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Where: El Centro D.F., 1819 14th St. NW
Bartender: Rob Day, regional beverage director for Richard Sandoval Restaurants
Mystery Ingredient: Wheat grass juice liquid extract
Bartender Response: “Let me taste this first,” Day said. When told wheat grass juice is a health food, he said, “It doesn’t do anything for me.”
What We Got: A sweet wheat grass margarita
How It Tasted: Wheat grass juice isn’t particularly appetizing. OK, it tastes gnarly—chalky with hints of licorice and molasses—but not in a good way. It is sweet, however, and Day decided it could replace the agave nectar he normally uses in his margaritas. He added lime and cilantro to counter the sweetness and brighten up the murky green concoction. The margarita was tart, thirst-quenching, a little earthy—and thankfully, far removed from its Vitamin Shoppe roots.
Improv Points (1 to 5): 3. Day’s drink wasn’t much of a departure from a typical margarita, but he gets kudos for incorporating the, um, unique flavors of wheat grass juice. Day had planned to keep the green theme going by adding cucumber, but alas, he couldn’t find any in the kitchen.
15 leaves cilantro
2 lime wedges
1.5 ounce el Jimador Tequila Blanco
1 ounce wheat grass juice extract
4 ounce sour mix
Add cilantro and lime wedges to cocktail shaker and muddle. Add ice, tequila, and wheat grass, then shake. Add sour mix and shake again. Pour into glass and garnish with lime.*
*Variation: add 2 thinly sliced cucumbers and muddle them with cilantro and lime.
Got an idea for the next mystery ingredient? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Adele Chapin