Winter Citrus Margarita
From our very first sip, we fell madly in love with this margarita. It’s difficult to pinpoint a single favorite thing that makes it perfect, or at least to agree on one — perhaps because all the things are so beautifully blended together.
Some of us obsessed over the combination of blood orange, Cara Cara, and grapefruit juices in the drink. It tastes tangy-tart, delightfully bitter, fruity-sweet, and a little floral. And oh, what a winsome color. If such a fruit grew on trees, we’d buy the orchard. Whirled up with the simple syrup, Grand Marnier, and tequila, the juice becomes so punchy, light, and easy to drink it’s dangerous — oops, I forgot there was booze in that.
Maybe that’s why some of us thought it was the salted rim that made the drink. We laced the salt with sugar and vanilla bean, and when it collides with all that citrus, it shakes up your palate — no mindless quaffing here. We also like how the wee vanilla seeds fall into the drink, amplifying the Cara Cara’s subtle, rosy notes.
Of course, for the busy holiday host, the best thing about this margarita will always be the fact that it’s super easy to batch. It’ll be the perfect signature cocktail for your holiday dinners and happy hours: make a couple of pitchers ahead of time, so your guests can serve themselves, while you mingle merrily.
For the simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
For the vanilla bean salty sugar:
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
For the mixed citrus juice:
1 blood orange, juiced
1 Cara Cara or regular orange, juiced
½ grapefruit, juiced
For the margarita:
Lime wedge, plus slices for garnish
1 oz mixed citrus juice (above)
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz gold tequila
½ oz Grand Marnier
Blood orange slices, for garnish
Orange slices, for garnish
To make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar, stirring to combine, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Store in the fridge if not used immediately.
To make the vanilla bean salty sugar: Scrape the vanilla bean seeds out of the pod onto a plate. Add the salt and sugar. Using your fingers, mix the seeds into the salt and sugar. Set aside.
To make the mixed citrus juice: In a medium glass bowl, combine the blood orange, Cara Cara, and grapefruit juices. Set aside.
To make the margarita: Run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass, and then dip the rim in the vanilla bean salty sugar. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside.
In a shaker full of ice, combine the mixed citrus juice, lime juice, simple syrup, gold tequila, and Grand Marnier. Shake for 30 seconds and pour into a margarita glass. Garnish with citrus slices and enjoy!
Recipe source: Spices in My DNA