Playa Picante (Deuxave)

Alexis Jesup

While swanky, Commonwealth Avenue-based Deuxave features two favorite building blocks of a classic margarita in its Playa Picante cocktail—blanco tequila and lime juice—house-made grenadine swapped in for the triple sec plus grapefruit juice and a cayenne pepper tincture result in an extra flavorful kick.

The juice’s freshness renders the drink bright and refreshing, and the pepper provides a lingering heat. It’s a perfect match for the long, hot afternoons of midsummer.

Deuxave bar director Emily Warren admits that the name “doesn’t really mean anything.”

Playa translates to ‘beach’ in Spanish, and picante means ‘spicy,’” says Warren. “So, ‘spicy beach.’ Why not?”

We won’t argue with that.

Playa Picante
1 ½ ounces blanco tequila
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice  
½ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce house-made grenadine*
1 full dropper cayenne tincture**
Half-moon grapefruit, to garnish

Combine ingredients in shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with half-moon of grapefruit.

*House-made Grenadine (yields about a quart)
2 cups POM Pomegranate Juice
2 cups sugar
2 drops orange blossom water

Combine POM juice and sugar in saucepan and bring ingredients to just before boiling on stovetop. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Add orange blossom water using straw, and allow mixture to cool before storing in sealed container. Syrup will keep for two weeks, refrigerated.

**Cayenne Tincture
6 ounces vodka
6 ounces powdered cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients in mason jar; seal and shake. Store in a cool, dry place, shaking once per day, and allow mixture to infuse for one week. (After combining a dark paste will settle at the bottom of container. Use the liquid from the top, not the paste from the bottom.) Tincture will keep for one month.

Brian Samuels

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