Home > Appetizers > Cocktail and Canape Challenge: A Vodka-Sambuca Margarita and Smoked Salmon Taco Bite


This was not an easy challenge for me.

I’m a ‘give me wine‘ or ‘give me water‘ kind of drinker. I long ago gave up cocktails to avoid the sugar content and, in no small measure, the morning after headaches.

So, I went about the creation and combination as I usually do —  based on what I had on hand and what I thought would pair well. Vodka and salmon was a “no-brainer” combo.  I also thought Sambuca and fennel, both with a strong flavor of aniseed, would go well with salmon.

And then, having just returned from a Mexican sojourn through the Yucatan, I decided to put a south-of-the-border spin on it.


The Vodka Sambuca Margarita

The vodka replaced the Tequila and I chose Sambuca instead of Triple Sec, not only for the flavor of anise, but also for the sugariness it would add to the mix.

Nova_2874March 11- 2015untitled

So we have vodka, sambuca, juice of one lime, a little water and ice in a blender with a piece of fennel to punch up that flavor profile.

The rim was decorated with a mix of salt, sugar, chili, chipotle, annatto, and zested lime.

One-Bite Smoked Salmon TacoNova_2880March 11- 2015untitled

I trimmed a soft white corn tortilla down to one-bite size, heated it up in a hot pan and then layered it with an avocado cream (avocado, sour cream, splash of lime juice and a drop of hot sauce), a piece of smoked salmon, shaved fennel, chives and a ‘tamed’ (vinegary) jalapeño.

Finishing Touch:  A light sprinkle of the rim mix on taco.

Verdict: Loved the taco! It had just the right level of smoke, salt, cream, freshness and vinegar to make it a perfect bite. I thought the cocktail worked as a drink and as a pairing, but I wouldn’t make it again. Just not a fan of mixed drinks.

I will be posting a round-up of everyone’s creations at the end of the month. Can’t wait to see what they did.




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