Damiana Liqueur - The Secret Ingredient To The Perfect Margarita
Damiana is a plant often used as a relaxant and aphrodisiac. What many don’t know is that it can be used to make one hell of a margarita.
The floral and sweet flavor of Damiana makes it an ideal addition to drinks, and the perfect “secret ingredient” in your margarita. In fact, the „real“ margarita drink was originally prepared with copious amount of Damiana - that’s where the zest of this legendary drink is coming from.
Damiana liqueur was first made by the Guaycura Indians of Baja California, Mexico – an area where Damiana thrives naturally. It was first used for religious ceremonies, but later banned due to its aphrodisiac effects. It is seen as such a potent aphrodisiac in Mexico that today, in some parts of the country, new brides are given a bottle of Damiana liqueurs a wedding gift - in order to encourage fertility.
While it’s possible to acquire shop bought Damiana liquor, the sweetness and flavor can vary quite a lot brand to brand. Specially if you have Damiana, it’s always better to prepare your own Damiana liquour; it’s easy and can be done with little effort.
How to make a Damiana liqueur
You will need:
30 grams of Damiana
½ tbsp. of vanilla pods
2 tbsp. of Angelica root
2 tbsp. of Saw Palmetto berries
750 ml of tequila
750 ml of water
1 cup of honey
1. Crush the herbs and add them into your 750ml tequila.
2. Leave it to soak and infuse for at least 1 week in a cool dark place.
3. After 1 week, filter out the ingredients using a strainer or preferably a coffee filter paper.
4. Re-soak the mixture in 750 ml of water for an additional week in a cool dark place.
5. Strain the water infusion in the same way you did the tequila.
6. Heat up the water infusion in a pan to roughly 80 degrees Celsius.
7. Dissolve one cup of honey into the warm water.
8. Allow the mixture to cool and then stir in the infused tequila.
9. Bottle it up and leave it to age for 1 month.
There you have it, you now have a Damiana liqueur ready for use – perfect for margaritas! Of course it is possible to add in your own ingredients, use vodka or other spirits, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Making a perfect Damiana margarita
Using the Damiana liqueur as the base for a margarita mix can take it to another level. It is a well-kept secret that you will not find in many places. In fact, it is only really found in one place on this planet (where it is extremely popular), and that is Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. If you have ever had one of the famous margaritas from there, you will note its distinct sweet and floral note that makes it so unique. Well, it come from Damiana!
To make the perfect damiana margarita, put the following into a cocktail mixer:
50 ml of tequila based Damiana liqueur
50 ml of Cointreau
28 ml of fresh lime juice
2 dashes of orange bitters
Shake it up vigorously, and then double strain it into a chilled (preferably iced) cocktail glass with salt on the rim. That’s it! You now have the perfect margarita that will mystify your friends and family with its exquisite taste. Be ready to supply seconds! It is perfect for parties and chilling outdoors on those sunny and relaxing days by the pool. But remember, damiana might add some extra heat.