For the past couple months every time I go to the farmer’s market, there are at least half a dozen vendors selling every kind of citrus known to man. I’ve seen pomelos, grapefruits, tangerines, navel oranges, blood oranges, lemons, limes, Meyer lemons, you name it. I’ve always loved the citrus fruits, but I tend to only use them for zest or their juices in desserts. That is until I got pregnant.
This is my second go around and if there’s one thing I haven’t been able to get enough of it’s citrus. I’m not kidding. I’m going through Texas Ruby Red grapefruits, Cuties and Navels like you wouldn’t believe. I have at least two or three a day, sometimes at the end of the day even after I’ve had a couple scoops of ice cream. I’ve never been addicted to the citrus fruit like this. I don’t know what it is, I just can’t get enough of that tart, sweet flavor.
So, while I’ve been eating the fruit plain on a daily basis, I thought why not make one of my favorite cocktails out of it?
(Don’t worry, my husband’s doing all the drinking these days.) See, I’d never really tried making a margarita from scratch before. I do it the way most do with some Sweet & Sour Mix, a little triple sec and of course tequila. But I thought with all this citrus in my house, a margarita made from scratch would be out of this world. Of course I made the original, but I also mixed things up a bit and made one with blood oranges since they’re still in season. It was just as tasty and a beautiful pink color as you can see from the picture above.
Now Fridays are always devoted to classic cocktails. So why is a margarita on that list? Well, as it turns out the margarita was created before 1950. I know I usually have a date, but there seems to be some disagreement as to who created the cocktail and when. There are two popular theories. The first says that there was an actress by the name of Marjorie King who was allergic to every kind of alcohol except tequila. While visiting a bar in Rosarita Beach, Mexico she asked the bartender, Carlos “Danny” Herrera, to mix her up something using tequila. He took all the elements of a classic tequila shot, tequila, lime and salt, turned it into a refreshing cocktail and passed it to her. She enjoyed it so much he named it after her. And the Spanish version of Marjorie is Margarita.
The other popular story is that Margarita Sames, a Dallas socialite who loved to host parties, had a Christmas party in 1948. Her game of choice was to get behind the bar and see what cool alcoholic concoctions she could come up with and then let her guests sample the drinks and rate them. That night she mixed together tequila, cointreau and lime juice. The result was a success not only among her guests, but all through Dallas and beyond. The only problem with this story is that according to the Complete Book of Spirits, the first advertisements for Jose Cuervo in the U.S. used the tag line “Margarita, it’s more than a girl’s name”. And those ads were from 1945.
Whatever the real story behind this refreshing drink, the fact is it’s been around for over 60 years and that makes it a classic in my book. One which I’m more than happy to imbibe no matter if it’s the dead of winter when all different types of citrus are available or Cinco de Mayo when the classic lemon/lime is more popular.
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1-1/2 ounces triple sec
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lime
- Rub the rim of a tumbler with the wedge of a lime and dip into a saucer of salt. Fill the tumbler with ice cubes and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 1 minute. Strain into prepared tumbler, garnish with a wedge of lime and serve.
Blood Orange Margarita
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 ounce triple sec
- juice of 2 blood oranges
- juice of 1 lime
- Rub the rim of a tumbler with the wedge of a blood orange and dip into a saucer of fine sugar. Fill the tumbler with ice cubes and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 1 minute. Strain into prepared tumbler, garnish with a wedge of blood orange and serve.