Blackberry Margaritas

Happy Friday! I don’t know if it’s just me – or, has it been an especially long week for everyone? I thought nothing would be better to close out the week than a good cocktail! And, what better way to round out this week of blackberry posts than blackberry margarita? You guys know me, I always reach for the tequila first.

Thankfully, so does Shawnda – I don’t know there there is a fruit left under the sun that she hasn’t turned into a delicious margarita. Nothing but goodness in this glass – homemade margarita mix, tequila, triple sec, and blackberry  puree. I went ahead and put it through a fine mesh strainer, but I think they’d be fun to muddle right in the glass too. A blackberry mojito may or may not be in the works already…

With Fall finally here, some might want to tuck that bottle of tequila away in the back of the liquor cabinet – never to be seen, or heard from again until warmer months next year. Not in this house! Sure, I might make beer my beverage of choice for the winter months – but, a girl still needs a fruity mixed drink every now and again. My girlfriend visited Cape Cod over the summer, and came home raving about a pomegranate margarita she’d had on vacation, and begged me to come up with a recipe for her. So, here it is Michelle – only 3 months after you asked me!

I love the addition of the pomegranate juice. It adds such beautiful color, and flavor, and enough sweetness that no simple syrup or agave is necessary. When I start to see those bright, fuchsia balls of color in the produce departments around this time of year – I can’t help but get excited for the months ahead. Fall and Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then – Christmas. It’s just so much fun, in the kitchen and otherwise, to look forward to. I’m hoping these festive and fruity drinks make the weeks pass by a little faster, so that treasured time with friends and family will be here all the quicker! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Any True Blood fans out there? It’s an HBO series set in the heart of Louisiana. A synthetic blood has been created, and vampires have been able to “come out of the coffin”, as it were, and live among us. Where there’s one, there is usually more, and lots of other supernatural characters have been introduced – werewolves, shape shifters, ancient fire gods. In a world full of junky, reality TV – it’s nice to have a television program that’s still scripted! This past Sunday was the Season 5 finale, and it didn’t disappoint.

My favorite character, Lafayette – who is a gay Voodoo priest/medium, in addition to a line cook, made some delectable looking Cajun Margaritas for the waitresses after their shift ended. I love margaritas, and I love the flavors and feelings that go along with anything Cajun. I couldn’t wait to make them! Most recipes I found online simply called for the addition of hot sauce to make it Cajun, but that just sounded lame. Then, I remembered the strawberry-infused vodka I had made earlier in the year. Why not do the same with chile peppers and tequila?

It’s an extra step that takes a day or so, but man oh man. It’s so amazing how liquor can leech all the qualities from something into itself. After only an overnight soaking of jalapenos and serranos in a Mason jar full of tequila, it had a lot of heat to it. We’ve made a Habenero IPA before, that we really liked. It’s so wild to take a drink, and feel the heat in your blood. This margarita gives it to you!

I’ve never been a blended marg gal, but I liked it here. Almost like a fire & ice thing going on. Jon and I both really enjoyed them, he drank virtually the whole pitcher. Which, isn’t like him – he’s a beer guy. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit different to go on this long weekend’s menu, add these to the menu. A little heat to close out this last week of summer!

It’s no secret that I’ve been kind of a lush when it comes to margaritas, or most mixed drinks (or craft beer) in general. But these cherry margaritas? They’ll blow your mind. Even my best girlfriend, who had sworn she didn’t like margaritas, changed her tune after trying one of these. And, now whenever she comes to visit – I’d better make sure I have some cherries on hand. Not that I don’t have them on hand this time of year anyway… But, I always manage to squeeze some manual labor out of her and make her muddle.

The muddling of the cherries brings out all their sweet juicy goodness, a splash of maraschino cherry juice to replace the dab of simple syrup, then mix it with a basic margarita mix and you’re all set. Be ready to receive plenty of compliments on your mixology! I’m making a gallon-sized jug to take to a campout/party on “The Sandbar” this weekend. It’s this little stretch of beach at the inlet to ocean, only accessible by boat of course. It’s the local spot for fun in the sun, and you can bring your dog – which is a huge plus for us.

This is the second annual campout now, and quite a few old friends are going. While we get out for an occasional dinner without the boys – I’m ready to get my dancing shoes on. Or, off actually, as we’ll be dancing in the sand. Fun stuff. I have a feeling that with these margaritas to share, I’ll make a few new friends too! Have a great weekend, everyone!