Drink + Dine

The Legend Behind José Andrés’ Infamous Salt Air Margarita

February 27, 2017
Written by: Yasha Wallin
Image via Food & Wine

Last week the country celebrated National Margarita Day. But at sbe it’s always time for the revered cocktail, thanks to Michelin-starred chef José Andrés’ infamous “Salt Air Margarita”—guaranteed to make it always feel like National Margarita Day.

Fitting of the name, Andrés’ creative concoction with its frothy topping came to him while on the beach one afternoon: “I always liked margaritas, but I hated the salt on the rim. Sometimes it’s too salty, sometimes it’s too sour, and there’s no mix. I thought, how can I solve this problem in a way that’s elegant, so it’s not such a punch in the face?…

Then I was in the ocean and watching the rocks receiving the waves, creating this very magical foam. This good, clean sea foam and I tasted it. So the foam on the seawater inspired this margarita with a beautiful sea salt foam on top.”

salt air

To indulge in a Margarita Day of your own, stop by The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotels. And if you want to try it at home, you’re in luck. Andres shared his top secret recipe, so we can all drink a little salt air whenever the moment strikes:

Salt Air Margarita

Prep Time: Under 30 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes – 1 Hour

For the salt air:  
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sucro
4 ounces fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon (15ml) kosher salt

In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup of water and the sucro over medium low heat. Add the lime juice and salt and stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Peel back some of the plastic wrap and insert an immersion blender and blend until bubbles form and the mixture becomes thick foam. The plastic will keep the foam from splattering. Set aside.

For the cocktail:   
2 ounces 1,2,3 Tequila Blanco
1 ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce agave syrup

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add tequila, lime juice and agave and shake vigorously for 45 seconds. Strain twice into a Margarita glass and spoon salt air over the top.