Recipe: Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita

Margaritas are the only drink that I get a real craving for often. This craving is often followed by a desire to eat all the chips and guacamole I can find. And then definitely enchiladas in mole sauce. Or tacos al pastor. But usually I crave the mole sauce and a good citrusy margarita. So that's what we're making today (the margarita, that is. I'll leave the mole to the professionals).

This recipe is pretty straightforward. Juice from blood oranges and limes, tequila, a little triple sec for good measure. But we're mixing things up a bit with a jalapeno simple syrup. It's subtle, but after a few sips you start to feel the burn in the back of your throat. If you are into the super in-your-face-spicy, feel free to throw more than one pepper in the sugar/water mixture. I like my jalapenos a little more subtle.

Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita

Makes one drink

1/2 cup blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 1/2 oz jalapeno simple syrup (recipe below)
2 oz tequila
1 lime
splash of triple sec

To make the jalapeno simple syrup: Bring 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and a jalapeno sliced into two pieces lengthwise to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally so sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove jalapenos, and pour through a strainer into an airtight container. Let cool completely in the fridge before use.

To make the cocktail, dip rim of glass into a little water or agave and then into coarse salt or sugar (optional). Fill glass with ice, add blood orange juice, jalapeno simple syrup, tequila, and triple sec. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into cocktail. Stir to incorporate and garnish with jalapeno and blood orange slices.

Blueberry Lime Smash

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 6.jpg

Recently, I've been discovering the world of cocktails. I usually never ordered them while out to dinner or out for drinks because it was hard for me to envision how it would taste. I've always tried my mom's martinis and rarely ever liked them. They never tasted like much more than vodka. Then I became a beer gal, which was Tim's influence, trying different beers and discovering what I liked. But now that it's summer, I've be trying out fruity cocktails. They just seem so special.

I stumbled upon Cindy's wonderful blog, Hungry Girl por Vida, and her recipe for Blackberry Ginger Smash. Upon reading, I learned that a smash is a cocktail made by muddling mint and sugar, and maybe adding some kind of fruit, and booze and soda. Sounds like everything I want in a cocktail! In my recipe, I left out the sugar because it becomes way too sweet, but you do as you please. Here we go.

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 4.jpg

Blueberry Lime Smash

makes 1 drink

  • handful of blueberries (about 20 or so)
  • 4-6 mint leaves, depending on the size
  • half a lime
  • 2oz vodka (or more if like your drink with some bite, I did.)
  • berry flavored zero-calorie sparkling water (or soda water)

You could either make this drink directly in the glass or in a shaker. If you don't mind having chucks of fruit and mint in your drink, make it in the glass. I prefer to strain that out so chunks don't get stuck in the straw. I am anti-chunks. Especially if it's chunks of fruit. Bleh.

In a shaker, muddle blueberries, mint, and a squeeze of lime juice until the mint is bruised and all the berries broken up. Add vodka and ice, shake. 

Strain into a lowball glasses. Fill the rest of the glass with the flavored sparkling water. Finish with another squeeze of lime juice, and garnish with a few whole blueberries and a lime slice. Bam. New favorite at-home cocktail.

Part of the fun with cocktail recipes is you can change things around so they fit your specific tastes. More or less mint, a different kind of berry or fruit, gin instead of vodka. The possibilities are pretty limitless. 

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 1.jpg

These would also be very easy to make in a large batch for guests or a party. Tim and I are kind of obsessed with those zero-calorie flavored sparkling waters. We usually pick up 5-6 of them each time we go to the food store. There are so many different flavors and they're like 50cents a bottle! We usually buy the store brand and they're found in the water aisle.

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Enjoy! :)