Thirsty Thursday: The Pineapple and Pepper Margarita You Need to Make

Photo by Dan Hamm

Photo by Dan Hamm

Throughout the summer, we’ll be bringing you healthier cocktail recipes concocted by Philly craft bartender and the brain behind Spirit Forward, Dan Hamm. Enjoy!

Thoughts of whipping up this pineapple and pepper margarita later on tonight have me drooling all over my desk. Made without any simple syrup or overly sweet liqueurs, this creative take on a margarita, everyone’s favorite happy hour drink (or at least my favorite happy hour drink), is one you can feel a bit better about downing.

As the brain behind this delicious boozy creation, Dan Hamm, explains, it’s easy to ditch the sugary syrups and replace the sweetness in your cocktails with fresh-squeezed juices, like the fresh-squeezed pineapple juice used in this recipe. And while the idea of adding fresh cracked pepper to your margarita might make you cock your head to the side in confusion, Hamm says, “Pineapple and black pepper are a natural flavor affinity.” Meaning they go together like PB & J.

Another thing to note, Hamm explains that Cointreau, used in this recipe, is high-quality triple sec; when shopping the aisles of the liquor store, Hamm suggests steering clear of brands that are simply labeled “Triple Sec” because they are usually made with half cointreau and half sugar water, hence the lower prices.

Now, ready to sharpen your cocktail-making skills? You’ll find the recipe for this drool-worthy concoction below.

Recipe: Healthier Pineapple and Pepper Margarita
Makes one cocktail

.25 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
.5 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. blanco tequila
2-3 turns of fresh cracked pepper

1. Add lime juice, pineapple juice, cointreau,  tequila and pepper to a shaker.
2. Shake hard for a few seconds then strain over ice.
3. Garnish with a few more turns of cracked pepper.
4. Enjoy!

Dan Hamm is a craft bartender in Center City, Philadelphia. He is the founder of  Spirit Forward, a Philadelphia-based company that hosts cocktail classes, offers mobile bar catering services and organizes signature events that promote cocktail knowledge, culture and a general love for well crafted drinks.

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