Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Make A Really Good Margarita (Blood Orange Margaritas)

The other day Oprah had a show on aging gracefully. Just before commercial breaks she had little mini Q&A segments with older women. One of the questions was something like "What do you know?" Were Oprah to ask me that question, I would say, "Oprah, I know how to make a killer margarita." In this day of bottled premixed margs, it is a skill of which I am most proud.

Blood Orange Margaritas
1 cup sugar
4 limes (more for garnish)
3 lemons
1 blood orange
Sauza Hornitos
Grand Marnier

I begin by making a sweet and sour mix. Start with the simple syrup. In a sauce pan, mix 1 cup of sugar with 2 cups of water and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Juice the limes and lemons. Mix the juice, the simple syrup and 4 cups of water in a pitcher. Taste and adjust. It should taste like a nice tart lemon/limeade. (If you want to skip this step, Simply Limeade is a perfectly reasonable substitute. I use it all of the time. I don't really care for any other sour mix though.)

Next, juice a blood orange. Reserve.

This is an optional step. If you have a fancy freezer that crushes ice for you, you don't need to do this. Otherwise, here's how I crush mine. Ice goes into a plastic bag.

I cover it with a towel, and beat beat beat it with my muddler. (Rolling pins work too.)

After a minute or so, I end up with some lovely crushed ice.

Fill a couple tall glasses with ice. Add an ounce and a half of Sauza Hornitos and an ounce and a half of Grand Marnier (uh, these are gonna be strong)to each. Not to be picky here, but no substitutions on the booze. I use Cuervo in margs sometimes, but I think it gives a dirty after taste. Sauza Hornitos is a nice middle of the road tequila that isn't super expensive, but isn't rot gut either. It tastes clean. And Grand Marnier is the trick to making any margarita taste like a Top Shelf marg. Add sweet and sour leaving a little bit of room for the blood orange.

Top each with the reserved blood orange juice.

Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel, stir and consume.

These margaritas are also perfectly delicious without the blood orange juice.

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