February 22nd is National Margarita Day — the day to serve up pitchers of margaritas along with some Mexican delights, like our Mexican Spiced Chicken Thighs. Since most people have a good grasp on making the basic margarita, today we want to showcase a few interesting variations.
Vanilla Pear Margarita
by Lauren Lester, Wicked Spatula
4 oz. pear juice (we used a cored whole red pear and mixed all the ingredients in a blender instead of a shaker)
2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
fresh vanilla bean seeds from a 3 inch piece of vanilla bean
drizzle of honey (about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon)
pinch of cinnamon
cinnamon sugar for rim (equal parts cinnamon and sugar or coconut sugar)
Run a slice of lemon along the rim of a glass and then rim it in the cinnamon sugar. Fill the glass with ice.
Combine all ingredients except for the cinnamon sugar in a cocktail shaker and shake until combined. Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of fresh pear or vanilla bean.
Margaritas don’t have to always be filled with flavors of fruits or chiles. Try this one, which is floral through and through.
Prickly Pear Margaritas
recipe courtesy of Pink Patisserie
3 oz. prickly pear syrup (If you can’t find it locally, Amazon has it here)
4 1/2 oz. premium tequila or mezcal (If you want to be really fancy, use equal parts of each)
9 oz. premium sweet and sour mix
4 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup. kosher salt
Prepare salt rim by finely zesting one lime and mixing it with the kosher salt. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glasses and dip in the lime salt. Combine all ingredients in a tall shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into three glasses filled with ice. Garnish with fresh mint and lime rounds.
inspired by homewetbar.com
2 oz. silver tequila
1/2 oz. Cointreau
¼ oz. elderflower liqueur
1 oz. lavender simple syrup 1/2 lime
1 ½ cup sugar
dried lavender (instead we used rose sugar crystals found in the produce section of the grocery store)
First make the lavender simple syrup by boiling a Tbsp. of dried lavender in 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain off the lavender pieces.
In a shaker, combine 2 oz. silver tequila, 1/2 oz. Cointreau, 1 oz. simple syrup and the juice of half a lime and let sit. On a plate, mix the sugar and dried lavender (or rose sugar crystals) and use it to rim the outside of a rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Shake and strain the contents of the strainer into the glass.
Mango About Town
adapted from STK Meatpacking Restaurant (NYC)
3 oz. Don Julio Reposado
1 oz. Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
1 small mango, pureed
1 ½ oz. lemon juice
1 ½ oz. agave nectar
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
Rub rim of margarita glass with lemon juice and dip in the cayenne pepper; set aside. Combine the remaining cayenne with other ingredients in a blender with two cubes of ice and blend well. Pour the mixture into the prepared glass and serve. ¡Muy caliente!
courtesy of Homewetbar.com
2 oz. Patron Reposado tequila
1/2 oz. dandelion simple syrup
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz.lemon juice
Dandelion to garnish
Combine all ingredients into shaker mixed with ice. Shake well. Use sugar to rim the glass with. Pour contents of your shaker into rocks glass and top with dandelion flowers.
To make Dandelion Simple Syup:
Obtain dandelion petals. You need about 1 ½ a cup which approximates to about 125 flowers. You can either forage for them yourself (c’mon, they are literally everywhere) or buy some at your local health food store. Soak the petals, bring them to a boil in 3 cups of water, let steep and add 2 cups of sugar. Voila, you have dandelion simple syrup!
courtesy of Allrecipes.com
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup gold tequila (We used Herradura Reposado)
1/3 cup Triple Sec
2 large kiwis, peeled
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups small ice cubes
Combine the sugar, tequila, triple sec, kiwis, and lime juice in a blender; fill with ice cubes; blend until smooth. Pour into a margarita glass and enjoy!
2 parts Montelobos Mezcal
¾ part ginger syrup
1 part fresh lime juice
Add blackberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Combine the rest of the ingredients and shake well to mix. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with 3 blackberries on a pick.
Shooting Star Fruit Rosemary Margarita
2 oz. blanco tequila (We used Hornitos Blanco)
1 ½ oz. lemon juice
1/2 star fruit (Save some for garnish too!)
4 sprigs rosemary (2 for garnish)
1/2 oz. agave syrup
1 handful ice
First muddle the rosemary with the tequila and strain away the herbs. Add the tequila, star fruit, lemon juice, agave, and ice and blend with a stick blender. Serve in a glass rimmed with agave and rosemary salt. (Fine chopped rosemary with coarse salt.) Garnish with a star fruit disc and rosemary trailing behind!
courtesy of Johnny Swet of The Skylark (NYC)
2 oz Casamigos Reposado tequila
1 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz cane sugar
8-10 cilantro leaves
Optional: 1/2 thick rim sugar, cilantro salt (equal parts)
Preparation: Combine all ingredients into tin shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. Strain into rocks glass. Add ice. Garnish with 2 pineapple leaves.
Dragon Fruit Margarita
inspired by husbandsthatcook.com
1 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. mezcal
3/4 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 1/2 oz. freshly-squeezed lime juice
3/4 tsp. red dragon fruit purée
1 1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. club soda (optional)
lime slice, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except club soda in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds, then strain into a martini glass, or over ice in a margarita or Collins glass. Top with the club soda, garnish with a lime slice, and serve. Cheers!
Note: Dragon fruit comes with red or white pulp, though the outside looks the same. The only difference is the red pulp will give a bright red look to your margarita.
Mexican Spiced Chicken Thighs
Author: Rachel Farnsworth
8 chicken thighs
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. (Note: a deep cast iron skillet works great too!)
Lay out the chicken thighs in the prepared pan, skin-side up. Squeeze the lime juice all over the meat. Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle generously over the meat. Divide the butter up into 8 little clumps. Place 1 clump on top of each chicken thigh. Bake for about 45 minutes.
Place on the serving dish and sprinkle cilantro leaves across the top. Serve with warm tortillas.