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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lavender Margarita: a fun twist on a classic cocktail

It’s almost Cinco de Mayo; what will you be drinking?  Margaritas are the most popular Tequila cocktail and the favorite mixed drink in the U.S., but perhaps you’re looking for something a bit different from the Classic Margarita.  The Lavender Margarita may be the answer to your dreams.  Several days ago, @GirlyDrinks on Twitter mentioned making a Margarita with lavender, and there just happened to be some Lavender Syrup in the fridge, so inspiration followed.  The Lavender Margarita has a surprisingly light taste that you will enjoy.  Those of you who live in Utah might want to check out this post on the Classic Margarita for some timely advice on which Tequilas are on sale in Utah this month.  The rest of you might want to check it out just for a good Margarita recipe.  The Lavender Margarita recipe conforms to the classic recipe, the difference being the substitution of Lavender Simple Syrup.

Fortunately, Lavender-infused Simple Syrup is easy to make.  Put equal parts of sugar and water into a sauce pan and stir as you bring it slowly to a simmer, just like you’re making simple syrup.  (A cup of each will make about 12 ounces of syrup.)  Add a couple of lavender stems (or use dried lavender) and let it just barely simmer for a few minutes, tasting carefully.  When the lavender taste is almost as strong as you would like, remove from heat, let it cool, and strain into a bottle.  The lavender taste will be a little stronger than when you turned off the heat.  Keep refrigerated.
As mentioned in the post on the classic Margarita, if you drink a lot of Margaritas, you may want to create your own finely tuned Margarita recipe. The same proportions will work for a Lavender Margarita except you will want to use a little more syrup.  As usual, if you use a higher grade Tequila, you might want to upgrade the Triple Sec to Cointreau® or Grand Marnier®. 

Lavender Margarita

2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Lime juice (about one lime, freshly squeezed)
½ oz. Triple Sec
½ oz. Lavender Simple Syrup

Rim a glass with salt, if desired.  Blend ingredients with ice (9 cubes from my ice maker – experiment) until smooth, ending up at high speed.  (Or combine with ice in a shaker if you prefer yours up or on the rocks.)  A frozen Margarita should be thick enough to form peaks, but liquid enough to pour into a glass rimmed with salt (see my special glass rimming technique) and garnished with a lime wheel or a sprig of lavender.  Olé!

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