If you’re tired of that neon-yellow bottle of sour mix, here are a few suggestions for shaking it up a notch.
Van Gogh ‘Rita
If you’re not a tequila fan but you hate missing out on the fun, try subbing in vodka. Van Gogh BLUE replaced our beloved Espolón here, and the result was akin to a grown-up limeade: citrusy and sweet, with a perfect pucker. The Van Gogh Blue vodka is a key ingredient here: the triple distilled wheat vodka has a cheerful bite without being obnoxious, and it lends a traditional drink a bit of mystique.
2 oz Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka
.5 oz triple sec
.5 oz. lemon or lime juice
.5 oz. simple syrup
2 oz Soda
2 wedges of lime
Pour the Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka and triple sec in a glass over ice. Top with the lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, and soda and garnish with two lime wedges. (Yield: 1 drink)
Best Blended Margarita
Blended margaritas are always welcome at our Cinco de Mayo celebrations, especially when we’re digging into spicier fare. Skip the frozen limeade and make an honest version by tossing frozen mango and pineapple in a blender. This is a great drink for those avoiding high-fructose corn syrup, but who still want to enjoy a blended, frosty-sweet libation. An added bonus: it’s easy to mix for a crowd, and freezing the leftovers transforms them into an adult dessert.
¾ cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons simple syrup
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 1 large lime
4 ounces silver tequila
Ice cubes as needed (about 5)
Add all the ingredients with the exception of the ice to the blender and blend until smooth. Add ice until you reach desired consistency. Pour into salt-rimmed glasses and enjoy! (Yield: 4 cups)
Black and Bruised Margarita
There’s always room for fruit in a margarita, but instead of the usual strawberry, try mixing your next margarita on the rocks and adding homemade blackberry syrup. This plum-colored approach is distinctive and delectable. If fresh berries are too dear? Frozen work just as well.
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave tequila
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh blackberries
Combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 1/2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar; cool. Combine syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher; discard solids. Serve over ice in a glass with a salted rim; garnish with lime wedges. (Yield: 4 cups)
If you’re not a fan of citrus, try this hybrid of the traditional Bloody Mary. This drink gets a spicy undertone from infusing tequila with Numi Carrot Curry tea. It requires extra planning but very little effort, and it’s worth the consideration. We suggest infusing a reposado variety of tequila (Suaza and Espolón are both good options); the aging process infuses the tequila with a richer, mellowed flavor that’s an excellent complement to the vegetable elements of this cocktail. It’s a virtuous choice.
Fresh carrot juice
Bloody Mary mix
2 ounces Numi Carrot Curry Savory Tea-infused tequila**
fresh veggies for garnish
In a tall glass with ice, add tequila then fill the rest of the glass with half Bloody Mary mix and half carrot juice (about 2 ounces each). Add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and the juice of half a lime. Mix with a spoon, sprinkle a little black pepper on the top and garnish with celery and fresh veggies. (Yield: 1 drink)
** To infuse liquor with tea, just fill a glass container with liquor in the amount that you need for your recipe. One tea bag is enough for up to 8 ounces of liquor. Seal your container with an airtight lid and store it in a dark area. Allow it to infuse for 48-72 hours before removing the tea bag. (Created by Elsie Larson)
Have a happy Cinco de Mayo, and don’t forget to share pictures of your margaritas on our Facebook page!
-Katie Rose McEneely