Spring is on the verge of being sprung, and that means bright, fruity cocktails. In this case, margaritas. The pantry was pretty bare, but thanks to frozen blueberries, shrivelled lemons, and the “emergency” tequila, we were able to whip up this…
Ingredients (makes 4)
- 1/2 cup blueberries (we used frozen)
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 tbsp lemon simple syrup (see recipe)
- 8 oz tequila (silver or reposado)
- 2 long strips of lemon zest (a potato peeler works great)
- 6 dashes of orange bitters
- 2 tbsp sugar and salt mixed with grated lemon zest, for rimming the glasses
For the lemon simple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2, 3-inch strips of lemon zest (a potato peeler works great)
To make the syrup, bring the water, sugar, and lemon zest to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Next, take the pot off the heat, let cool to room temperature, strain into a Mason jar, and place the fridge to chill.
Fifteen minutes before cocktail time, place the measured blueberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a large (!) cocktail shaker. With a muddler, smash the ingredients until pulverized, and then leave the mixture to macerate for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes, add the tequila, strips of lemon zest, and bitters to the shaker. Top with ice cubes, secure the lid, and shake till chilled. Next, carefully strain the mixture into four sugar-and-salt-rimmed tumblers filled with ice (take your time, and get every drop). Garnish with a paper brolli, and serve.
The verdict: Pretty darn good. The tequila is definitely the prominent flavour, not the blueberries. It didn’t blow anyone’s mind, but it was refreshing and hit the spot. I think lime juice might work better for this, as would fresh blueberries (rather than frozen). I’ve also read recipes that called for roasting the fruit to pump up the flavour (especially strawberries and peaches). Might opt for that come stone-fruit season. Hmm… I’m thinking plumbs… Until then, happy sipping!