Cazadores Spicy Cucumber 'Rita at Z'Tejas

Once featured in our "On The Line" chef-interview series, Daniel Stevens--executive chef of Z'Tejas in Costa Mesa--is leading a restaurant that has one of the most extensive drink menus around Orange County. From X-rated 'Ritas to Tito's 6th Street Bloody Marys, Z'Tejas can get anyone their fix. Their specialty happens to frighten off some drinkers with the name alone, but we don't scare so easy.

According to our server, you will either love or hate the Cazadores Spicy Cucumber 'Rita. Count me in the love category. Made with Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Cointreau orange liqueur, muddled cucumbers and jalapeño syrup, this bold margarita tastes mostly of fresh cucumber but has a slight peppery kick.

Even those who live in fear of anything more than mildly spicy should at least give this marg a chance--you can control the level of spice by what you do with the jalapeño garnish on the rim of the glass. Looking to test your taste buds? Drop in the jalapeno and crush it up with your straw to boost the level of fire. My one suggestion . . . don't let the jalapeño touch your lips. Ouch!

Z'Tejas, 3333 Bristol St., Ste. 1876, Costa Mesa, (714) 979-7469; www.ztejas.com.


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