What do you get when you cross leftover cranberries, a girl who wishes she could be in chilly, crisp 63* Cleveland as opposed to 87* Texas on this lovely Saturday, and tequila?
COCKTAILS, YO. You get cocktails. Since this one turned out especially delish and was so easy to make, I figured I’d share it with y’all so you can get tequila happy this lovely Saturday as well. I swear they sneak uppers in tequila… yeah you’re right, probs not. Just saying. Tequila tipsy is the BEST.
I got today’s drink inspiration from my amazing bestie/genius mixologist who also happens to have created my wedding cocktails, Will Brandstetter (his ‘Tara’ cocktail was a similar but way more fancy cranberry-vanilla-otherstuff-magic-margarita that was so damn delicious I sipped them all night on the dance floor even though they were bright red and I was wearing white Vera Wang duchesse satin *eek* but YOLO, that shit was yummy. Totally worth it) and the fact that a sad little bag of cranberries has been sitting in my crisper drawer staring at me since I forgot to make cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. Lo and behold, it’s mid February and they were STILL GOOD! Amazing! I knew they wouldn’t last for much longer, though, so earlier today I threw them in a pot with some water, sugar, and orange juice, cooked it down, slapped it in a bowl and got to sipping the perfect winter-weather margarita, crisp and fresh and seasonal and boozy and sweet and salty and tart and DO YOU NEED MORE REASON THAN THAT TO MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW?!
Cranberry Orange Margaritas, baby!
1 bag (12 oz/1 1/2 cups) fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (fresh, ideally) orange juice
1/2 cup water
Zest of half of an orange
Fresh lime juice
Silver tequila (not bottom or top shelf, somewhere in the middle for margs IMHO)
To make the simple syrup:
Add water, orange juice, and sugar to a medium sized pot over medium heat.
Allow the mixture to boil until the it thickens to a syrupy consistency, around 10 minutes.
Bring down the heat to medium low and add the cranberries and orange zest.
Simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until cranberries begin to ‘pop’.
Remove from heat, strain (if you prefer – I like to leave some of the whole fruit in the syrup to have in my cocktail!), and store in the fridge in a in sealed container.
To make the margaritas:
In a shaker filled with ice, add equal parts tequila and lime juice, and a half part of your cranberry orange simple syrup (i.e. 2 oz tequila, 2 oz lime juice, 1 oz simple syrup) and SHAKE IT!
Dip the rim of your glass into your simple syrup and then into a shallow dish of kosher salt.
Add ice to your glass, pour your margarita over them, toss in a few cranberries and squeeze in a lime wedge if you want to get fancy, and driiiiiiiiiink.
Mmmmmm… tastes like a boozy winter Saturday afternoon in Cleveland with a little Texas stirred in for good luck. OH and for bonus points, shake up this simple syrup with an equal part of bourbon and a few splashes of bitters for a cranberry orange old fashioned to diiiiEEeEeeeEe for.
BOTTOMS UP GURLZ, and slappy Saturday!