The summer’s here, and there’s nothing like an chilled margarita to make your afternoon brunches happier. We got Auroni Mookerjee – copywriter, food writer and co-founder of The Curry Brothers to give us his recipe for delicious margaritas featuring the Gondhoraj, a.k.a the ‘Aroma King’
“It’s like giving your taste buds a refreshing day of aromatherapy at the spa,” gushes Auroni Mookerjee, co-founder and chef at The Curry Brothers, “and it’s really – really – easy to make.” He’s talking about his specialty cocktail, The Gondhoraj Margarita. “It’s also just a great talking point for your get-togethers because as an ingredient it’s still not very well-known.”
The star ingredient – Gondhoraj Lebu or lime, which literally translates from Bengali into ‘Aroma King’, is all about the fragrance and zest. “When consumed fresh, the aroma can best be described as having the sweetness of lemon grass with the zingy-ness of a kafir lime. But the zest, when pickled and dissolved in alcohol to make bitters, turns floral – think elderflower, or violet,” he says. It’s this ability that makes the Gondhoraj Lebu one of his favourite ingredients to use.
So where can one get there this star ingredient from? “We source ours all the way from Kolkata…but, usually, the best place to look or enquire is at the closest Bengali fish or goods purveyor in your city, as they’ll always have a secret supply for their Bengali regulars. Think markets like CR Park or INA in Delhi, or Chembur Naka or Four Bungalows in Mumbai,” reveals Auroni.
So we took the opportunity to get a step-by-step recipe for this great summer cocktail, here’s to happy brunching, or dining and everything in between!
• Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a Gondhoraj lime
• 30 ml of freshly squeezed juice of a regular lime
• 30-40 ml of simple syrup, which is essentially equal parts of water and sugar, dissolved (Use good brown or palm sugar)
• 60 ml tequila – Desmondji’s 100% Agave, a local tequila produced in Goa
• 15 ml Cointreau (any decent Triple Sec will also do)
• 3-4 large ice-cubes
• Champagne coupes to serve
• One large wedge of Gondhoraaj Lime, or one strip of Gondhoraj zest or peel, to garnish
1. Shake up all the ingredients with a pinch of salt in a cocktail shaker
2. When nicely chilled and frothy, give it a taste, adjust sweetness if necessary, and strain into the champagne coupes
3. Rim the glasses with a quick rub of lime, and then salt, if you like
4. Squeeze the wedge/ Sprinkle lime zest into the mix, so you get a real whiff of that heady fragrance
5. Consume quickly
6. Multiply the recipe times 4, and pour over a pitcher full of crushed/ cubed ice to serve to guests