Cocktail of the Week: Cantaloupe Margarita

Helen RosnerMy first memory of Mexico isn't one of lying out on a beach, margarita in hand; instead, it's quite the opposite: On my first visit to the country, I spent time in Nogales, a bustling Sonoran city that shares a border with the city of the same name in Arizona. I remember crowded, frantic streets full of cheap souvenirs, radiant colors, and beautifully authentic street food: homemade tamales sold on every corner, fragrant grilled corn, and savory skewered meat. But most popular of all was fresh, perfect fruit, dressed with lime juice and a dusting of spicy chile powder. It's a shocking, bright balance: sweet, tart, and fiery all at once. In this drink, the Borderline Escape, I've brought that sense memory back; with fresh cantaloupe and lime juices, a chile-salt-sugar rim, and a generous dose of tequila, it transports me back to the chaotic excitement that for me, is Mexico in its truest form. - Jeanna Demarco

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RECIPE: Cantaloupe Margarita
One of the most popular snacks on the streets of Mexico is fresh fruit dusted with chile powder. The flavors and aromas of that snack are brought back in this tequila-based drink. Cantaloupe juice is available at many health food stores; to make your own, puree a ripe cantaloupe in the blender and strain out any solids using cheesecloth.

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS
3 oz. cantaloupe juice
1½ oz. tequila
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Pinch of salt

FOR THE RIM
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cayenne pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine cantaloupe juice, tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and salt. Shake thoroughly. Combine rim ingredients together on a small plate; wet the edge of a rocks glass and coat in chile-salt mixture. Strain shaken drink into rimmed glass.

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