To mark the Lunar New Year in boozy style, we not surprisingly reached for three ingredients that pull at our celebratory heartstrings: silver tequila, salt, and lime juice. Then, to make it about the new year (rather than just us), we broke out the oranges, considered traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune. For this margarita, we opted for blood oranges: a little tart (almost like a raspberry), a little sweet, and all kinds of disturbing colours inside—bloody-reds, purplish-browns, and every other shade you’d expect a blushing bruise to be. Here’s how we made it.
Ingredients (makes 4)
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 1/4 cups blood-orange juice
- 1 cup silver tequila
- 3 ounces Cointreau
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 1 tbsp sugar mixed with 1/2 tbsp salt and the zest of 1 lime (for rimming the glasses)
- Sage leaves and orange wedges, to garnish
Place the fresh sage leaves in a small pitcher, and tamp them with a wooden spoon so that they are bruised but not broken. Next, pour in the orange juice, tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Stir to combine, cover, and place in the fridge to chill. When it’s cocktail time, rim 4 white-wine glasses with lime juice, and give them a quick dip in the sugar, salt, and lime zest mixture. Next, fill the glasses with ice, pour in the chilled booze, and garnish with sprig of sage and an orange wedge.
The verdict: No surprise here, it was good drinkin’. The sage, however, was pretty much lost on us all, so I think we’d up the herb factor next time. That said, it’s completely possible that the earthy, medicinal notes of the sage where indistinguishable from the similar flavours in the tequila. As for the flourishes, the mixture of sugar, salt and lime zest for the rim was a good call. Just be sure to use a light hand (it’s a drink, not a chew).