Talavera Cocina Mexicana is keeping secrets.
The cilantro margarita may be wildly popular, but its recipe might as well have been developed by government intelligence.
In reality, seasoned bartender Damien St. Lawrence conjured up the cocktail recipe ten years ago. He got the idea from a cilantro/lime-flavored sorbet at a gelato place in Philadelphia that happened to be located next to a Mexican restaurant. He has since served his herb-infused cocktail at local hot spots Tantra and Andu, and has somehow kept his recipe a secret. St. Lawrence brought the drink to Talavera when it opened eight months ago.
The $9 margarita is not even on the menu. It's labeled on customers' bills as
simply an "old fashion marg." And though St. Lawrence allows other
bartenders to prepare the margarita when he's not working, he says, "They make it
wrong every single time."
"They ask, 'Where's the cilantro king?'" the barback chimes in.
"Yeah, that's what they call me," St. Lawrence affirms with a
The king is creating a recipe book that will feature the
cilantro margarita. Working titles are Not Your Average
Martini and Not Your Average Cocktail. The book is set to be published next
year. The secret meister says there will be more than 20 ways to create a
But until his work-in-progress hits bookstands, the contents of St.
Lawrence's concoction will remain under wraps. Our sampling indicates the drink is a balanced mix of sweet and sour, in which the cilantro blends
well. It's strong and goes perfectly with the blue tortilla chips
and red chipotle and habanero salsas offered for free at the bar.
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"It could be the next Starburst flavor," St. Lawrence says.
Talavera Cocina Mexicana
2299 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables