I have a recipe I love for margaritas. It’s best when made ahead of time and all of the flavors are given a chance to meld. That wait is hard because it’s usually summer before we enjoy them. Yes…summer. I am just not a winter time margarita drinker. Something about that cold and icy drink is just perfect for having friends over for summer cocktails, guacamole, chips and either fajitas or barbecue ribs.
If you’ve never had a blood orange and are wondering why it’s called that, well, now you see. Isn’t that color beautiful? The flavor is different too; they have less of a citrus bite to them and are a bit sweeter. They are gorgeous and finding these beauties is always a real bright spot in the middle of winter. I have to tell you; they make a beautiful cocktail that I just love. (She says between sips.) If my grammar or spelling declines through this post…now you know why!
Probably something about a foot of snow in my back yard that just doesn’t give me the urge, if you can imagine! But I went against my conventional wisdom after having a margarita last week at the Rio Grande and I was craving more. Combine that with seeing some blood oranges at Whole Foods the next day and I had a plan. Blood oranges are not readily available in my neck of the woods when they come into season for other parts of the country and if you can imagine from that photo above…they just don’t thrive in our climate.
Beyond the oranges I do think a couple of things are imperative for making really good margaritas.
- Use good tequila – I didn’t have my standard on hand that I use for margaritas which is Cuervo 1800; a reposado tequila meaning that it’s been aged a bit but less than one year. Not quite a high caliber sipping tequila but even a bit of aging makes for a much smoother tequila and that improvement is evident in a cocktail. All I had on hand to make this cocktail was a pricey sipping tequila. Not necessary but what a fine cocktail it made.
- Please don’t use Triple Sec – Triple Sec is merely artificially flavored sugar water. Nuff said? I use Patron Citronge but Grand Marnier or any other orange liqueur made from the actual essence of orange is good.
- Fresh lime juice and obviously fresh orange juice – even if you can’t locate blood oranges and want to try this with regular oranges I don’t recommend using frozen or bottled OJ. Buy some oranges and give them a quick squeeze…besides you needs some slices for garnish right?
Go grab some blood oranges and try this cocktail; it is now officially my ‘winter’ margarita…make it yours!
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 ounces Orange liqueur
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 3 ounces blood orange juice (2-3 oranges)
- 3 ounces tequila, preferably reposado
- salt for the rim, lime/orange wedges for garnish
- Make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar over medium high heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved; remove from heat and let cool.
- Combine equal parts of salt and sugar and spread on a saucer. Rub the rim of each glass with a lime wedge and then dip the edge into the salt/sugar combination.
- Combine 3 oz of simple syrup with orange liqueur, lime juice, blood orange juice and tequila in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for approximately 30 second until ice cold.
- Fill glasses with ice and pour mixture into the glasses. Garnish with an orange slice and lime section.