This is one of those drinks/recipes (do drinks have recipes?) that I stumble across and got really excited about because it combines two of my favorite things (margaritas and something sparkling (champagne, water, prosecco, I’m not picky)), but then I get really disappointed in myself, because I didn’t think of it first… We have already established my lack of creativity earlier this week, so let’s just move on and talk about the booze.
Wait, before we talk about the booze, I have a public service announcement: Please don’t use real champagne in these. I know the name says ‘champagne’, but if you use real champagne in these you are really just wasting a lot of money and delicious champagne. You shouldn’t do that. If I wanted to be totally accurate these should be called ‘sparkling wine margaritas’, but that didn’t have the same ring to it. You should use prosecco or cava or real any sparkling wine. There is no need to be fancy here.
All that being said, these are delicious. Absolutely delicious. Extremely drinkable. Maybe a bit too drinkable.
The finely grated zest (colored part only) from 1 lime
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup 100% agave silver tequila
Superfine sugar, if needed for adding sweetness
A half lime for moistening the glass rims
Coarse (kosher) salt
1 bottle chilled brut Champagne or other sparkling wine
In a pitcher, combine the lime zest, lime juice, Cointreau, tequila and sugar if you are using it. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour).
Just before serving, strain the mixture to remove the zest, and pour enough salt into a saucer to cover the bottom. Rub a lime half over the rim of each champagne glass and upend into the salt to crust it lightly. Pour about 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) of the tequila mixture into each glass, fill the rest of the way with Champagne or sparkling wine and hand to one of your lucky guests.
It’s Fiesta time here in Santa Barbara (you might have noticed a subtle theme this week). This year I am planning on avoiding it like the plague. One day down, and 100% successful so far! I go through phases with Fiesta. It’s kind of a love-hate thing. Despite my avoidance of Fiesta, my love of all things Mexican will never diminish. Cherry margaritas might be the perfect combination of summer and Fiesta. It’s, tragically, the end of cherry season here, so I’m trying to use them in any form I can. Fresh cherry margs take it to a new level. Muddling the cherries creates an amazing juice (if only I could make it in mass quantities). If you live in an area where cherries are still available, I would highly recommend making these as soon as you can!
Put the cherries in a cocktail shaker. Mash them with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon until well crushed, about 1 minute. Add the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and 8 large ice cubes. Cover the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Immediately strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with the fresh cherry.
I love blood oranges. LOVE. Well more like borderline obsessed. For some reason they are super hard to find around here. When I was living in Budapest, I was going through nearly 2 kilos a week and every other fruit stall in the big market sold them. In Southern California, I have to hunt for them! And they are so expensive here, $4.99 for 3 pounds! They were way cheaper in Budapest. (Another reason to move back!) I have been looking for blood oranges around here for over 2 months. Every time I have asked at farmers’ market or in grocery stores, they look at me like I am a crazy person. Considering how much citrus is grown in California, I didn’t think blood oranges would be too difficult to acquire, but apparently I am mistaken. I finally found a bag of them last week and promptly set about using them in any way imaginable; margaritas, salads, straight up, but mainly margs. Blood oranges are just meant to be consumed in margarita form.
My love of blood oranges is only rivaled by my love of margaritas. Margaritas trump just about everything in my book. I would totally be more than happy to consume nothing but blood orange margaritas for the rest of my life. That would be the best life ever. You see blood orange margs are superior to most margs. They are sweet and tart and perfect. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off in search of blood oranges to hoard.
Blood Orange Margaritas
3 ounces blood orange juice
2 ounces fresh lime juice
.5 ounce simple syrup (optional)
3 ounces silver tequila
1.5 ounces triple sec
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake, shake, shake, and then shake a little more. You can rim the serving glass with salt if you feel like it. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Serve and enjoy!
I was determined to right last week’s margarita foul. This one is most definitely a winner!
I was a bit short on fresh limes and since there was a bottle of cranberry juice just sitting on my counter, it seemed like the perfect solution. Cranberry and lime just seem to go so well together. I don’t like my margaritas sweet, which was my major problem with last week’s, but this marg more than made up for it. It’s tart, tangy and refreshing. I used a bit of green sugar sprinkles on the rim to make it feel a bit more ‘festive’, which is probably as festive as it’s going to get in these parts (I relate to this guy on multiple levels). I will warn you the green sugar can ‘run’ when it gets wet, so you might end up with some stains on your hands/mouth/face/coaster/etc., so consider yourself warned.
Cranberry Margaritas Yields 2 margaritas (or 1 if you’re me)
juice of 2 limes
4 ounces cranberry juice
4 ounces silver tequila
2 ounces triple sec
In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients, add ice cubes, and shake like hell.
I was on the fence about trying this margarita from the beginning. I’m not a big fan of gold tequila or cinnamon, especially when combined (too many flashbacks to shots at Morrison’s in Budapest (yes, in Budapest they serve shots of gold tequila with cinnamon and a wedge of orange, kinda horrible, kinda great)) and I have always had an issue with apple juice ever since I was on a field trip in preschool and the kid next to me yacked up their juice box during a tour of a hospital. I went to a dirty, hippie parent-child ‘workshop’ (not a preschool, a workshop) and they were really big into broadening our horizons from an early age and took us on many field trips to hospitals, marine biology labs and the city jail, but in fact these attempts have left me with a lifelong fear of needles, apple juice and law enforcement officials (but that’s another story).
I digress, you all don’t need to hear about my issues that stem from early childhood, let’s get back to this marg. So, like I said, I was apprehensive from the get go. I was only able to get about 2 sips into this thing before I had to add some lemon juice. SWEET. So, so sweet. I do not like sweet margs, tart and tangy is how I roll. I added some fresh squeezed lemon juice and it helped improve the drink a lot, at least for me. I guess I can now say, I’ve finally met a margarita I don’t like, but if you are a fan of super sweet drinks or apple juice this would probably be right up your alley.
It’s no secret I’m obsessed with tequila. It is also no secret that I am obsessed with balsamic. So, it should be no surprise that as soon as I saw this drink, I became obsessed with trying it.
When I took my first sip, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I was quite surprised to be met by such a savory flavor, which quickly turned quite sweet. It kind of reminded me of a lemonade type drink because of the contrast between sweet and tart. It was definitely very different than any cocktail I’ve tried before. It is probably not going to become my go to drink anytime soon, but I would definitely consider it again on a hot summer afternoon.
The first time I had a spicy margarita was this past New Year’s Eve. New Year’s was a bust, but at least I got to know this delightful little drink.
After reading the Sugar House’s basic ingredients, I knew it would be best to adjust them to my own taste, which meant a lot more lime and a splash more juice to balance the extra tang just a smidge. I personally thought 3 jalapeno slices was perfect, but some of my drinking companions did not agree. I’ve got a bit more of an adventurous palate and I love spice and I love tangy, so I just went for it. The drink is not overwhelmingly sweet, which is good in my book, and if you have a super fresh watermelon, you definitely won’t need any extra agave unless you like sweet. I found that with each sip, you taste three primary flavors at three different times. First the tangy lime, then the cool watermelon and then the spice sneaks up. It was amazing.
Even if jalapeno isn’t your thing, I would still suggest trying it. It’s a very unique and refreshing drink and can easily be adjusted to taste.
A dash of Agave syrup
3 fresh jalapeno slices (seeded and cored unless you are really crazy)
Muddle jalapeno, juice and agave. Add alcohol and shake over ice. Double strain (pour from strainer through sieve, otherwise you will get jalapeno chucks in your marg!). Serve over ice and enjoy!