This past weekend, I had so much fun learning about cocktails at the Denver Bloggers Club happy hour and cocktail making event! Mixologist extraordinaire, Barb Kiebel, from Creative Culinary, taught us how to make the perfect margarita and we all played around with our own additions and had so much fun! My creation was a blood orange basil margarita – the citrus is refreshing and sweet while the basil leaves you with a complementary, refreshing flavor. Give it a try or make a creation of your own!
A huge thanks to Sprouts Farmer’s Market for sponsoring the event by providing the freshest fruits, veggies, snacks, and goodie bags!
All flavored margaritas start the same way – with a base. Base margaritas are made of lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, salt, sugar, tequila, and triple sec. It’s best to use fresh juices and allow the juices and alcohol to meld together for at least 4 hours. The base margarita recipe we used can be found here. Barb also has some great secrets if you just don’t have the 4 hours to wait!
After preparing the base margarita mixture, it’s time to assemble the margarita. Start by rimming the glass. I’m a salt girl, but Barb suggested rimming the glass with both salt and sugar… after tasting I have to say – I’m sold! To get the look, mix some salt, sugar, and lemon or lime zest in a plate. Make sure the zest is fresh for the best color and flavor – aged zest tends to darken and look less appealing in color. For a more festive looking rim, you can use colored sanding sugar. Then, take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass. This will make the glass sticky so the salt/sugar/zest combo sticks. Dip the glass in the mixture, give it a few twists, and voila – you’re ready to pour!
Next, pick your fruit flavorings. The possibilities are endless so this is really the place to get creative! Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
- Strawberries + Basil
- Blueberries + Strawberries
- Mango Purée
- Strawberry Purée
- Mango + Strawberry Purée
- Dragonfruit Purée
- Blood orange + Basil
Once you’ve picked your combinations, muddle whole ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Not sure how to muddle? Check out this tutorial here. Add in some ice and about 6 oz of the base margarita mixture. Shake it like Taylor Swift. Fill your rimmed glass with ice. Strain the mixture in the cocktail shaker into the glass. ENJOY.
See it’s that easy! For my blood orange basil margarita, I muddled 2 blood orange slices, 1 orange slice, 1 lime wedge, and 1 large basil leaf. It was the perfect combination of sweet, tart, and refreshing – the basil really added something else!
Blood Orange Basil Margarita
A refreshing twist on a classic.
To Rim the Glass:
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lime zest (fresh!)
- 1 wedge lime
- 3 slices Blood Orange (1 for garnish)
- 1 slice Orange
- 1 wedge Lime (for muddling)
- 1 leaf Fresh Basil (Large)
- 6 ounces The Best Fresh Margarita Base (Recipe available on the Creative – Culinary blog.)
Rim the glass.
Mix the salt, sugar, and lime zest in a small plate. Run the lime wedge around the edge of the glass. Dip the rim into the salt/sugar/zest mixture. Set aside.
Muddle the fresh ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blood orange, orange, and lime slices and the basil leaf.
Mix the drink.
Add ice to the cocktail shaker. Pour in the Fresh margarita base. Shake thoroughly.
Add ice to the rimmed glass. Strain margarita over ice. Garnish with reserved blood orange slice and some fresh basil.
The Best Fresh Margarita Base recipe can be found on the Creative Culinary blog.