Cranberry Margaritas

Happy Friday, guys! With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, I figured a festive cocktail was in order. I’ve made margaritas with almost every fruit under the sun now, but this cranberry version has always stood out as one of my favorites.

A cranberry syrup is made from fresh cranberries and sugar, then pushed through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp. Then the usual suspects are added for margarita mixing…tequila, triple sec, and margarita mix. Which, if you’re not doing so already – save yourself several bucks and make your own! It’s so much better than the store-bought stuff. You (and your cocktails!) will thank me.

I like to serve them with a sugar rim that’s had a bit of orange zest mixed into it, but a standard salt rim is also wonderful. Garnished with a few cranberries and a wedge or two of citrus, it doesn’t get any more festive than this!

Their gorgeous red hue lends perfectly to Christmas parties, especially since a large batch can be made up in advance and refrigerated until party time. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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 ย 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!