GRAPEFRUIT-POMEGRANATE MARGI for Cinco de Mayo

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Let’s start things off with one cocktailing fact—Cinco de Mayo is all about the margarita. Yes, of course there’s the line up of delicious Mexican beers such as Tecate, Dos Equis or Modelo if you’re so inclined. But for me, this is a holiday that brings my cocktail shaker and a bottle of Tequila out, ready celebrate.

Outside of my cocktailing world there are a few more facts about Cinco de Mayo you should know. Such as the fact that it is a holiday commemorating the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). It is not, as most people think, to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day which is celebrated on September 16th. Here in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, where revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano.

But let’s get back to the tequila …

Choosing the right tequila can be confusing to many. Should you spend a bunch of money and get a high-end tequila like Patron or go for your standard issue Cuervo Gold? Truthfully, it all comes down to personal taste (and budget!) but armed with a little tequila knowledge you can head into that tequila aisle with confidence.

Tequila is made from the agave plant. Often mistakenly referred to as a cactus, this succulent plant is native to the dry climates in Mexico. There are many varieties of agave, but distillers use only the superior quality blue agave to make tequila. A blue agave plant can reach eight feet tall and generally matures when it’s around six years old. Interestingly, the region where the blue agave grows has an impact on it’s flavor profile. Higher elevation clay soil sites tend to have plants that produce fruity, delicate and floral drinks. Plans grown in the lowlands or valleys with volcanic soil provide a spicy, earthier flavor.

Now let’s get back to that MARGARITA …

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For me, May 5th is a day unlike any other when it comes to enjoying a salt-rimmed glass filled with citrus juice and one of the aforementioned tequilas. This is THE day to mix a Margarita for me, so I’m here to share one of my favorite recipes that have made many a friend fall in love with tequila. Trust me, you’ll love this and so will all your fellow Cinco de Mayo revelers!

GIDGET’S GRAPEFRUIT-POMEGRANATE MARGARITA

There’s just something refreshing about drinking a margarita that doesn’t include that tart lemon/lime flavoring. This version mellows things out a bit by highlighting the delicious flavors of grapefruit with a touch of pomegranate. I used Resposado tequila to complement the flavors, but a Blanco tequila is amazing with this cocktail as well.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, wire strainer, citrus juicer
GLASS :: Old Fashioned
EXTRAS :: Kosher salt, grapefruit wedge for garnish
SERVINGS :: 4 cocktails
INGREDIENTS ::
6 oz. Hornitos Resposado tequila
1.5 oz. Cointreau or Patron Citron liqueur
1.5 oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
1 oz. POM pomegranate juice
Fresh squeezed juice from one pink grapefruit (~4 oz.)
1 Tbsp frozen limeade concentrate
Lots of ice!

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HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Cut grapefruit in half. Twist glass rims on open side of grapefruit to moisten and dip in kosher salt. Set aside.  Juice grapefruit, strain through wire strainer into cocktail shaker. Add ice to shaker and add remaining ingredients.  Shake well to combine ingredients – at least one minute.  Add ice to glasses and garnish with grapefruit wedge. Divide shaker contents into cocktail glasses.

I personally find the bars and restaurants way too crowded on Cinco de Mayo, so I prefer to drink these margaritas in my own home rather than pay the exorbitant cost for watered versions elsewhere. So gather a few friends and celebrate Cinco de Mayo the right way – with plenty of delicious margaritas. Cheers!

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YOU MADE IT TO FRIDAY!

After a hellofa week, we think it’s time to grab a bottle of tequila and start celebrating the fact that we did it ~ we survived the week. Even though shots of tequila are the fastest means to an end, we love all the citrus available this time of year so why not slow it down a little and enjoy the evening? This little wonder will have you slowin’ down and heating up at the same time. The combination of fresh grapefruit and tequila – enhanced by sweet vermouth – will set your weekend off on the right track.

KISS ME QUICK

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TOOLS :: Shaker
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS ::  Fruit for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
5 oz. Silver Tequila
1 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
3 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp of orange marmalade
1/2 oz. simple syrup

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it and pour into ice-filled glasses. Serve and enjoy!

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COCKTAILS FOR AN EPIC SUPER BOWL PARTY

Everyone wants to throw the ultimate Super Bowl party. And nothing makes game day festivities stand out quite like the perfect Super Bowl party cocktails. So if you’re rooting for one of the two teams that made it this year, or even if your team didn’t even make the playoffs, you can still have fun and enjoy sipping on these beverages during the big game. We designed a comprehensive cocktail game plan with a wonderful array of incredible (and team color-appropriate) cocktails, mocktails and beer-tails ~ you can get the full playbook and recipes in our article for TheGoodStuff HERE.

If you want a quick peek at our top two recipes, created in the Gidget+LaRue test kitchen, here you go!

Super Sunday Cocktails for every fan!

Super Sunday Cocktails for every fan!

If You’re Cheering for the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
The entire city of Seattle is swept up in 12th Man madness as the Seahawks make their way to the Super Bowl- for the second time in 2 years! If you’re favoring the Seattle Seahawks for your Super Bowl Party, here’s a drink to ensure your cocktail playbook is Seahawk ready (Skittles not included but highly encouraged).

THE 12th MAN MARGI

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, small plate for salt rims
INGREDIENTS ::
3 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. blue curaçao
1 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice {~1 lime}
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz. simple syrup {1:1 sugar to water}
Kosher salt for rim

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Pour kosher salt onto small dish. Rim each glass with lime wedge and dip rim into salt. Add liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into individual ice-filled glasses. Add straw and garnish with lime wedge.

If You Cheer for the New England Patriots

If your team focus is a little further east, let’s take a look at the amazing New England Patriots. As they head to Arizona to appear in their 8th Super Bowl and go for that coveted trophy for a 4th time, let’s celebrate the wonders of New England’s finest – cranberries and maple syrup. If you’re cheering for New England, here are some hometown flavors that will rock your Super Bowl party cocktails.

BRADY (CRAN)BERRY BLAST
Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka is made using only New England grown cranberries to produce a light taste. All cranberries sourced for Deep Eddy are non-GMO and come from farms with sustainable farming practices.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
INGREDIENTS ::
2 1/2 oz Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
1 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice {~1/2 lime}
1/2 oz. simple syrup {1:1 sugar to water}
Fresh cranberries for garnish

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Add liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into individual ice-filled glasses. Add straw and garnish with fresh cranberries or lime wedge.