Thursday, August 5, 2010

A drink to impress the cocktail connoisseur: Pineapple-Basil Margaritas

Do you have a foodie friend who is tough to impress? Or a cocktail connoisseur pal who seems to have tipped every type of drink on the planet?
   I’ve got a recipe that just might surprise them: Pineapple-Basil Margaritas (click here for the recipe on the Martha Stewart Living website).
   It’s an unusual drink, as it’s not completely liquid – there are small bits of pineapple in it. Some settles to the bottom, but most of it is drunk with each sip.
   I loved this margarita. I thought the blending of the tastes of the pineapple and basil with the tequila and a bit of salt was terrific.
   With the unusual texture, however, it may not be everyone’s cup of cocktail.
   But for the right taste buds – people who don’t mind trying something different once in awhile, such as the afore-mentioned cocktail connoisseur – it will likely go over well.
   It would be ideal with fajitas, quesadillas or chicken wings.
   The first step in making the drink is preparing a simple limeade of water, limes, and superfine sugar (berry sugar or extra fine granulated sugar.) I substituted an equivalent amount of Splenda successfully.
   Pineapple chunks (I used some from a can, but you could cut your own from a whole pineapple) are blended until chopped but not pureed.
   Fresh basil is muddled with sugar in a large pitcher. Limeade, the pineapple, tequila and coarse salt are added, and the drink is stirred.
   After being refrigerated for at least an hour, the margaritas are served.
   The recipe says to fill the pitcher with ice cubes at this stage.
   It’s a good direction – the ice melting into the margarita as it is drunk helps to liquefy it a little more.
   You could also fill individual glasses with ice and pour the margarita over. That’s what I did.
   I also skipped garnishing the cocktails with pineapple chunks and fresh basil.

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