Category Archives: Recipes

Lime Free Margarita

no lime margarita, hibiscus, Lime Free MargaritaLack of Limes

Severe rain and disease have driven the cost of limes to triple in value.  When it’s essential to your food and beverage menu, what do you do?

For Barbara Sibley, owner and executive chef of La Palapa Cocina Mexicana, necessity quickly becomes the mother of invention.

Using less lime in food garnish and beverage—while obliging customers with an extra squeeze in their cocktail if desired—has helped keep costs in line.

“We’re known for our fresh lime margaritas and won’t compromise its quality and authenticity.  My solution was to create a No Lime Hibiscus Margarita.  It delivers that delicate balance of zesty tartness and floral aroma similar to lime our customers crave and enjoy.”  Viva La Palapa!

No Lime Margarita

(Created by Barbara Sibley, chef/owner of La Palapa Cocina Mexicana, NYC)

palapa 2, Lime Free Margarita, hibiscus margarita1 oz pure hibiscus Heart-Tee, chilled

1-1/2 oz Tequila Corazon Blanco

½ oz Cointreau

½ oz fresh orange juice or blood orange juice

Garnish with -

Hibiscus-chile piquín salt

Edible candied Wild Hibiscus Flower


In one cup of boiling water place 3 hibiscus tea bags and steep for 15 minutes. The tea will be a deep red color and very tart.   Chill for at least half an hour. In a shaker full of ice combine 1 oz hibiscus tea with tequila, Cointreau and juice. Serve on the rocks in high-ball glass rimmed with hibiscus-chile piquin salt and garnish with candied hibiscus flower.

la palapa, hibiscus, Lime Free Margarita


77 St. Mark’s Place NYC – (212) 777-2537

Mon-Fri 12pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11am-12pm • Delivery: 12pm-10pm

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Products to get you through the Lime Shortage


wild hibiscus, rose syrup

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Rose Syrup

hibiscus, salt

Wild Hibiscus Flower Pyramid Salt Flakes

hibiscus, flowers, syrup

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Simple Syrup



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Perfect Pairing: Memorial Day BBQ with Hornitos Lime Shot

Hornitos Plata Bottle Image, hornitos lime shot

Hornitos Lime Shot

Yes, we went there!  The good folks at Hornitos were kind enough to send us some samples so we did what we do – Tasting & Testing.  Look for our review of Lime Shot – and the reason why you absolutely must have this in your kitchen – coming this week!

According to Hornitos:

This Memorial Day weekend, master the art of cocktail-and-food matching—and just in time for all the warm-weather backyard festivities. Your readers can fire up the grill with Hornitos® and try some of these seamless pairings of mouthwatering food and thirst-quenching cocktails.

Hornitos® Lime Shot takes the process out of the whole tequila experience. No need for blenders or the lick it-sip it-suck it ritual, this shot already combines the salt + tequila + lime!

Serve the shot chilled and in a salt-rimmed shot glass for the ultimate Memorial Day experience.


Patriot's Plata, hornitos lime shot, hornitos, tequila Patriot’s Plata

This cool, sweet drink offsets spicy heat of your summer barbecue
• 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Plata Tequila
• ¾ part Lime Juice
• ¾ part Pineapple Juice
• ¼ part Agave
• Pinch of Cilantro leaves

Preparation: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass.

Lime Shot Bottle Image, hornitos lime shot, tequila, recipeHornitos® Tequila Lime Shot Chicken

• 1 cup Hornitos® Lime Shot
• ½ cup orange juice
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chilies
• 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
• ¼ cup honey
• ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
• 6 boneless chicken breast halves

Preparation: Before adding chicken, mix all other ingredients in a bowl to form a marinade. Once mixed, place marinade in a large resealable bag and add chicken. Refrigerate overnight. Once prepared, place chicken on the grill (low to medium heat) and cook for approximately 15-18 minutes. Remove chicken from the grill and enjoy your Memorial Day barbecue!


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Alternative Margaritas in Response to the Lime Shortage

Alternative Margaritas Make the Lime Shortage a Non-Issue

With the ongoing lime shortage and resulting high prices in fresh limes, people will need to get a bit more creative about their standard Memorial Day Weekend fare.  We’ve decided to dedicate this week to helping you make the most of your tequila this coming holiday weekend.

Some Great Alternatives

Today we’ll show you some tasty alternatives to the traditional margarita that few will turn down at your Memorial Day Barbeque!  Click on any of the images for recipes:

creamsicle margarita


Creamsicle Margarita

The Creamsicle Margarita, courtesy of Shine Beautifully (where you can also find recipes for tequila based body scrubs and other decadent ways to pamper your skin).

coconut creamsicle margarita

Coconut Creamsicle Margarita

If you just can’t get enough of rich creamsicle flavors, try this Coconut Creamsicle Margarita, courtesy of Eat, Drink, & Be Tracy.

spicy grapefruit margarita, margarita


Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

This Spicy Grapefruit Margarita is easy and inexpensive with all those pink Texas grapefruits out in markets now!  This recipe is courtesy of The Life Styled, by Catherine Sheppard.

meyer lemon margarita, rick baylessMeyer Lemon Margarita

This Meyer Lemon Margarita, courtesy of Rick Bayless and the Latin Kitchen, takes old fashioned lemonade up several notches and never asks for lime.

  Lastly, one of our favorites (and the topic of an upcoming article) is the Hibiscus Margarita.  Here’s the recipe:

hibiscus margarita, salt flakes, alternative margaritas

Photo Courtesy of Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes. Recipe Courtesy of Emilio Tiburcio.

Wild Hibiscus Margarita

Created by mixologist Emilio Tiburico

2 part tequila silver or blanco
1 part orange liqueur
1 part lime juice
1 part syrup from jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup

Garnish: Rim glass with lime juice and dip rim of glass in into Wild Hibiscus Flower Pyramid Salt Flakes

Garnish with a lime wedge and a Wild Hibiscus Flower.

For more Wild Hibiscus Margarita recipes, visit their page here.



Another Fruity Delight

fruit salad, tequila   This Tequila Lime Fruit Salad, courtesy of Taste of Home, can be made simply and without lime by simply substituting 1/4 cup Hornitos Lime Shot for the tequila and lime called for in the recipe.

Plan accordingly and you could have a fantastic Memorial Day Barbeque at a fraction of the price those lime-traficantes would have you pay!  Salud!


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Happy Mother’s Day from Patron

Mother’s Day Cocktails from Patron

Mother's Little Helper Mother’s Little Helper

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 1.5 oz.

Patrón XO Cafe 1.5 oz.

Espresso 1 oz.


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.


Mom's Sweet Dream Mom’s Sweet Dream

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 2 oz.

Ultimat Vodka 0.75 oz.

Caramel Syrup 1 oz.

Caramel syrup for garnish


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a caramel rim.


I Said So Martini I Said So Martini

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 2 oz.

Amaretto Liqueur 0.5 oz.

Cream 1 oz.

Almond shavings for garnish


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with almond shavings.


Mommy Dearest! 










Mommy Dearest! 

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 2 oz.

Patrón Citronge Liqueur 0.5 oz.

Pyrat Rum 0.5 oz.


Shake with ice. Strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass.


Mother's Day Pick Me Up Mother’s Day Pick-Me-Up

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 1.5 oz.

Irish Cream Liqueur 0.5 oz.

Build in an old-fashioned glass. Top with ice. Serve.


The Good Wife

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa3 oz.

Espresso 1 oz.

1 large scoop coffee-flavored gelato

Coffee grinds for garnish


Blend all ingredients in a blender and pour into a hurricane-style glass. Garnish with coffee grinds.


Mom Patrol

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 1 oz.

Almond Milk (or similar) 0.75 oz.

Espresso 1 oz.

Grenadine 0.5 oz.

Lemon peel for garnish

Cocoa nibs for garnish


Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with lemon peel and cocoa nibs.


Mommy Elixir Mommy Elixir

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 2 oz.

White Crème de Menthe 0.5 oz.

Cream 1 oz.

Fresh mint for garnish


Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with fresh mint.


Mom’s Black Stiletto

Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa 1 oz.

Ultimat Vodka 1/2 oz.

Champagne 1/2 oz.


Add Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa and Vodka to a chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne.




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Tequila Test Kitchen: Avion Espresso Cake

avion espresso, Avion Espresso Cake, tequila test kitchenTequila Test Kitchen

You may have heard about the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  I’d like to share one of our projects with you today.

When Ken Austin was kind enough to send us a bottle of Avion’s brand new Avion Espresso, I fell so deeply in love with this rich nectar that combined my two favorite things, coffee and tequila, that I knew I had to cook with it.  Here’s how the Avion Espresso Cake panned out.

Making Avion Espresso Cake

2014-03-16 14.27.40

I have personal issues with sugar so I started with the Pillsbury Sugar-Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix.  You may want to use your favorite Devil’s Food Cake mix or mix yours from scratch.

I added the eggs, water and oil (I use extra light olive oil) according to the instructions on the box.  Then I took a left turn and added the awesome.  This wasn’t just going to be some chocolate cake with a tequila liqueur splashed on it.

2014-03-16 14.29.35


I was determined that this should be one of these most magnificent mocha desserts ever!

So based on that logic, I added 2 heaping tablespoons of Hershey’s Extra Dark Cocoa Powder.  I didn’t just want an everyday chocolate cake.  This had to be intense enough to stand up to espresso.


2014-03-16 14.30.19


I also wanted the cake to have some mocha punch to it, so I added 2 heaping tablespoons of instant coffee crystals.  Enough to let you know it was in there but not so much it would be overpowering.  Since this was going to be an adult dessert, I didn’t worry much about the level of sweetness in the cake.  There would be frosting to balance out the strong coffee and dark chocolate.


2014-03-16 14.37.03


I whisked everything together to form a smooth batter.  You may prefer to use an electric mixer.

Then I poured it all into a 9×11″ baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and baked the now mocha cake (or “double-moo-cow-chunk-chunk” as Mike likes to call it) according to the directions on the box.  (Please don’t judge the oven.  We’re working on a budget here and it does the job.)

2014-03-19 14.58.50


When the cake had finished baking for the amount of time recommended on the box and tested done, we had a beautiful, dark mocha cake with a bit of a curve in the middle.  The center part was cut off for aesthetics (and to allow the testers to be sure the cake was good).





It was important to do that while the cake was still hot because the next steps required the heat to complete.

I used a fork with long tines to poke holes through the whole cake from top to bottom.  I didn’t want to destroy the structural integrity of the cake so I kept the holes about 1/2 inch apart.

Then I carefully measured 1/4 cup of Avion Espresso and poured it (as evenly as possible) over the warm mocha cake.  I may have also had a nip or two while the bottle was uncorked.  I welcome you to try this method as you may find this makes cooking more enjoyable.

2014-03-19 14.59.32


After adding the Avion Espresso and while the cake was still hot out of the oven, I microwaved a jar of Pillsbury Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting for 30 seconds (just enough to soften it) and then slathered half the jar over the still hot cake.  (What you do with the rest of the frosting is your business.  I don’t judge.)


2014-03-19 15.00.19


With the cake properly doused with Avion Espresso and the tequila goodness sealed in with a generous layer of melted chocolate frosting, it was time to take a break.  The cake went into the refrigerator (uncovered) for several hours in order for it to cool and allow the frosting to set into a dark ganache (like fudge).


2014-03-16 21.13.36


Four hours later, we pulled the cake out of the refrigerator and it had set beautifully.  We cut it into 12 pieces and served it up.

Notice the dark line near the bottom of the cake – that’s where the Avion Espresso Tequila Liqueur settled after filtering through from the top of the cake.  (We also found the corners to be rich with the liqueur.)

It was delicious!

We’ll share our thoughts during the actual tasting of this cake, as well as a comparison with a chocolate cake made commercially with Patron XO Cafe, in our Tequila Test Kitchen tasting session coming soon.

Check out our Recipes Page to stay up to date on what’s going on in the Tequila Test Kitchen.

The opinions expressed here are those of Lisa Pietsch and not necessarily those of Mike Morales, Alex Perez, or any other contributors at Tequila Aficionado Media.  Tequila Aficionado and its representatives never accept payment for Test Kitchen features.  If we like your juice, we’ll play with it.  If we make something great, we’ll share it, and we welcome you to share it as well.  The Avion Espresso used in this recipe was received as a free sample courtesy of Avion Tequila.  Thanks, Ken!



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