For lots of us Cinco de Mayo kicks off spring so I felt it's only proper to toast the warmer weather with another delicious version of the famed Margarita. This one is served on the rocks but would be equally as delicious buzzed up in a blender.
Margaritas have morphed over the years from simple citrus, lightly sweetened tequila cocktails into basically any drink with tequila blended or on the rocks. Whether you go for the classic, which includes tequila, triple sec and lime juice, or a modern version, which mixes up tequila and a fruit juice of your choice, such as Watermelon or Strawberry and Basil, it's perfect for warm weather and celebrating drink-centric holidays like Cinco de Mayo.
The key ingredient in this version — Rangpur Lime Syrup — came my way via mail order. Each year on my birthday my BFFs (best foodie friends) from Atlanta send fun packages. Over the years I've received everything from cheese making kits to specialty oil and vinegars but this year my package from Zingerman's included this tiny little bottle of syrup.
The note included claimed it would be great on pancakes, in whipped cream and drizzled on cheese plates — which it was, but it's also made its way over to my bar and into my new favorite cocktail — the Rangpur Lime Margarita. Here the syrup takes the place of a sour mix, and the typical Triple Sec. The syrup is just that — syrup — so it's obviously sweet but it also has this delightful tang of the Rangpur limes. Simply shaken with a good silver tequila, a squirt of lime if you like and topped with a soda water float for some spritz, this cocktail captures all the best parts of a Margarita without being overly sweet or sour. It's light, refreshing and perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any other happy hour of the year.
Rangpur Lime Margarita
makes 1 drink
Ice 2 ounces Silver Tequila (I like Avion but any made of 100% pure agave will do.) 1 to 2 bar spoons (or teaspoons) Rangpur Lime Syrup Splash of club soda Lime wedge for garnish Salt, optional
In a shaker filled with ice add the tequila and lime syrup. Shake.
Strain into a glass filled with ice (and rimmed with salt if you prefer). Float a little club soda on top. Serve with a wedge of lime.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com