Did you know that tomorrow, Saturday, February 22nd is National Margarita Day? If I had my way and a moment of extra time I would campaign hard to get it moved. How? Why? What was someone thinking when they made the quintessential summer cocktail’s ‘day’ in the middle of winter. Maybe it was someone in Australia who initiated that effort? In any event it is what it is and I would be remiss to ignore it. I love, love, love margaritas and for me, they were the start of my foray into making my own cocktails. This recipe is my classic favorite but I have to say that adding blood oranges to my favorite cocktail is right up there. They make a gorgeous and extremely tasty addition to my arsenal and this year I’ve upped the ante just a bit more!
The folks with Driscoll Berries sent me a certificate for some berries and I found some gorgeous strawberries and raspberries at the market. Unable to decide which ones to include with blood oranges, I gave up and just did both; can you blame me? Wow! Normally I make a cocktail or two and might try one of them. Yesterday I tried one and then just to make sure it passed muster I decided I needed to work on the second one too. Maybe it’s their hint of summer that is so perfect; aren’t we all just really sick and tired of snow and cold this year? Maybe that is the point of the mid-winter national celebration of this cocktail; to remind us of better days. Of the warmth of the sun on our shoulders and streaks of gold in our hair and certainly with a refreshing cold cocktail in our hand? Just thinking about it makes me ready; how about you?
For this cocktail I was provided with a bottle of Casa Noble’s ‘Crystal’ Tequila Blanco; 100% Agave Tequila that is produced at La Cofradia in Jalisco, Mexico. Called Crystal because Casa Noble believes it is unique and in a class by itself. I loved the smoothness of this tequila which is good enough for sipping and just amazing in this cocktail. It is contained in a beautiful hand blown glass decanter, adorned with an exquisite metal engraved label; I know it’s a bottle I’ll be keeping long after the tequila is gone! Some of you may already know this but I loved learning that as of July 2011 music icon Carlos Santana joined the Board and is now one of the owners of the brand…seems most appropriate!
This is a crystal clear tequila which is my preference for mixing with brilliant fruit hues. The taste of buttery, sweet agave and spices are soft on the palate and are complemented by a hint of citrus; the perfect tequila to marry with margaritas in my book. Drinking it straight I found the well-balanced finish clean, smooth and silky and yes of course, I would do that again. I learned long ago that drinking Tequila straight up is a pleasure when you use a really good product and this qualifies.
As ready for warm weather as I am? Try this cocktail and see if it doesn’t transport you to a warmer place. Or go on; sit by the fire and have one…either way I just know you’ll love it!
Happy National Margarita Day!! Have a great margarita to share? Would love to see your links!
A Very Berry Blood Orange Margarta
- 1/4 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 10-12 raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 6 fresh strawberries
- 2-3 oz agave nectar
- 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
- 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.
- Put the raspberries and strawberries into a cocktail shaker with 1 Tbsp of agave nectar and using a muddler or the back of a large spoon, smash the berries and mix well.
- Add the remaining agave nectar with the orange liqueur, lime juice, blood orange juice and tequila in the cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for approximately 30 second until ice cold.
- Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer to remove the solids.
- Fill the rimmed glasses with ice and pour mixture into the glasses. Garnish with an orange slice, lime section and strawberry.
You can use a simple syrup in lieu of the agave nectar. Simply heat 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water until dissolved and cool before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
I was provided with a bottle of the Casa Noble Blanco ‘Crystal’ Tequila but all opinions are my own.