Guest post & recipe by Tamu Curtis, of LiberateYourPalate.com

February 22 is National Margarita Day, a day I celebrate in its full expression every year. I’m often asked in my cocktail classes what is my favorite drink, and I never really want to answer that question for a couple of reasons, one being that I’m a Gemini, so I can never stick to one thing. That’s not the whole truth, though, the real reason is because the Margarita is in fact my favorite cocktail to make and drink. I know that answer is so basic, but when you can appreciate the versatility of this classic sour cocktail it’s quite easy to fall in love with all of the creative and endless flavor possibilities it lends.

For one thing, the Margarita is seasonless ~ summer, winter, spring or fall you can create a margarita using whatever produce is in season. Second, you can use a base spirit that suits your palate. For a more pure taste you can opt to use a silver or blanco tequila which is unaged or depending on the brand aged for up to 2 months. For something a little more elegant, reposado tequila, which is aged for 2 to 12 months in oak barrels giving it a beautiful sense of caramel and spice is a great choice. I find myself leaning towards the more complex flavors in reposado.

National Margarita Day also happens to coincide with blood orange season, another time of the year I look forward to. You might think summer would be its season, but late winter to early spring is when you will find them in abundance in the market. I love their acidity, tart flavor and brilliantly color. So, I thought it only appropriate to share a Blood Orange Margarita recipe to celebrate.

The recipe below is quite simple, calorie conscious and definitely one you’ll want to share with friends. To give this margarita an unexpected element, I rimmed the glass with a salt, sugar and sal de gusano mixture. Sal de gusano is a salt made in Mexico with worms that live in the agave plant. (How’s that for a conversation starter?!) These worms are roasted underground with the pinas (agave hearts) used for making Mezcal. Sal de gusano has a wonderful, smoky, spicy and salty flavor. Once roasted the worms are then ground up with rock salt and dried chili pepper.

If the thought of worms in your salt isn’t your thing, you can substitute a smoked salt ~ Savory Spice Shop sells a nice one I use often for cocktails and cooking.

Blood Orange Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Reposado Tequila
  • ¾ Agave Syrup (mix one part of agave syrup to one part warm tap water)
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice

Directions:

  1. Rub the rim of your drinking glass with a lime wedge and dip the rim into your salt mixture and set aside
  2. Add all ingredients to your cocktail shaker
  3. Add ice and shake for 15 to 20 seconds
  4. Strain over ice in your drinking glass

Sal de Gusano Salt Mixture
1 part kosher salt, 1 part cane sugar, ½ part sal de gusano


If you’re interested in learning more about tequila and mezcal Liberate Your Palate is hosting a Casamigos Tequila Masterclass on April 24 at Spaces (South End). In this hands-on cocktail class you will be able to taste and learn about the 4 expressions of Casamigos Tequila. We’re also making a few uniquely flavored salts that will complement the tequila.

For more info or to reserve this class visit www.LiberateYourPalate.com.