The California Soul from Earl's Juke Joint is a winning spicy Marg riff

This riff on a Spicy Margarita turbocharges flavour.

This drink is one of the Boothby Top 50 Drinks of the Year 2022 — you can see the full Top 50 here.

For the Earl’s Juke Joint take on a Spicy Margarita, two distinct methods are used that set it apart from others: one, they sous-vide the alcohol with peeled mandarin and chilli, and two, they macerate peels and sugar in mandarin juice overnight.

“The two methods turbo charge the zest by getting the oils in both processes,” says Earl’s Juke Joint owner Pasan Wijesena. “It was a huge hit when we were doing take away during Covid, and has remained on the menu ever since. Locals complained when we took it off, so it’s back and has never been taken off since.”

The drink is the work of Dale School, who titled it for the song of the same name.

“All our drinks are named after songs on our playlists,” explains Wijesena.

California Soul


  • 40ml blanco tequila
  • 10ml mezcal
  • 10ml dry curaçao
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 15ml mandarin syrup
  • whole mandarin and red chilli


  1. Sous-vide tequila, mezcal and curaçao with whole peeled mandarin and red chilli, at 60 degrees for 6 hours. Cool and strain off solids.
  2. Peel and juice mandarins. Then macerate the juice on peels and sugar overnight.
  3. Combine 1 and 2 with juice. Tilt head. Insert into mouth.

Recipe by Dale Schoon, Earl's Juke Joint, Sydney.

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