As Americans, we are really good at taking other countries' holidays and turning them into an opportunity for binge drinking. And of these commandeered holidays, Cinco de Mayo is my favorite. But only until we turn Bastille Day into a chance to drink lots of wine and eat cheese and bread though. In the meantime, pass the margaritas and queso!
I have some really awesome recipes lined up to share with you this week, including TWO margarita recipes! I'm starting with the hibiscus margarita, so that you have time to order some dried hibiscus flowers from amazon before the weekend! They are relatively cheap, and you will pretty much have a lifetime supply, good for more cocktails, tea, glazes, desserts, etc. So go ahead and order them now -- I'll wait!
These margaritas were kind of an experiment, but it was a wildly successful one. I've had hibiscus cocktails before, but never margaritas, so I wasn't quite sure how they would turn out. It was a fun recipe to make because you infuse tequila with the flowers, a technique that was new to me. I liked this because it gives you a strong hibiscus flavor without watering down the tequila. No one likes watered down tequila.
The resulting margarita is a gorgeous deep red hue, with a slightly floral, slightly spicy taste, well-tempered by the lime and orange juices. This margarita had a wonderful complexity, without being too fussy or out there. If you're looking for a unique margarita for Cinco de Mayo, give this one a try. And stay tuned this week, I have more fun ideas and recipes coming at you!
adapted from chow.com
makes 6 margaritas
- 16 oz tequila blanco
- 2 oz dried hibiscus flowers (about 1 heaping cup)
- 5 oz orange liqueur
- 4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 6-7 limes)
- 5 oz freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2 oranges)
- 2 oz simple syrup
- lime wedges, for serving
In a medium saucepan, combine the tequila and hibiscus flowers. Over medium-low heat, bring to 160 degrees, or until the tequila is just beginning to steam, 5-6 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heat-resistant, quart-sized measuring cup or pitcher, and strain the tequila from the dried hibiscus flowers, pressing on them with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the flowers.
Stir the orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and simple syrup into the tequila. Cover and chill for at least an hour.
Serve over ice, with a lime wedge.