Classified Margaritas at Talavera

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

confident smile.

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

cilantro margarita.

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.

"It could be the next Starburst flavor," St. Lawrence says.

Talavera Cocina Mexicana

2299 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables


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