” He laughs. “That’s why I really like it, because I can open you up to something. This is a sophisticated cocktail that also has a bit of science to it… But you’re drinking, so you’re having fun.”

Black Radish

Black Radish’s

Clarified Margarita (for 12)

  • 1 bottle of LALO tequila (750 mL)
  • 8 oz Cointreau
  • 8 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 14 oz pineapple syrup
  • 325 ml whole milk
  • Cognac-soaked vanilla bean

Batch the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, vanilla bean, and pineapple syrup together, then pour into a container with whole milk. Let sit for 24 hours to clarify, then strain for 6-8 hours. Pour 3 oz into a mixing glass, add ice, stir for about 30 seconds and pour over a large cube. Garnish with a dehydrated lime.

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Clarified Margarita
Clarified Margarita
Video:

DRINK RECIPE: Black Radish’s Clarified Margarita: sophisticated with a bit of science


Adam Robinson

I’ve been on this beat long enough to be confident in my declaration that clarified cocktails are damn delicious. So when I see a Clarified Margarita on the Black Radish menu, it’s a done deal.

Head bartender Adam Robinson weighs in. “Milk punch is something I hadn’t done before, so it really intrigued me. I went through gallons to start… many trials and errors in that.” The nearly translucent cocktail comes served with a large ice cube in a hefty glass garnished by a dehydrated lime. “With most milk punches, you’ll find a lot of people infuse with cereal. I feel like for clarification processes, there’s a point of trying to change the texture and taste of the cocktail. And then there’s the point of trying to clarify it for its looks. And those are two separate goals, and it boils down to your patience. With this drink, I think I leveled both of those out.”

Robinson likes simplicity — “straightforward cocktails that aren’t too show-boaty, but also have some intricacies to them.” Where you’d typically expect the brightly acidic flavors of lime and tequila, “here you’re going to get some different sweetness that you’re not used to in a margarita, that’s going to have you guessing.” He already knows the flavor I’m trying to pinpoint: vanilla. “We make our own vanilla extract. We have vanilla pods that soak in cognac, so I take one of those out and drop it in there when I batch it — and that’s what pulls it all together. And then with the milk profiling making it a thicker consistency, it sits on your taste buds longer so you get more depth of flavor.”

With a pineapple margarita as the base, Robinson uses the milk punch process to give the cocktail a silky mouthfeel. “What you’re going to taste is tequila, pineapple, vanilla…and then fresh squeezed lime juice comes through.” For his choice of tequila, “I just wanted an additive-free, nice, light blanco tequila. Then LALO came out — the nephew of Don Julio, the family name speaks for itself. There was some earthiness and a little bite to it that worked well with the pineapple and vanilla.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Robinson has heard his fair share of consumer reservations. “Hesitating questions are: why is there milk in it? Why are you using milk? Milk?” He laughs. “That’s why I really like it, because I can open you up to something. This is a sophisticated cocktail that also has a bit of science to it… But you’re drinking, so you’re having fun.”

Black Radish

Black Radish’s

Clarified Margarita (for 12)

  • 1 bottle of LALO tequila (750 mL)
  • 8 oz Cointreau
  • 8 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 14 oz pineapple syrup
  • 325 ml whole milk
  • Cognac-soaked vanilla bean

Batch the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, vanilla bean, and pineapple syrup together, then pour into a container with whole milk. Let sit for 24 hours to clarify, then strain for 6-8 hours. Pour 3 oz into a mixing glass, add ice, stir for about 30 seconds and pour over a large cube. Garnish with a dehydrated lime.

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