Tequila Neuva

A different way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

What would Cinco de Mayo be without margaritas? Just fine, it turns out—thanks to the Tranquila, a tropical, tequila-based cocktail with a decidedly Madison twist.

Invented at Genna’s Lounge fourteen years ago by bartender Chrys Scott, the fruity, boozy Tranquila was inspired by a popular Costa Rican saying—“tranquila” means “relax” in Spanish. The drink became a favorite among Madison’s bartending set, and incarnations have popped up at the Tornado Steak House, Mickey’s, Segredo and the Cardinal Bar. Now the Tranquila is on the menu at Samba Brazilian Grill, where bar manager Matthew McNamara dresses it up with Mathilde raspberry liqueur (“it’s lighter and less syrupy than Chambord,” he says) and aged, agave-heavy reposado tequila. McNamara’s version is sweet, but not cloying, with a delicious smoky undertone.

“Reposado is earthy,” McNamara says. “It lends the drink an intensity that can stand up to the pineapple juice.”

And stand up you will—that is, until you need to sit down.

RECIPE: Tranquila

2 1/2 oz. reposado tequila
1 oz. Mathilde raspberry liqueur
1 1/2–2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Recipe courtesy of Samba Brazilian Grill, 240 W. Gilman St., 257-1111, sambabraziliangrill.com.

Read more Hip Sips columns here

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