In Good Spirits
By Cheré Coen | Photography courtesy of taste.com
National Tequila Day arrives July 24 and what’s better on a hot summer day than a cool frozen margarita.
But not just any margarita. While celebrating this year’s tequila day — or any day for that matter — we encourage you to think outside the tequila bottle and liven up the standard cocktail with fruit flavors and liqueurs.
Take Ricky LaCour’s version, for instance. Ricky and his wife, Sylvia LaCour, have restored an old commissary building in the historic Bermuda Community outside Natchitoches, Louisiana. The restaurant and bar have become a community gathering place, with much of that success owning to Ricky’s signature drink, the Richarita. The LaCours won’t release their secret recipe for this innovative margarita, but it’s a combination of tequila, Blue Curacao and lime juice.
Avion Tequila, a Mexican company which produces an all-natural tequila from blue agave grown at high elevations, loves experimenting with margarita flavors. Those flavors include Paloma with grapefruit juice and a splash of club soda, a spicy sage-accented drink with a jalapeno-infused elderflower liqueur and garnished with sage leaves, and the Avion Sunset made with Lillet Rouge aperitif wine. Its small batch silver tequila with a crisp and fruit-forward taste that works well in a pomegranate margarita, and the recipe follows.
Creating a margarita doesn’t require bartending skills. A classic margarita includes tequila, lime juice, a sweet ingredient such as triple sec, simple syrup or fruit liqueur, ice and salt for the rim of the glass. For margaritas on the rocks, mix ingredients in a shaker vigorously then pour over ice into a cocktail glass. For frozen margaritas, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth, then serve.
To create a tasty salt accompaniment, wet the rim of the glass with a sliced lime. Pour coarse salt such as kosher or sea salt on to a plate, then dip the cocktail glass into the salt, turning slowly to develop a nice salt layer on the glass rim.
Here are a couple of margarita recipes to enjoy when the temperatures rise. Since margaritas are notoriously calorific, we’ve included one that watches its weight. It’s also ridiculously easy to make since all you need to add is tequila and lime — even the salt comes ready-made!
Avion’s Flying Pomegranate Margarita
1 1/2 ounces Avion Silver Tequila
1 3/4 ounces pomegranate juice
3/4 ounces sour mix (2 to 1 lime juice/simple syrup)
3/4 ounces orange liqueur
Directions: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime twist.
Stirring’s 5-Calorie Margarita
3 ounces Stirrings 5-Calorie Margarita Cocktail Mix
1 1/2 ounces tequila
Stirrings Margarita Rimmer
Directions: Rub the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Dip the rim of the glass into the Margarita Rimmer. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine cocktail mixer and tequila. Shake well. Strain into the prepared glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve.