Monday, January 28, 2013

Celebrate citrus season in style
with Blood Orange Margaritas

It’s the time of year when citrus fruit is tumbling off the stands at supermarkets, and I’ve got a drink that will help you celebrate this abundance in glorious style.
    Blood Orange Margaritas (click for the recipe) are absolutely fab. You won’t go wrong mixing up a batch of these easy cocktails.
    Combined with the acidity of the lime juice, the puck-er-i-ness of the tequila and the salty rims of the glasses, the blood orange juice takes margaritas to a whole new level.
    As I suspected when I first read the recipe, blood oranges are a perfect fit as the main component of a margarita, as they are both sour and sweet at the same time. My husband and I always comment that blood oranges taste like sour candies.
    Blood oranges are so named because they have a crimson flesh that’s nearly the colour of blood. I love to slice open blood oranges and see the beautiful flesh.
    In Canada, you may or may not find the label “blood oranges” at the supermarket. Most likely, you’ll find them named as “Moro,” the only variety I’ve ever seen.                     
    You’ll need to make these margaritas now, as moros are only to be found in supermarkets in Canada during the December-early March citrus season.
    The margaritas are very easy to make. I used an electric juicer to juice the oranges and limes. Take note that the recipe makes 12 servings, so be sure to half the ingredients for six servings or divide the ingredients by three for four servings.
    Fresh blood orange juice, juiced from blood oranges, is mixed with fresh lime juice, Cointreau or triple sec, and silver tequila in a pitcher and refrigerated until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
    The rims of margarita or martini glasses are moistened with an orange wedge, then dipped into kosher salt to lightly coat.
    Ice is added to the pitcher of margaritas and stirred well, then the margaritas are strained into the prepared glasses. I used a small mesh strainer for this step, pouring the margarita through it into each glass and gently pushing on any solids left behind with a spoon to make sure all the juice was squeezed out of the pulp that will be left behind.
    I skipped garnishing the margaritas with blood orange wedges and sage leaves.     
    Serve the margaritas.

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