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Masala Margarita

Junoon restaurant’s bar director shows us how to spice up this South Asian-influenced margarita
Masala Margarita
Jacqui Wedewer

Behind the bar at New York City’s Michelin-starred Junoon, mixologist Hemant Pathak works to complement the kitchen’s ambitious progressive Indian cuisine with equally exuberant cocktails that incorporate many of the same herbs and spices. This cocktail adds a delicious South Asian twist to the margarita with cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise.

This recipe is courtesy of Hemant Pathak, the mixologist of Junoon restaurant. To watch a video of Pathak making three cocktails including the Masala Margarita, click here.


For the tequila infused with spices:

  • 2 Ounces reposado tequila
  • 1 star anise, plus 1 for garnish
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed into small pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crushed up into small pieces
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 lemon peel

For the cocktail:

  • 2 Ounces reposado tequila infused with spices
  • 3/4 Ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 Ounce simple syrup


For the tequila infused with spices:

Add the tequila to a blazing mug, and ingite the drink on fire, carefully pouring it from one mug to another 4-5 times. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tequila, strain, and set aside.

For the cocktail:

After using the “blaze” technique to create an instant infusion of Indian spices with reposado tequila, pour mixture into a shaker with ice, lime, and Junoon's spice syrup (or use simple syrup at home). Serve in a coupe glass. Garnish with a star anise floated on top.