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According to Pagu chef and owner Tracy Chang, the Cambridge spot’s popular cocktail Pica Pika earned its amusing name on account of two characteristics: it’s spicy—hence “Pica,” for picante—and electrifying—hence “Pika,” for everyone’s favorite Pokémon with the lightning bolt-shaped tail.
The house favorite is essentially a margarita riff, made with lime juice, blanco tequila, and mezcal, but it also contains peach jam and Thai chili syrup. If you’re a fan of Pagu, you may already be familiar with this spicy element: The restaurant uses Thai chili in their hot sauce and umami XO.
Pagu currently offers takeout on Fridays and Saturdays between 5 and 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, takeout cocktails are also available for next-day pickup at Pagu Market, a provision shop full of meal kits and more. Pica Pika comes packaged up for two, six, or eight-plus imbibers; and can also be ordered as a just-add-booze liter to mix up a dozen electrifying margaritas at home. In terms of a food pairing for this drink, Chang suggests trying it with the Spicy Pork Hand-Pulled Biang Biang Noodles Kit or the Sake Mirin Coconut Steamed Whole Branzino.
Once home, Chang suggests chilling Pica Pika in the fridge or shaking it with four to five ice cubes before serving in a Nick and Nora glass with a slice of fresh or dehydrated lime.
“It’s been one of our top sellers because it’s refreshing, familiar but with a PAGU twist; it’s ‘crushable,’ pairs well with our food; and it’s fun to say ‘Pica Pika,’” Chang says.
Now, who could argue with that?