Cocktail stories: Strawberry and Jalapeño Margarita, NBHDBy Alice Brooker
Notting Hill bar NBHD puts a spicy, fruity twist on the Margarita with its signature recipe.
*This feature was originally published in the November 2021 issue of The Spirits Business magazine.
Despite being one of Notting Hill’s newest bars, NBHD already has its regulars, for whom the Strawberry and Jalapeño Margarita is a firm favourite.
NBHD is a burst of South American bustle nestled in the streets of London. The bar chose its name to be “part of the surroundings, and accessible to anyone”.
Bartender George Nelson is responsible for crafting the venue’s staple cocktail, which outsells the orders of beer and fries, at the venue. He says the Strawberry and Jalapeño Margarita is an attempt to combine “the British public’s love of fresh strawberries, and the South American palate for spice”.
After attending Wimbledon this year, Nelson was inspired by the tennis championship’s traditional serve: strawberries and cream. He says: “I love fresh strawberries in the summer, and given that NBHD has a South American influence, I thought to pair it with Tequila.”
For those curious as to what an explosion of sweet British strawberries blended with spicy jalapeño peppers compares with, Nelson considers the tipple to be similar to a Bloody Mary – but having swapped tomatoes for strawberries. This move “took some time to get the balance and flavours right”, he adds.
He enthuses that the cocktail complements the South American‐inspired food – “our chef is from Colombia”.
Nelson also notes that with the end of strawberry season in the UK, the team is playing around with more fruit‐ and chilli-based Margarita drinks.
“The flavour might change, but the feel of the cocktail will probably remain the same,” he adds, before hinting that a winter take on the cocktail may be released shortly.
50ml Tequila blanco
20ml Jalapeño syrup
20ml Fresh lemon juice
25ml Strawberry purée (blitz fresh strawberries)
5ml‐10ml Triple Sec
For the jalapeño syrup: slice fresh jalapeño peppers, add to saucepan with sugar and water and reduce until you reach a syrup‐like consistency. Rim your glass with tajín seasoning. Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.