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Border Grill’s Raspberry Chipotle Margarita is all about the shrub

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Border Grill’s Raspberry Chipotle Margarita includes a shrub, a syrup made of fruit, sugar and vinegar.
Mona Shield Payne
Sabrina Chapman

Margaritas aren’t just for summer, and a shrub isn’t just a well-trimmed bush lining suburban driveways. Take the Raspberry Chipotle Margarita ($12) at Border Grill by General Manager Chris Mazza. Smoky earth tones melt into sweet raspberry and citrus layers for a palate-alluring effect that is nothing short of pure mastery.

Mazza’s trick to reaching such depth is the shrub, a syrup that in its simplest form is a combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar. The word “shrub” is derived from Arabic for “a drink,” and its rich history dates back to the Romans. Shrubs were popular among colonial-era sailors who carried vitamin C-rich shrubs to prevent scurvy. Today, they’re being revived from NYC to LA as the new cool kid on the mixologist block. Word.

Raspberry Chipotle Margarita

Ingredients:

1 ¼ oz. blanco tequila

½ oz. raspberry chipotle shrub (directions below)

2 ¼ oz. margarita mix (directions below) mescal

Method: Add tequila, shrub and margarita mix to shaker with ice. Shake. Rinse inside of glass with mescal. Strain ingredients over fresh ice.

Raspberry Chipotle Shrub

Ingredients:

3 cups sugar

2 cups red wine vinegar

2 cups fresh raspberries

2 dried chipotles

Method: Combine red wine vinegar, fresh raspberries, sugar and dried chipotles in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce the mixture as you would a simple syrup.

Margarita mix

Ingredients:

Equal parts fresh lime juice and water

Half as much agave nectar

Method: Combine fresh lime juice, agave nectar and water.

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