Holiday season is well underway. Thanksgiving came and went. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, followed by Christmas and then the New Year will be here before long. The foods and treats are plentiful, often heavier than other times through the year. And although I enjoy a good drink year-round, it seems that this time of year even the drinks are heavy. Eggnog or hot chocolate, perhaps coffee, laced with liquor. Creamy drinks, whose dairy and alcohol make my stomach hurt more than I desire. Besides, in my ripe old age I much prefer a less-sweet drink.
This margarita is an alternative to the heavy drinks of the season. The spiced simple syrup that is present in these margaritas is steeped with enough spice to leave this feeling more like fall or winter than an any-time-of-year margarita. Should you find yourself in need of a holiday party drink idea, the recipe can also be multiplied and made into a pitcher-style margarita for easy serving.
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay
Yields 2 margaritas
4 ounces good quality tequila (I like Don Julio Silver or Anejo)
1 1/2 ounces chilled spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
4-6 dashes bitters
lime for garnish
For the simple syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole cloves
1 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Prepare the simple syrup: Combine the sugar, water, allspice berries, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a small bowl, cover, then refrigerate until cold.
Prepare the cocktail: Combine the tequila, cold simple syrup, lime juice, bitters and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Serve straight up or on the rocks with a lime wedge for garnish.
Posted in Beverages, Booze
Tagged adult beverage, adult cocktails, beverages, drinks, fall time margarita, harvest margarita, margarita, spiced margarita, tequila, tequila cocktails, tequila drink
When it comes to cocktails, increasingly I find myself of the opinion that minimal ingredients provide a better drink. Especially when I am making a drink at home. There was a time in my life where I didn’t think this was the case. Probably around the same time I concocted “liquor soup” for my roommates and I, served in a bowl with a straw. (Bad decision.)
These days, I enjoy better quality liquor that doesn’t need to be too dressed up or masked. Generally I am a bourbon kind of lady. Knob Creek is my preference, on the rocks or straight. My husband, on the other hand, is a tequila kind of guy.
One of my favorite tequila cocktails is a simple, classic margarita. When using good tequila and fresh citrus, it’s refreshing and delicious. The following is another close favorite and a slightly sweeter take on the classic margarita. When watermelons start showing up in our grocery store, immediately I begin to think about watermelon juice, which is one of my favorite beverages. Turned into an adult beverage? Absolutely.
Easy Watermelon Margaritas
Yields 4 drinks.
4 cups watermelon, cubed
2 tablespoons agave or honey
4 limes, 3 juiced and 1 cut into wedges for garnish
1 small valencia orange, juiced
8 ounces tequila
In a blender, puree the watermelon and agave or honey until smooth. Pour the puree through a mesh strainer, transferring the strained juice to a pitcher. Add the lime juice, orange juice and tequila. Stir to combine.
Fill 4 glasses to the rim with ice then pour the margarita evenly into each glass. Garnish each with a lime wedge and serve immediately.
A little over one year ago, I shared a recipe with you that my stepson’s grandfather had shared with me. That post included some details about the adventure in making Leo’s limoncello. I told you about this incredible man, the living example of love that he is, was, and always will be. Leo left us today, at 4:45 PM. He will be incredibly missed by everyone who ever had the honor of meeting him.
In Leo’s honor, I began a new batch of limoncello today. However, I don’t have some limoncello-related recipe to share. Instead, I offer a classic margarita and a toast to the exemplary man that Leo Zaro will forever be.
Yields one cocktail.
4 ounces silver (blanco) tequila (100% agave tequila)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 large limes, 3 medium)
1 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
thinly sliced lime for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, lime juice, agave, orange juice, then fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker turns frosty. Strain the margarita into an ice-filled glass and garnish with a lime slice.
Well now, where the heck did summer go? We’ve found ourselves two days into September, I’ve pulled the last of our zucchini and summer squash, the kids are back in school, the sun disappears a little sooner into the evening, and mornings hint at fall weather. There are many ingredients I seek out season by season, preferring to use them when they’re at their peak. However, I approach cocktails with great abandon.
Summer speaks of lazy days and back porch evenings, cold beverages in hand. The following adult beverage is simplistic and delicious, balancing sweet and tart – the important elements of a good margarita. It’s a great way to finish off the last of these summer afternoons, but also fantastic dead in the middle of winter, serving as a reminder for warm weather to come.
Yields two drinks or so.
4 ounces blanco tequila *
4 ounces fresh lime juice (approximately 2 limes)
4 ounces mango juice
2 ounces fresh orange juice
2 lime wedges
* When drinking tequila, I actually prefer an añejo or resposado – both of which are aged and more complex in flavor. However, in a margarita, I find that blanco suffices and is often less expensive. You can use whatever you prefer.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, mango juice, and orange juice. Shake for 10-15 seconds, until the mixture is nicely chilled.
Fill two glasses with ice, then pour the margarita into each glass.
Add a lime wedge to the rim of each glass and serve immediately.
Posted in Beverages, Booze
Tagged adult drinks, alcoholic drinks, beverages, cocktails, drinks, happy hour, mango margarita, mango margarita tequila, mangorita, margarita, tequila, tequila drinks