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Since this is the last recipe I’ll post before Christmas arrives I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays. It means the world to me that you are here, showing your love and cooking the recipes and being just downright lovely, lovely people. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. Can I toast you with a Cranberry Ginger Margarita?
I hope over the next week you will gather together with people you love to celebrate another year, the beauty that is life, and just having a moment of joy in this often crazed existence we all live. And for that, I wanted to leave you with a cocktail, and a beautiful one at that.
I was halfway through developing a straight-up ginger margarita when my eye caught the last of the cranberry agua fresca sitting in the fridge and well, history was made in the form of the most gorgeous-hued cranberry ginger margarita I ever did create.
Now, of course I’d be overjoyed if you made the cranberry agua fresca and then turned it into this margarita but you certainly don’t have to. I also tried it with store-bought cranberry juice and it tasted just as festive.
Make sure you use a microplane, you want it really fine but if the thought of ginger strands stuck between your teeth grosses you out you can strain the drink over fresh ice in each glass before serving.
The final holiday pizzazz comes in the form of a lime and salt rim around each glass which is made by grating a little zest from a lime (use the microplane remember), mixing with some coarse salt and sticking it to the rim of each glass—fancy!
The recipe makes either 1 enormous drink or 2 regular-sized drinks so you can either share with a friend or have a very merry Christmas by yourself! Cheers!!
A Marigold Mezcal Margarita is a cocktail to celebrate the symbolic Day of the Dead flower with marigold syrup, mezcal, and fresh squeezed lime.
I’ve always thought of the marigold as a humble flower. More of a workhorse, a plain jane, not exactly the crown jewel of the garden.
That was until I was introduced to the African marigold, Flor de Muerte in Spanish or cempaxuchil. These tall-stemmed queens are strewn into wreaths, and constructed into brilliant arcs surrounding altars in Oaxaca and all over Mexico for Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. They’re blossoms can be as big as 6-inches and grow wild in the Oaxacan countryside through October leading up to Dia de los Muertos celebrations on November 1 and 2. They’re fragrant scent and bright orange color are said to awaken the senses of the dead and bring joy to the living.
They’re symbolism make them perfect for a Day of the Dead cocktail which we made for our Dia de los Muertos Fiesta which you can read all about here. Dried marigolds make a beautiful syrup and their floral, slightly bitter flavor go smashingly with smoky mezcal.
One of my newest mezcal discoveries is Mezcal Yuu Baal. It has undertones of smoke, but not in your face like some. It also is lightly fruity, like maybe kiwi? Whatever it is, it goes lovely with this cocktail; gentle enough to let the marigold essence come through. A fun marigold salt rim makes this cocktail extra special.
Fresh squeezed lime juice is essential for a good margarita.
Give everything a good shake.
And party time!
Now you’ve gotten this down, here are some other marigold cocktails to try:
Marigold Muerte Drink from Muy Bueno Cookbook
All photos courtesy of Beard and Bonnet
I was well into my twenties before I stopped making margaritas with a store-bought mix. Not that I consumed large quantities of margaritas back then. I was more of a Absolut Citron and Tonic kinda gal in college. A drink that made me feel simultaneously cosmopolitan and not nauseous.
It wasn’t until a few years post college when I was working as a chef at Mustard’s Grill in Napa Valley that I realized margaritas were little more than fresh-squeezed lime juice, great tequila, and a splash of orange liqueur. And alas, a love was born.
It wasn’t however until last week when my sister was visiting and we were sipping on this here drink, that I realized amongst aaaalllllllllllllll the margarita recipes I have on this site not one of them are for the one I actually make most often. The one I fell in love with oh so many years ago. A classic cadillac margarita, with four simple ingredients; the best silver tequila you can afford, fresh-squeezed lime juice (none of that bottled stuff please), orange liqueur (preferably Grand Marnier), and (in my opinion) agave syrup.
Ingredients are important but I also believe technique has something to do with the overall success of the drink. How you layer the alcohol and juice in the shaker makes a difference, and not just in a margarita but all cocktails. You want to add the ice to the shaker first. Then the main alcohol (in this case tequila), then the secondary alcohol (Grand Marnier), then the syrup, and the juice on top. And really shake it until the outside of the shaker is frosty and beading with sweat.
Now before you get your panties in a wad, I fully realize that a classic Cadillac margarita does not have added sweetener. That the Grand Marnier IS the sweetener. But this is the way I like it and I urge you to try it. I like to use more lime juice than is typically called for and the sweetness of the agave balances it out just perfectly. If you still feel it is too sweet, then feel free to leave it out.
Once you’ve got this one mastered it is pretty simple to venture forth into other margarita flavors. The easiest variations simply substitute the agave syrup for a fruit-flavored syrup. Try these recipes below or hop over to the Margarita Week page for inspiration from my favorite food bloggers!
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Holy Mother of God, what a week!!
Seriously, when I conjured up this whole Margarita Week thing in my head I thought maybe a few of my friends would throw up some recipes because they love me and know I love tequila but I never thought so many über-talented food bloggers (many of whom I only know in the virtual sense of the term) really went BIG! I mean just take a moment to peruse through this list. It breaks my margarita-loving heart then seals it back up again with a salted rim. All I want to say to those of you who participated is, Thank You. You guys make me very thirsty.
After reading Nicole’s post on what Cinco de Mayo is really about I wanted to make up some brutal blood-colored margarita and call it “The Machete” or a corn-flavored one and call it “The Campesino” but those ideas still need to be fleshed out. (I have copyright on all that business so don’t get any big ideas :).
Instead I went with something loosely based on a cocktail I had in Miami at Yardbird, (a most delicious fried chicken place that you should obviously visit). It was a bourbon drink but also had blackberries and lemon and I knew tequila would fit in there somewhere.
This margarita is excellent if you’re entertaining tonight because not only can you make the syrup ahead of time but you can mix up a big pitcher of the entire drink, without ice of course, cover it and refrigerate until party time.
If you want to be fancy you can also make blackberry ice by popping fresh blackberries into an ice cube tray and filling with water then freeze! Add those to each glass and everyone will think you’re the shit….which you are.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 drinks
Ice cubes and syrup can be made up to a week in advance. Margarita can be mixed and refrigerated in the pitcher up to a day in advance.
I’ve been doing this TV bit for a few months now.
Every few weeks I appear at 9:30am on local, live, Fargo, North Dakota TV and make something fun or educational or slightly alcoholic. I never planned on this being a regular thing but they keep asking me back and people get so excited about it. One of my friends even took a picture of her TV while I was on it and posted it to Facebook–so, so sweet!
The last time I was on I made Bloody Marias (basically Bloody Marys but with tequila instead of vodka) and I got so many comments about how there should be more drinking tequila at 9am on TV. So next week I’ll be making this here Morning Margarita because I give the people what they want.
I also think this would be the perfect thing to make for Easter brunch. The recipe makes only one cocktail but you could easily scale it up to make a pitcher. Fresh-squeezed orange juice make it totally appropriate for morning drinking and a splash of black currant-flavored creme de cassis gives it a layered fruity note that would go perfectly with buttery French toast and bacon.
If you’re not local I’ll post the segment here next week after it’s live. In the meantime, try the drink out this weekend and let me know what you think!
Looking for more tequila in the morning? Check out my MARGARITA board on Pinterest!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 drink
Fresh squeezed orange juice and a splash of creme de cassis lighten the classic margarita making it perfect for sipping any time of day.
Hi Friends! I bring you this off-schedule post because it’s National Margarita Day (!!!) and how could I possibly miss that?!
I have no idea why February 22 holds such high honors as to be the representative of tequila, lime juice, and salt but it does and today is the day so let’s not ask too many questions. I will chime in to say that it probably has something to do with tequila companies not wanting margarita consumption to wane in the winter. As if?!
Margaritas hold such a dear, sweet place in my heart. They lie somewhere below my children and somewhere above guacamole, it’s real and true. Remember all the margaritas we’ve made in the past? There was the mango one with the spicy chile rim, the crushed strawberry margarita from Cinco de Mayo 2015, oh, oh, and the honey grapefruit margarita from waaaaayyyy back (don’t look too closely at that photo, it’s not my best work).
A few weeks ago I had some fresh-pressed apple cider hanging out in my fridge and no one was drinking it so I had this brilliant idea to reduce it into a thick, über-appely syrup that could a) last longer and b) be mixed into cocktails. Which tells you two things about me a) I won’t throw food away to save my poor family’s soul and b) I’m constantly thinking about cocktails.
Lucky us the cocktail idea was really stellar. The syrup is like an apple bomb in liquid form and adds sweetness, floral apple flavor, and a little tang all at once, making the need for other ingredients fairly unnecessary. Aside from your requisite tequila and lime juice the apple syrup has got it all locked in. You can salt the rim if you’d like but I think a little sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top adds just enough.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 drink
Tequila, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and pressed apple cider syrup is a cold-weather twist on this classic summer cocktail.
Cider syrup will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to a month. Use any extra over pancakes, oatmeal, or ice cream.
If there ever was a time to break out those upside down sombreros, also known as margarita glasses, today is the day.
But, but, but for some reason in my plethora of glassware you won’t find nary a one. I suppose that has something to do with most of my “props” being hand-me-downs from my grandmother and she was more of a gin-and-tonic-sorta gal than a margarita one. In the summers especially she’d make herself a tall gin and tonic and carry it around neatly wrapped in a colorful paper cocktail napkin suited for the occasion.
Most of them were emblazoned with floral arrangements or wine grapes with lots of trailing vines. When she died I found four drawers full of cocktail napkins. My favorite had a nun drinking out of the aforementioned inverted hat and read ‘Sister Mary Margarita’. I guess she did enjoy a good ‘ol Mexican cocktail every once in a while.
Anyhoo, it’s Cinco de Mayo and while I can’t offer up a slurpee-esque strawberry marg in a glass the size of my three-year-old’s head I can offer a very tasty alternative. This drink tastes more like real strawberries and less like bubble gum. It allows you to drink a fruit-flavored cocktail and maintain your dignity. Also muddling the strawberries and lime wedges together smells intoxicating all by itself, just imagine what happens when you add the tequila.
Happy Cinco de Mayo party people!! Viva Mexico!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 drink
Follow the link for my favorite (and super easy) orange syrup recipe or substitute Cointreau or Grand Mariner for a slightly more boozy drink.
This being the weekend before Cinco de Mayo I think it’s only right that I bring you a margarita recipe. I mean what kind of Latina (nueva or otherwise) can think of anything but tequila, lime juice, and salt in a moment like this?
There is no better cocktail (in my humble opinion) than the margarita. Sure, there are more interesting drinks out there. Prettier ones requiring more exotic liquor, and herbs that need to be slapped just so but I will always return to a well-made margarita if given the choice. It probably has something to do with tequila, I have a borderline obsessive affinity for it, especially it’s scent. When I was pregnant with Louisa I used to take the bottle down from the shelf and waft it under my nose for a good few minutes, slumping against the wall in pure bliss. If anyone out there wants to make a tequila-scented perfume I will happily buy it.
Running a close second to the tequila part is the salted rim part. Getting that salty tinge mixed with the all-at-once sweet and sour drink is pure heaven. Which is why a mango margarita with a chipotle chili, sugar, and salt rim is pure heaven x 10.
This drink is super simple to pull off, only requiring a handful of ingredients and a cocktail shaker. I used mango nectar instead of fresh mango to make a drink that is big on mango flavor but small on effort, which comes in handy when you’ve had more than one margarita.
If you are excited about Cinco de Mayo as I am, follow my Cinco de Mayo board on Pinterest for tons of fun party ideas.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 drink