Every year, the search for the perfect spring cocktail leads bartenders to mix up imaginative takes on Negronis, spritzes and other standbys. But until recently, we hadn’t found a seasonal cocktail that could really bring the celebratory spirit home, spicing up intimate spring gatherings and lending an air of excitement to any occasion. That is, until we met the Cilantro Jalapeño Smash, created by lauded cocktail blogger Join Jules.
A tequila cocktail just feels more celebratory — especially when it uses an awardwinning, handcrafted Blanco like El Mayor as the base. A not-so-distant relative of a spicy Margarita — or better yet, a Paloma with some serious punch — the Cilantro Jalapeño Smash incorporates some of the most recognizable South-of-the-Border flavors with a splash of Blood Orange for a citrus-y lift. The drink is surprisingly easy to make, yet still delivers a festive look — suitable for Instagramming — thanks to the spice-coated rim. (In a stroke of genius, the Mexican spice mix, Tajin, which includes lime, salt and red chilis, stands in for the traditional salt rim.)
Of course, any mixed drink is only as good as the spirit it’s built upon. With its bold flavors of citrus, jalapeño and refreshing cilantro, it’s essential to use an exceptional Blanco such as El Mayor when crafting this cocktail. El Mayor’s crisp profile and subtle floral notes make it a perfect complement to the bright Blood Orange juice, while a hint of pepper in the finish delivers heat that adds depth and complexity to the Jalapeño simple syrup used in the drink. The result is a cocktail that epitomizes springtime as well as a celebratory spirit—but is easy enough to whip up spontaneously to celebrate life’s little victories. Mix up a pitcher to spread the excitement around—this drink is sure to become a fast favorite among any guests.
Read on to discover the full recipe and raise your glass.
CILANTRO JALAPEÑO SMASH
by Join Jules
Makes about 8 servings, in a 2-quart pitcher
2 c. Chilled El Mayor® Blanco Tequila
¾ c. Jalapeño Simple Syrup
1 c. Fresh Lime Juice
1 ½ c. Blood Orange Juice
3 c. Chilled Seltzer Water
Tajin, For Coating Rims
Lime Wheels, Jalapeños and Fresh Cilantro (For Serving)
1. In a 2-quart pitcher, combine chilled tequila, simple syrup, blood orange juice and
lime juice. Stir to mix.
2. Add ice, along with jalapeños, lime wheels and cilantro (as desired).
3. Using a bit of lime, rim serving glasses in Tajin. Fill with ice.
4. To serve, pour mixture into glasses and garnish with jalapeños, lime wheels and cilantro (as desired). Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Photography by: Lucianna McIntosh