It’s National Margarita Day! It’s also 80 degrees and sunny in South Beach where I just spent the past few days in a paradigm of culinary genius and I need to tell you all about it. I’m still gushing over the key lime pie from Michael Mina’s StripSteak at Fontainebleau. It was creamy, almost like a cheesecake but not quite that thick, and served over honey. I asked the waiter for the recipe (I did it for you) but I got a vivacious pastry chef sent to our table instead and she wouldn’t spill the beans, sorry.
It was my first time to Miami and hopefully not my last with so many yummy restaurants and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival it was impossible to fit it all in. I was so inspired by the creative twist put on traditional dishes in generally a nostalgic and simple but sophisticated way. I just don’t know how I’m going to eat brussels sprouts any other way than how Jose Andres serves them at The Bazaar at SLS; shaved with lemon purée, apricots, grapes, and lemon foam on top. Does anyone know how to make lemon foam? Jose’s Foie Gras PB & J was hands down the best thing I ate in South Beach. Imagine a homemade peanut butter and raspberry uncrustable (remember those!!!) topped with a creamy foie gras torchon. Five stickers for Jose for surprising and delighting my 5th grade self.
Ok, on to the other Jose, one of less esteem, but still tasty nonetheless. Are you using Cuervo or some other kind of tequila to celebrate National Margarita Day? I hope you’re watching the Academy Awards and enjoying a margarita on the couch or somewhere cozy that doesn’t include an airport Tequileria like the one I’m writing in in Miami!
To make these margs you can use any type of silver tequila. Infusing the tequila a few hours or a day prior to making the cocktails is best, but if you’re short on time shaking with the chopped jalapeño is sufficient. I was so excited the first time I infused a bottle of tequila when hosting some girlfriends for drinks a couple years ago, I threw in some serrano peppers and let them soak for about a week. A week! It turns out a week is a tad too long and serrano peppers are a bit too spicy for the average person. The truth is I still drank the margaritas (everyone else filled up with wine) because I was too stubborn to throw away my creation.
For these, I used a blend of blood orange, tangerine and clementine juices in an effort to empty my fruit basket, but it won’t make a difference what you use as long as it’s freshly squeezed.
Spicy Blood Orange Margarita Recipe
Serves: 1 drink
½ cup (4 oz.) freshly squeezed blood orange juice
½ jalapeño, chopped
¼ cup (2 oz.) tequila
¼ cup (2 oz.) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. agave syrup
4-5 ice cubes
Infuse the tequila with chopped jalapeño for 3-5 hours or up to 24 hours OR combine chopped jalapeño and tequila with ice in cocktail shaker (or two cups that fit together snug) and shake for about 5 minutes.
Add other ingredients to shaker and shake, shake, shake it off. Strain through mesh sieve. Serve over ice.