happy cinco de mayo! as a food blogger, it feels almost mandatory to celebrate this foodie holiday. not to mention it falls on a "taco tuesday" this year. i mean, how could i NOT create a drink just to commemorate this holiday?! thus, the summer berry margarita is getting its time to shine.
this year it feels especially important to take a few minutes to celebrate even the smallest of things. today i'm celebrating a tuesday in may. that's reason enough for me. its a precious thing. finding small moments in our lives to celebrate just because we can.
I realized cinco de mayo was coming up all of two days ago. since i can't of a drink better suited for a party in may- margarita! this was so spur of the moment, i had to make due with whatever i had on hand.
what's in a summer berry margarita?
- mix of summer berries
- tequila or vodka
- triple sec or grand mariner
- simple syrup
- lime juice
that's it! I will include swaps and subs a little further down in the post. but, this is my "use whatever is already in my house" cocktail.
how to make a simple syrup
this is pretty simple. for a long time i thought simple syrups were the most intimidating thing. its not! its a 1:1 mix of water and granulated sugar, heated together to make a syrup. here's the ratio I used for this recipe:
- 1 c water
- 1 c granulated sugar
combine water and sugar in a medium sauce pan. bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring as needed. remove from heat once all the sugar has dissolved. cool to room temperature before using in a drink. store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 months. use in all mix drinks that call for simple syrup.
if you're looking for more simple syrup flavor ideas my:
- spicy watermelon cocktail has a jalapeño flavor syrup
- strawberry lavender processo popsicles have a lavender simple syrup
sugar, salt or no rim?
for this, its all up to you! some like salt, others like sugar. i say, do what you like! no rim? that works, too! for this i chose a sugar rim to bring out the sweetness in the berries. i added in a bit of cinnamon for something a little different. i think it works for this drink.
how to sugar (or salt) the rim of a glass
- pour sugar or salt into a shallow bowl that's wider than the drink glass
- add any spices with the salt or sugar. mix until well combined
- slice a lime in half and in half again for a total of 8 wedges. cut a slice into the middle of a lime wedge.
- run the cut lime wedge along the edge (rim) of the glass
- set the rim of the glass into the sugar or salt
- slightly tilt and roll edges while in the salt or sugar while applying gentle pressure
- gently shake off any excess
tips for a delicious summer berry margarita
- chill the glasses: in the freezer or fridge for about 20-30 minutes before serving
- chill the fruit as a garnish: this helps keep your drink cold without getting watered down
- ice vs no ice: this is a matter of preference. mix ice into the blender for a slushy effect. place a few ice cubes directly into each glass. omit the ice all together and chill in the fridge. this should be served cold, so do what feels good for you
- blender vs shaker: ive done both and they taste pretty much the same! the blender method has everything thrown in and blended within 30 seconds. the shaker method has the berries blended and poured into the shaker with all the other ingredients
- to strain or not to strain: another preference step. if you like seeds and want the drink to be a bit thicker, don't strain. if you want a bit smoother with less foam and very few seeds, its worth the extra step
- berry swaps: berries can be swapped for any other summer fruit. ones that pair great with lime are: watermelon, papaya, any tropical fruit and cherries. make sure whatever you use, to make it a juice consistency before mixing as a drink
- ingredient swaps: the simple syrup can be swapped with agave or honey. the tequila can be swapped with vodka. triple sec with grand marnier, cointreau, curacao, or use 2 teaspoon orange extract
summer berry margarita
- cocktail shaker, optional
- mesh strainer, optional
- 1 c fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 c fresh or frozen raspberries
- 4-6 oz. tequila or clear alcohol of choice
- 2 oz. triple sec
- 3-4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2-4 oz. simple syrup
- ¼ c sugar or salt, to add a rim to glass (optional)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional if using sugar rim)
- Make the simple syrup by combining 1 c suagr and 1 c water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Stir as needed. Reduce to medium high heat until all sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Cool in the pan or pour into a container to cool to room temperature. Place glasses and a few berries in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Need more sweetness: add more berries or simple syrup. More tart: add lime juice. Stronger drink: add more alcohol. Pulse for 10-15 seconds to incorporate any addtions.Let sit for 5 minutes, skim foam from top. For no seeds: Strain through a mesh strainer directtly into chilled/lined glasses. Seeds: Directly pour into each chilled/lined glasses.Top with chilled fruit and enjoy. Makes: 14-20 oz. (4 glasses with about 4-5 oz per glass)
- Add strawberries and raspberries into a food processor or blender. Pulse 15-30 seconds or until all the fruit becomes a liquid. Pour through a mesh strainer directly into a cocktail shaker filled ⅓ with ice cubes and remaining drink ingredients. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled/lined glasses. Top with chilled fruit and enjoy.
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