behind the bar: enjoy cupcakes’ ginger lime margarita

“Chardonnay cake over a buttery, fresh ginger graham-cracker crust, filled with lime curd and topped with lime frosting and sugared lime zest” is the new standard against which I measure all cupcakes. I am not even sure why I bothered to eat cupcakes before now. This tantalizingly tasty treat is one of the most popular cupcakes at Enjoy Cupcakes in Santa Ynez, CA, and also the inspiration for today’s drink. Alissa and I are both so excited to be featuring the Ginger Lime Margarita as created by Enjoy Cupcakes’ co-owners, Amber and Kevin. (By the way, Kevin’s official title at the bakery is C.E.T. or chief executive taster — I mean, come on, how sweet is that job?!). This family-run business sells baked creations at Saarlos & Sons in Los Olivos, CA, and they also do weddings and other private parties where guests get served cupcakes directly from their lovingly restored vintage Shasta trailer. Need a little icing on your cupcake today? The beautiful photos were taken by the incredibly talented Jose Villa, so you’re also in for a visual treat :) — Ryan & Alissa

CLICK HERE for the full drink recipe after the jump!

One of our most popular cupcake flavors is the Ginger Lime Chardonnay (Chardonnay cake over a buttery, fresh ginger graham-cracker crust, filled with lime curd and topped with lime frosting and sugared lime zest). We chose to translate this customer favorite from a cupcake into a mixed drink, and the margarita just seemed to pair perfectly. The first piece of furniture Kevin bought was this very old, authentic, rustic Mexican trastero (traditional Mexican kitchen cabinet). The piece has always been important to us, as Kevin and I first met inside of the furniture store where the trastero was purchased over 10 years ago. It made perfect sense to use the trastero to showcase the Ginger Lime Margarita ingredients and process.


  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of ½ orange
  • juice of ½ lemon (Meyer lemon, if available)
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 3” stems of ginger (more if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Garnish Ingredients: Ground graham cracker mixed with sugar and lime zest combined with sugar

Serves 1

1. Squeeze all juice into a glass or small pitcher.

2. Add tequila, Cointreau and sugar.

3. Stir well.

4. Zest fresh ginger over the glass or pitcher (omit or add more to taste).

5. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve into another cup or a pitcher full of ice.

6. To garnish, rub lime wedge along the rim of your glass and dip it into the graham-cracker sugar mixture. Sprinkle sugared lime zest on a lime wedge and add to the glass rim.

About Amber and Kevin
Kevin and I own and operate Enjoy Cupcakes. I am the Baker, and Kevin’s self-made title is the C.E.T (Chief Executive Taster). We are located inside a fun wine-tasting lounge in Los Olivos, California (Saarlos & Sons), and are known for our wine-infused cupcakes, wine and cupcake pairings and our ever-growing list of cupcake flavors (over 250 to date). You can check out Enjoy Cupcakes’ current menu for this week here.

P.S. Those neat little heart banners (handmade prayer flag) can be found here on Etsy.

  1. wow this is just stunning, Thank you for the beautiful recipe, and the photographs.. They are just lovely to look at.

    please keep creating and sharing your work.


  2. Bridget says:

    I have been an observer of D*S, but today I have become a subscriber! I have loved this blog for a long time because you cover all my interests, design, food, drink,I could go on.. I have been lost in your pages for the past 2 hours. I just love the idea of adding ginger to the Margarita cocktail can’t wait to try it.The cupcakes sound delicious too!

    1. grace says:

      thank you so much, bridget :)


  3. Kelly Oshiro says:

    I adore Amber and Kevin! Their cupcakes are amazing and they’re so darn easy to work with!

  4. kelly says:

    What I’d REALLY like to know is how to make those cupcakes that were described… now they sound special!

    But what gorgeous styling and light… in deep dark winter it is so nice to see…

  5. A Denihan says:

    I don’t know what is more delicious…the recipes or the photography. Wonderfully inspiring. Thanks!!

  6. Briehn Wildman says:

    But how do you make the CUPCAKE?!??! :) Please!

  7. SEriously…these cupcakes ARE the best! I’ve been blessed to have them on many many occasions! Seriously…if you’re visiting the area, it’s a must stop!

  8. joel serrato says:

    so much fun! this tastes so delicious, i tagged along when they made it, i recommend everyone try it this weekend! yummy!

    joel serrato

  9. Breanne says:

    I need the cupcake! Please post the recipe or ship ASAP to Chicago!

  10. The cupcakes and the drink look great. What I cant get over though is those amazing photos! WOW WOW WOW! Thank you for sharing!

  11. My goodness ! The colours in these photographs are amazing! Sooo beautiful!

  12. Liliandra says:

    Everything looks and sounds amazing! The photographs are absolutely stunning, and I must know where I can get my hands on the orange Alebrijes bottle.

  13. caroline says:

    I love everything about this!! So gorgeous!

  14. Evie says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. When some Enjoy Marshmallow Lemon cakes with a chardonnay this fall it blew my mind!

  15. Cassie says:

    I just love this post, the cupcakes and the photos. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  16. Melissa says:

    I’m kind of a huge Jose Villa fangirl, so not only does this sound amazing, but it also looks gorgeous.

    Thank you for the endless inspiration!

  17. amy w says:

    YUM. Trying this tonight

  18. Cathy says:

    Those cupcakes and maragaritas look divine! And I second everybody else, can we get the recipe for the cupcakes???

  19. SuhaelAmrita says:

    This is such a yummy post! I am gonna make this over the weekend for sure!

    Loved the way you weave your stories.

  20. Gosia says:

    Can’t stop looking at Jose Villa’s photography. Amazing. Stunning. Unforgettable.

  21. Renée says:

    Oh this looks yummie!

  22. Sharon says:

    Wow! I think I’m planning my trip there now. What’s not to love about cupcakes?! ;)

  23. Sally says:

    Oh my god, I cannot believe those cakes… seriously, they are cakes from HEAVEN!

  24. Lisa says:

    hmmm …surrounded by all this snow and I do believe margaritas are just the thing that will make the snow sparkle a little bit more!

  25. tiffany says:

    this looks so good, it makes me think of key lime for some reason, and how that would be a lovely margarita/cupcake combo as well…

  26. Gorgeous post and delicious drink! I love the graham cracker rim. Great idea.

    I love the combination of ginger and lime, it’s so fresh and complimentary!

    We recently made a margarita-inspired cocktail with homemade ginger-lime simple syrup and tamarind for a bit of tang and depth. And we added beef stock for a crazy twist and called it “The Moogarita”.

    Thanks for the beautiful post (as usual!)

  27. Tinabobina99 says:

    Oh, good, I see I’m not the only one who couldn’t find the cupcake recipe. I LOVE ANYTHING with ginger in it — my current favorite flavor. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Devon says:

    Sounds great! How long do you let the grated ginger infuse before straining?

  29. Heidi says:

    This makes me long for summer–the drinks and the photos!

  30. Thanks so much for all the comments & questions. We were so stoked to do this post. I’ve been following design sponge since 2003, during my days as a graphic design studio manager (the best part of my job was trend research and design sponge was my “go to”). Jose Villa is magical (as are his photographs). Regarding cupcake recipe, Kevin has me under a strict NDA & confidentiality agreement! Devon, let the ginger seep for about 5 minutes (very good question). For even more ginger flavor, after straining it, push down on the ginger that remains in the strainer to “squeeze” out all the ginger goodness! The beautiful tequila bottle came from the Hacienda where Jose holds his Mexico workshops (more incentive to attend!). Let us know if you have any other questions. ~ Amber

  31. Alex Snowdon says:

    mmm, cocktails, cupcakes and lovely sunny pics, love it!

  32. Allyn says:

    Love these photos!!!!!!!! Wish I was there enjoying one or more of these fabulous margaritas right now!

  33. I love love love the photographs, beautiful!

  34. Anastasia says:

    Yummy! Makes me yearn for summer!

  35. You guys always share the best stuff. Beautiful photos, cute couple, and the drinks look absolutely tasty. I hope summer time in the South gets here soon so that I may try these treats.

  36. Suz Cohen says:

    time for another visit to Los Olivos. This is a great posting.

  37. Victoria says:

    I want some of that margarita :0)

  38. Chelsea says:

    I love Enjoy! I have the great pleasure of moonlighting at one of the neighboring wineries and I always pick up some cupcakes on my work days! There is always a line out the door and if you don’t get there early, they will be gone!


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