A few of my favorite bloggers and I have put together a some ideas for celebrating our nation’s Independence Day.
Strawberry margaritas are so refreshing. I absolutely love them with a sugared rim. Of course these can be made with frozen strawberries but fresh is always best. These are perfect to enjoy sitting out by the pool, relaxing with friends or just to make a Saturday afternoon special. As I mentioned before in my post for Key Lime Margaritas, use the best tequila you can afford. Silver is fine but I like to use a Reposado. This recipe makes 2 servings and if you need more make it again. I don’t recommend doubling it. I know it takes more time but it will be worth it. The ice will blend better when making fewer servings at a time.
Having a party? A punch is a great beverage to serve whether it’s spiked or not. To keep it cold, freeze some of the punch in muffin cups. When it’s time to serve it, place the muffin tin on a baking sheet with a small amount of almost hot water to loosen the ice. Use these in your punch bowl and your punch won’t be diluted.
With more than 20 years experience in the wine and spirit industry, I know a little something about adult beverages. My motto: The better the ingredients the better the cocktail! That really applies to all aspects of cooking, whether it’s wine for a main dish, vanilla for baking or tequila for a margarita. That said, you don’t have to run out and buy an expensive tequila for this drink. But let’s talk about tequila a little bit. 100% Blue Agave tequila is going to be the best tasting and you can find some decent 100% Blue Agave tequilas on the market for a reasonable price. Blanco or white or silver tequila is clear and unaged. Reposado or “rested”, is aged a minimum of two months but less than one year. Anejo or “aged” (old) is aged a minimum of one year but less than three years. Personally I would use a reposado. Blanco tequila, even one that is 100% blue agave, can be harsh. Anejo tequilas are nice sipping tequilas. It will make a great margarita but will be the priciest choice.
Now let’s discuss the juice. Fresh is best but I realize Key limes are not available everywhere or even year round, for that matter. I am lucky to have a Key lime tree in my backyard so I freeze lots of juice for use throughout the year. One of the most popular Key lime juices on the market is Nellie and Joe’s. You can find it in most grocery stores. If Key limes are not available, Persian limes will work just fine. Since the Persian lime is much larger than the Key lime, you will probably need fewer to yield the same amount of juice.
So this is a recipe inspired by the Classic Margarita recipe I found in a cookbook called Margartias 101. I made it my own by tweaking some of the ingredients, namely using a non-alcoholic triple sec for the Cointreau. Just because a drink has more alcohol doesn’t mean it’s a better drink. It’s just more expensive and Cointreau is an expensive ingredient.
First you need to make a simple syrup. It’s called simple syrup because it’s so easy to make. There are a few ways to make it but I make it using equal parts sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate any leftover. I make this for my husband to sweeten his iced tea.
Now for the margarita recipe. Cheers.