National Margarita Day – Ten Recipe Twists for Margaritas

National Margarita Day – Ten Recipe Twists for Margaritas

Whether it is Cinco de Mayo, National Margarita Day, National Tequila Day, National Cocktail Day, Your Birthday, or Someone else’s Birthday, just about any day is a good day for a Margarita. Here are a few Margarita Recipes to get your spirit moving!

History of the Margarita

Where did the Margarita originate? Over the years many have taken claim to the creation of the infamous tequila drink – “The Margarita.” The cocktail the “Daisy” was a similar drink made with brandy instead of Tequila. Though during prohibition people traveled over the border and picked up tequila which was substituted for the brandy. Daisy in Spanish is Margarita.

In 1937, there was a recipe for a “Picador” using the same mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice in a cocktail book. There are others that claim that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames created the drink for her guests at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. The first known published recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire. Though in 1945, the first importer of Jose Cuervo promoted the slogan – “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name.”

Nowadays, there are so many creators and mixologists of tequila drinks with different versions and flavors of the Margarita with so many variations of Margarita recipes. In essence, all of us who have concocted our own Margarita recipes can take our own five minutes of claim to fame too. Here are a few of some of my favorite twists on the colorful Margarita, some with my own input and diversions to the recipe. It’s your turn to take it and run with it!

It’s Margarita-Thirty!! Cheers and Happy Cinco Mayo!

The Traditional Margarita

The Traditional Margarita

Makes 2 Margaritas – increase ingredients as needed depending on the number of Margaritas you are preparing.

  • 4 OZ Blanco tequila
  • 2 OZ Cointreau or triple sec
  • 4 OZ fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Slices of lime or lime wedges

Fill a Cocktail shaker with ice along with the tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled glass or serve on the rocks.

Another Spin on the Traditional Rita – The San Antonio Margarita

San Antonio Margarita

recipe Inspired by well-known Texan Josie Davidson whose father received this recipe from Mario Cantu, owner of Mario’s, an old-line Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio. This famed Margarita recipe was passed on to the New York Times in 2015. It’s a five-star winner with 818 five star ratings!

  • 1 cup plus a splash of tequila
  • 1 cup plus a splash of orange liquor
  • 1 cup plus a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine all of the liquids in a pitcher with 6 ounces of water and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Then serve over ice in glasses with salted rims. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

24 Karat Gold Margarita by Loews Miami Beach Hotel

24 Karat Margarita

It seems like ages ago, but just like yesterday that we traveled across the country to Loews Miami Beach Hotel. It was only a few months ago in February that we were invited to participate in the exquisite festivities held at the hotel for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in South Beach. During our visit, we had the distinct pleasure of joining Steve Turk – Food and Beverage Director for Loews, Linda Villafane – Director of Public Relations for Loews Miami Beach and Contributing Food Writer for Forbes in the hotel’s spectacular lounge, Bar Collins, for a pre-celebration toast. We were all dressed to the nines, looking like royalty for the evening’s formal festivities celebrating SOBEWFF. This set the perfect stage and the perfect opportunity to toast with the bar’s famous in-house Margarita, the “24 Karat Rita.”

These brilliantly decorated tumblers arrived at our table glowing of effervescent sparkles adorning the glass rims and the floating lime wheels. Almost to pretty to drink, but feeling decadent and adventurous, we all cheered and jumped right into these jeweled libations.

Their specific recipe remains a bit of a secret. We do know it includes a generous pour of Roca Patron Silver over crushed ice, with fresh lime juice, a bit of Cointreau, adorned with edible 24k gold leaf and lime zest! Bravo Bar Collins – you definitely knocked it out of the park!

Black Grape and Chili Margarita – Courtesy Food and Wine

Black Grape and Chili Margarita

Serves – 2

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Ice
  • 4 oz Concord grape juice
  • 3 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 5 ox triple sec
  • Serrano chili pepper with seeds thinly sliced
  • Black Grapes for garnish

Mix the chili powder with the salt and sugar. Moisten the rim of the two glasses with a lime wedge and dip the glasses into the coast around the rim.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grape juice, tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and 4 slices of serrano Chilies and then strain into the two glasses. Garnish with sliced serranos, lime wedges, and grapes to serve.

Blue Margarita

Blue Margarita

If you are dreaming of the Azur waters of Mexico or the Caribbean and can’t get there right now, this refreshing Blue Margarita will definitely take you there. Take a sip, close your eyes, and just imagine being there! I do it every time, and if it’s a little too chilly outside, I just turn on my favorite travel video of the beaches of Mexico and it takes me right back!

Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup of tequila, preferably Reposado
  • 1/3 cup of Curacao (Blue)
  • 1/3 Cup of Cointreau or Triple Sec (orange-flavored liquor)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
  • Limes wedges for garnish

Combine the tequila, Curacao, triple sec, and lime juice in a large pitcher with crushed ice or you can pour it on the rocks into tumbler glasses or decorative glasses for a straight-up Margarita.

According to master mixologist Dale DeGroff, a drink called the Tequila Daisy was served at Tijuana’s Agua Caliente racetrack in the 1920s. It was made with lemon juice, tequila, and a sweet ingredient—the template for a Margarita.

The Jalapeno Basil Lime Frozen Margarita

This recipe is inspired by the recipe created by the Vancouver duo – The Food Gays. I just love the Jalapeno kick and the twist with the basil added.

  • ¼ cup basil
  • ½ cup jalapeno with seeds
  • 6 oz of barrel-aged tequila – or a good Reposado
  • 3 oz triple sec
  • Juice from 4 limes
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey or agave syrup
  • 2-3 cups ice
  • Salt for the rim
  • Lime wedges for the garnish

Muddle the basil and jalapeno together, then add the tequila. Let it infuse for 24 hours in the refrigerator. The next day strain and just keep the liquid, discard the basil, and jalapeno. In a blender add the tequila mix the triple sec, the lime juice, the honey, and ice, then blend until smooth. Pour into your salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with lime wedges.

Spicy Margarita Punch

Serves 10

Spicy Margarita Punch

It’s the combination of the cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, and mint that takes the flavors of this Margarita off the charts. This is a perfect libation to pre-make ahead of time for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

  • 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
  • 2 jalapenos thinly sliced – one for the mixture and one for the garnish
  • ¼ up of de-stemmed cilantro
  • ¼ cup of mint
  • One bottle of Silver Tequila – 750 mills
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup of agave nectar
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • Ice, lime wedges, and salt for serving

In a large bowl or punch bowl if you intend to use one, muddle (mash) the cucumber with the jalapeno, cilantro, and mint. Add the tequila, lime juice, agave, orange juice and stir well. Refrigerate for at least an hour or you can keep if overnight if you are making it ahead of time.

Strain the liquids from the mixture and discard the solids. Keep it in the punch bowl or put the mixture into a large service pitcher along with some ice. Serve into salted rimmed glasses and garnish with thinly sliced cucumber, jalapeno slices, and limes wedges.

The Mayan Mule

The Mayan Mule Margarita

Well, what can I say about this one except you just have to try it!

Serving Size per glass 1

A South of the Border twist on the Moscow Mule

  • 5 ounces of aged gold tequila preferably a Reposado
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 3-4 ounces of ginger beer
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Sliced lime into a wheel to garnish
  • Mint sprig to garnish

Combine the tequila and lime juice in a tall glass.

Add Ice.

Add the ginger beer and Angostura bitters and stir.

Garnish with the lime wheel and sprig of mint.

The “DanaRita”

“DanaRita”

A recipe created and made for many years by my husband Dana which is a Margarita that has become legendary amongst our family and friends. It is one of the most requested and popular libations when we all congregate. “Dana, can you make me one of your DanaRitas?”

Dana’s Inspiration – Simplicity – Make people smile, feel smart and witty, and dance in public.

Key observations to making a really stellar margarita – A quality margarita is not green or slushy. Look for a golden color and pour over ice cubes.

Preferences – Salt on the rim (optional but traditional for sure); any size glass but tall one is preferable. And for the tequila – Reposado is preferred which is more flavorful and has that rich golden color from the toast of the barrel aging.

  • 50/50 ratio of tequila to everything else
  • Everything Else – Orange flavor liquor (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or just fresh-squeezed oranges)
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime – Lots of it
  • Splash of Sparkling water to give it a little zest
  • Ice

Using an 8-ounce glass, salted rim or not, squeeze a whole lime into the glass, squeeze a half orange (about 2 oz juice)

Add 2 ounces tequila, then add about 1 ounce of sparkling water. Add ice then a splash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier on the top.

Mango Coconut Chili Margarita

Mango Coconut Chili Margarita

If you are lucky enough to be spending the Cinco de Mayo celebration someplace tropical you may want to make this spin on the traditional margarita. I am sure you will find plenty of fresh mangos and coconuts in abundance. Just the thought of it makes we want to beam up someplace tropical right now, sit under a palm tree listening to waves crashing, and the warm ocean breezes blowing across my body while relaxing to the soft sounds in the distance to a steel drum band. Can I go now, please?

Almost the next best thing to being in the tropics right now is indulging in this delightful tropical tequila libation.

2 -3 servings

  • 1 ripe mango (1 cup cubed or if you can’t find it fresh, a bag of frozen mango, or mango sorbet as a last resort)
  • 1 cup of Orange juice – fresh squeezed preferred
  • 1 cup of Fresh Coconut Water or Store-bought Coconut water
  • A few Chunks of Fresh Coconut or a small scoop coconut sorbet or coconut flavor rum – your preference
  • Several Medium-Sized Limes
  • 3 ounces of Silver Tequila or Reposado
  • 5 ounces of Cointreau or Triple Sec Orange Liqueur
  • A dash of hot sauce – your preference or not, some like it hot!
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of Agave Nectar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • Lime Wedges for Garnish
  • Chili Powder and Sea Salt mixed for rimming the glass. I also like to use Tajin Clasico con Limon

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until creamy. Be sure to taste it so that you can adjust it whether you want to add more Tequila, Orange Liqueur or Agave Nectar. If you like the spice of it, add in a bit more chili powder or hot sauce.

The Brave Bull

The Brave Bull

After a long day of Cinco de Mayo festivities or any fiesta activities, it’s time to relax before siesta in the evening with a Brave Bull. It is sometimes referred to as a Mexican Black Russian. It is a cocktail that was introduced in a 1960’s action movie and it truly lives up to its name. This is a unique and quirky combination of Kahlua and Tequila Blanco, but you can use your tequila of preference. This is my husband’s go-to late-night libation and his preference on which tequila is to use one of his favorite Reposado tequilas we usually have on hand. Sometimes we add in a little milk or cream, somewhat like a White Russian or you could call it a Brave White Bull! Buenos Noches!

The recipe is easy – it is one part Kahlua and 2 parts tequila over ice. Though you can also do 50/50 on the mixture too!

 

Please post your comments and photos of your own versions of the famed Margarita!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Until Spring – Romantic Northern California Getaways

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Until Spring – Romantic Northern California Getaways

Romantic Getaways in Northern California – Rush Creek Lodge Photo Credit – Kim Carroll

Romantic Getaways to Plan Now

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Until Spring at these Romantic Northern California Destinations

Northern California Romantic Getaway Packages – It’s time to get away for a mini-vacation in Northern California. After several months of shelter-in-place rules throughout California, these restrictions have recently been lifted. Now hotels, restaurants, and wineries are again welcoming guests. So many are anxious to start getting out exploring get-a-ways that are just a short drive away.

Though Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, these three unique properties have a created Valentine’s Day packages that you can take advantage of well into the Spring months ahead. Celebrating Valentine’s Day, no matter what the time of year, romance creates a perfect excuse to escape and enjoy a much needed romantic couples’ getaway. A private spa experience in Yosemite, couples mud baths in Calistoga, or a relaxing weekend in Napa, these three Valentine’s Day packages welcome you to celebrate love and reignite the spirit of romance in 2021!

RUSH CREEK

Yosemite National Park – Photo Credit Kim Carroll

The beauty and grandeur of Yosemite National Park await with its snow-capped peaks, crystal waterfalls, and the serene pristine beauty of this stunning region that was limited to public visitation for so many months. Nestled in the heart of this Northern California amongst the majestic pines is a brand new lodge – The Rush Creek Lodge, where Rush Creek was in its heyday during California’s Gold Rush. In 1849, thousands of immigrants – known as the “49ers” flocked to the area in search of their fortunes.

Yosemite National Park – Photo Credit Kim Carroll

Rush Creek Lodge – Photo Credit Kim Carroll

Before Highway 120 was constructed in the 1960s, the main road into Yosemite National Park actually passed right through Rush Creek. In fact, it is the exact road near Villas 4-7 at Rush Creek Lodge. Dine, Explore, Stay, Play and Pamper yourself at this mountain oasis. A true hidden gem slightly off the beaten path, yet a stone’s throw away.

Private Yosemite Spa Getaway at Rush Creek Lodge (Groveland, CA) 

Rush Creek Spa – Photo Credit Kim Carroll

Escape to Yosemite for a romantic getaway at Rush Creek Spa. Just opened in November 2020, the Spa at Rush Creek Lodge is the first spa of its kind to open in the region and is inspired by the wonders of the world-renowned National Park with features such as the Warm Waterfall Coves, Cool Mist Showers, Aromatherapy Steam Room, Himalayan Salt Sauna, Granite Waterfall Hot Tub, and Sensory Room.

The Spa Exclusive Getaway Package, available Feb 5 through March 25, guests will have 1.5 hours of private use of the 5,000 square foot indoor/outdoor Spa and all the Spa amenities. The package includes:

  • 2 nights of lodging in a deluxe Lodge King Room (room upgrades available)
  • Two 50-minutes massages
  • 1.5 hours private use of Spa amenities.

Rush Creek Spa – Photo Credit Kim Carroll

The price ranges from $416 to $698 per night for two adults in a Lodge King Room, gratuity included plus tax, depending on dates of stay. These romance packages are offered through the end of March. Though if you miss this extended Valentine’s getaway offer, there will surely be other romantic offerings to experience year-round.

The Famous Hot Springs of Calistoga

Located in Northern Napa Valley, the town of Calistoga offers a natural phenomenon with its healing geothermal hot springs. More than 500 years ago, members of the Wappo Tribe discovered natural volcanic hot springs in a valley located near the base of Mount St. Helena. When the first American settlers came to the area in the 1840s, the news of the healing powers of these hot springs spread quickly.

Sam Brannan was lured to the area in 1859 with tales of the healing powers of these hot springs and decided to build a hot springs resort that would rival Saratoga Springs, New York creating Calistoga, Hot Springs of the West. Calistoga has become iconic for these infamous healing hot waters from the springs of the area. Visitors from all over the world, continue to arrive to experience all of what Calistoga now has to offer. Guests journey to the region to enjoy, relax in the hot springs and volcanic mud baths, fine dining, and wine tasting at local wineries. Hike Mount St. Helena, bicycle amongst the vineyards with a backdrop and pristine beauty of the Mayacamas Mountains.

Roman Spa Geothermal – Roman Hot Springs Photo Credit – Tyler Chartier

Couples Massages & Mud Baths at Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort (Calistoga, CA)

Located just 90 minutes from San Francisco, Roman Spa at Calistoga, best known for its signature mud baths and geothermal pools, has a Valentine’s Day package available for the entire month of February (Feb 1-28).

Roman Spa Couples Mud Bath – Photo Credit Tyler Chartier

Complete with mud bath treatments and massages for two, plus prosecco and artisanal chocolates, a romantic trip to Roman Spa is exactly what you need to relax and rejuvenate. The Month of Love package includes:

  • Overnight stay
  • Mud bath for 2
  • 2- 45 minute massages
  • 1 bottle Prosecco
  • 1- 4 piece box of Earth and Sky chocolates
  • 2- soft Chamois robes for use during your stay
  • Early check-in 11 am

Midweek: 1 night allowable with rates starting at $475 plus tax for a Classic King bedded unit.

Weekend: 2 night minimum with rates starting at $675 plus tax for a Classic King bedded unit.

All reservations based on 2 person occupancy.

Additional fees apply for added guests. Restrictions may apply, available for new reservations only. Not available for use with hotel bonds or other discount coupons. Reservations can be made by calling directly at 800-914-8957 or on the website through the end of February with other romantic packages offered throughout the year.

Historic Napa River

Napa River History Kayak Tour

The Napa River rises in Northwest Napa County just south of the summit of Mount St. Helena and it is approximately 55 miles long where the river mouth is in Vallejo, where the intertidal zone of fresh and salt waters flow into the Carquinez Strait and the San Pablo Bay. The Napa River, particularly around the town of Napa, provides many recreation opportunities such as kayaking, rafting, and canoeing. From downtown Napa to where the tributaries eventually open up to the bay, motor boating is also very popular. You may want to while you are there during your romantic getaway, plan to do the Napa River History Tour by kayak. It is truly a memorable experience, lush full of history, stunning sites, and abundant birdlife.

Riverfront Romance at River Terrace Inn (Napa, CA) 

River Terrace Inn – Balcony with River View – Photo Credit – Courtesy River Terrace Inn

Escape to Napa to this casually elegant riverfront retreat. The newly renovated guests’ rooms are exquisite, and many overlook the tranquil historic Napa River. It is so conveniently located you won’t even need a car as you can walk right out the door of the INN and a short walk away you will find yourself at the Oxbow Market, The Wine Train Depot, and Copia. Also, a short walk away is charming downtown Napa with its many shops, dining spots, art galleries, and more.

During your stay at the River Terrace Inn in Napa, you will surely want to partake in a dining experience at their onsite restaurant, ALBA which also offers an outdoor riverside terrace, full bar, and weekly live music.

Wine and Dine – Photo Courtesy of the River Terrace Inn

Love is in bloom in Napa Valley. Located in downtown Napa, celebrate coupledom at River Terrace Inn with a romantic riverfront experience for two. The Riverfront Romance includes:

  • Seasonal welcome amenity
  • $50 F&B credit
  • $50 in Oxbow Bucks to spend at local Oxbow Marketplace
  • Priority tasting reservations at a preferred Napa Valley winery

These wonderful romantic packages are ongoing through April.