Cilantro is very polarizing.

In any room where the topic of cilantro comes up (which hopefully isn’t many, because it’s an herb, for chrissakes), responses will usually follow the vein of “it’s amazing and gives food life” or “why anyone would put that soapy shit on anything is beyond me.”

For cilantro fans, this hurts. Soap? SOAP? Where do you get SOAP?

cilantro and limes

So green.

Well, allow me to science for a second. You may already be aware of this little factoid, but I want an excuse to wear a lab coat.

Cilantros “soapy” quality comes from aldehyde chemicals, which are not easily distinguishable by most people. In fact, somewhere between about 5-15% of the general population has the group of olfactory receptor genes that pick up on these chemicals, which is determined by your genetic makeup.

*Removes lab coat*

We can’t hate the cilantro-haters: they’re just unfortunate enough to have some kind of super-senses that pick up on the aldehyde chemicals that are often also found in (wait for it): soap! Surprised? I didn’t think so.

It’s actually a fairly common fact nowadays.

But anyway, for all those of us born without aldehyde chemical receptors, this is really really delicious.

When you make this marg, at first, it’s going to taste not unlike a standard margarita. But just at the end, the cilantro hits you and brings a fresh flavor fitting for the beautiful green color. It’s been dreary, cold-ish for May, and rainy for an entire week here in Pennsylvania, so I needed the bright  color to remind me what spring is really supposed to be like. It worked – it picked my beardy companion and I right out of our rainy May blues.


Pro Tip: Double-strain your damn cilantro-lime puree. If you don’t, the cilantro will be overpowering, and it’s going to be ugly. Nobody wants an ugly, overpowering cocktail.

Cheers! xo

Margarita Monday: Cilantro Margarita
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 drinks
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. orange liqueur
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 10 cilantro sprigs, stems removed, plus 2 extra sprigs for garnish
  1. Rim two rocks or margarita glasses with salt.
  2. Put the lime juice and cilantro into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Whiz it for about 30 seconds.
  3. Strain the cilantro/lime mixture into a mixing glass, then add the remaining ingredients. Add ice, then shake.
  4. Strain into your glasses over ice, garnish with extra cilantro. Enjoy.