The history of the margarita is hotly debated. Sometime in the 1930s or 40s someone concocted it, but whether it was a Texas socialite or one of the two south-of-the-border bartenders that claim the honor, it remains a wonderful drink for warm days.
The basic margarita consists of tequila–usually silver, though I prefer gold, lime juice, and orange liqueur. Do not–I repeat, do not–let me catch you using sour mix or triple sec in a margarita; that’s just rude. If you want a sweeter margarita to pair with the salted rim, add a bit of sugar syrup to your shaker but leave the sour mix on the shelf. And you know ho09w I feel about triple sec. Just don’t go there.
In case you haven’t caught on, today, February 22nd, is National Margarita Day and we’re very happy to celebrate that here at Casa de Sips!
Of course, as much as I love a good, classic, Margarita on the rocks with salt, paired with some rich and spicy Mexican food, I also like to mix things up a bit and play with the classics.
Which is why I’m offering you this alternative to the classic:
1 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Anejo Tequila
3/4 oz Chocolate Vodka
1/4 oz Orange Liqueur
cocoa powder and/or crushed cacao nibs for garnish
Rim a shallow cocktail glass (margarita-style or coupe) with cocoa powder or some crushed cacao nibs. Combine all ingredients in a shaker glass half full of ice. Shake until frosty and strain into the prepared glass. Sprinkle with remaining cacao nibs if you used them.
This cocktail is a meeting between a traditional margarita and those chocolate oranges you see at the holidays, the ones you get to smash on the table to break into segments. As usual in one of my cocktails, neither the orange, nor the chocolate, nor that unmistakable tequila flavor overpower any of the other ingredients. Instead, each sip is a little different and your tongue will pick up hints of the chocolate and orange midst the warmth of the tequila.
You can use a blanco or silver tequila if you insist, but I do encourage you to try a golden tequila for that added depth of flavor. For my version of this I used Partida Anejo Tequila, Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka (which I’ll be sharing more about next Tuesday), and–of course!–Cointreau liqueur. In a pinch you could use a premium unflavored vodka and a bit of chocolate liqueur, but it won’t quite be the same.
It’s Friday and National Margarita Day, what are you drinking tonight?