Simple Strawberry Cocktails

After picking eight heaping quarts of beautiful strawberries, I had to try a couple of new strawberry cocktails. I must say that it is difficult to make a strawberry cocktail that I would prefer to my favorite Strawberry-Basil Martini and (close second) The Union Square Strawberry Cocktail. Thankfully, we had plenty of strawberries and beautiful evenings to be able to enjoy all of them! 🙂

Both of these cocktails are incredibly simple and quick to prepare. The first is a Strawberry Gin & Tonic- perfect because one of my favorite summer cocktails is a classic gin and tonic. The recipe is from hometoheather.com. The second is a Spicy Strawberry Margarita. My husband made it as a celebratory cocktail on my birthday. ❀ He garnished the rim of the glass with a mixture of coarse salt and chile powder. The recipe was adapted from vinepair.com, contributed by Natalie Migliarini. Tasty and refreshing.

Strawberry Gin & Tonic

Yield: 1 cocktail

  • 1 shot gin
  • 1 wedge lime
  • tonic water, to fill
  • 1 mashed strawberry
  • lime wedge or slice, or strawberry, for garnish
  • ice
  1. Use a highball glass and fill about Πfull with ice.
  2. Pour the gin over the ice.
  3. Add your mashed berry, squeeze the lime wedge and fill with tonic water.
  4. Garnish with lime or strawberry and serve.

Spicy Strawberry Margarita:

Yield: 1 cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • 1/2 serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded (if desired), chopped or sliced into rings
  • 3 strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • salt and/or TajĂ­n or chile powder, for the rim
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Rim a rocks glass with salt and/or TajĂ­n or chile powder.
  2. Chop peppers and strawberries and add all ingredients into shaker, shaking to chill and combine.
  3. Pour chilled mixture, including the ice, into rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with a fresh strawberry, if desired.

Watermelon Margaritas

I am a major fan of this pretty pink cocktail. It was very light, refreshing, and minimally sweet. Puréed watermelon is the only source of sweetness. Perfect.

This recipe was adapted from 3-Ingredient Cocktails by Robert Simonson, via The New York Times.  I did not strain the purĂ©ed watermelon and omitted the jalapeño slices. We tried it with both the cayenne and salt on the rim, and salt alone. Both were delicious. 😉

The original recipe recommends to taste and add more watermelon juice if your margarita is too boozy, and extra lime juice or even a pinch of salt if it’s too sweet.

Yield: 2 drinks

For the (optional) Salted Rim:

  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon TajĂ­n or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)

For the Cocktail:

  • ice, as needed
  • 6 ounces fresh watermelon juice (from about 1 1/2 cups chopped seedless watermelon)(I used cubes from a mini watermelon)
  • 2 ounces tequila, preferably blanco
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 large limes), rinds reserved (I used 1 1/2 limes)
  • 2 to 3 thinly sliced jalapeño rounds, optional
  • small slices of watermelon, for garnish, optional
  1. Prepare the salted rim, if using: In a small shallow bowl or plate, combine the sea salt and TajĂ­n or cayenne. Set aside.
  2. Blend the watermelon in a Vitamix or blender; strain if desired. (I left it puréed.)
  3. In a shaker filled with ice, combine the watermelon juice, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and jalapeño (if using). Shake to combine. (Note: The watermelon flavor shines brighter without the Cointreau, but the liqueur takes the drink into more traditional margarita territory. If you’d like to compare, first try the mixture without, the liqueur, then add 1 ounce of it per serving.)
  4. Using one of the squeezed lime halves, run it along the rim of two margarita or rocks glasses, then dip the rims into the salt mixture.
  5. Fill the glasses with ice, then strain the margaritas into the glasses. Garnish with additional jalapeño slices and/or watermelon slices. Enjoy immediately.

Blueberry Margarita

IMG_9915

The first time I tasted this cocktail, I thought it may become my new favorite. After having it a few times now, I am sure it is my new favorite! 🙂 It was extra-special because my husband made it with our fresh-picked Long Island blueberries. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Todd Porter and Diane Cu.

Yield: Makes 1 drink

  • 2 generous tablespoons fresh blueberries
  • 1 generous tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
  • a dash of Triple Sec
  • Ice
  • Kosher or sea salt for rimming the glass
  1. Rub the rim of a rock or margarita glass with a lime wedge. Swirl the rim through a small pile of kosher or sea salt. Add ice cubes to the glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker muddle the blueberries and lime juice until the blueberries are pulverized. Let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tequila, Simple Syrup, Triple Sec and a handful of ice to the shaker. Add a leftover rind or two from the limes. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and then strain into the salted glass.

IMG_9930
One Year Ago:

Mango Margarita

IMG_8690

My kids and I go through cases of mangoes- fighting for the last piece. Margaritas are my favorite cocktail. You see why this is the perfect recipe, right? 🙂 Perfect for Mother’s Day! Perfect for Fiesta Friday #16 at The Novice Gardener too! I didn’t join the party last week and have to make up for it this week with two contributions. (My fabulous Mother’s Day dinner will be next….)

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by David Yan of Casa Noble Estate. We added a little bit of granulated sugar to the chile powder coating on the rim of the glass. My kids enjoyed a non-alcoholic version as well. Super tasty!

Yield: Makes 2 drinks

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 small mango—peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounces agave nectar
  • 3 ounces Italian grapefruit soda
  1. Spread the chile powder and granulated sugar in a dish. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with the lime wedge; dip the rim in the chile powder to coat.
  2. In a blender, puree the mango. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into the glass and serve.

IMG_8672

One Year Ago:

Cranberry Margarita

Per Bon Appetit, this is Thanksgiving-in-a-glass; we might make it Christmas-in-a-glass as well!! This cocktail was one of the biggest successes of our Thanksgiving celebration! We served it on Thanksgiving Eve so that I could enjoy it with everyone– it would have been too hectic (for me!) on Thanksgiving Day.

The cranberry jam used in the cocktail can be made up to 5 days in advance (wonderful) and can be made with frozen cranberries as well (a great use for leftover cranberries!). The glass rims are coated in salt, sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder which added a surprise flavor and aroma. Freshly squeezed juice is a must.

This recipe is from The Red Cat in New York City, via Bon Appetit. Great!

Yield: Serves 4  (I doubled the recipe for 6)

For the Cranberry Jam:

  • Ÿ cup fresh cranberries
  • Œ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For Assembly:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1œ teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 lime wedge, plus 2 oz. fresh juice
  • 4 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 6 oz. tequila

To Make the Cranberry Jam:

  1. Bring cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and ÂŒ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, 30–40 minutes.
  2. Mix in orange zest; let cool.
DO AHEAD: Jam can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

To Assemble the Cocktail:

  1. Mix salt, sugar, and five-spice powder on a small plate.
  2. Rub rims of Old Fashioned or Margarita glasses with a lime wedge; dip in salt mixture and fill glasses with ice.
  3. For each cocktail, combine œ oz. lime juice, 1 oz. orange juice, 1œ oz. tequila, and 2 Tbsp. cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice.
  4. Cover and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds.
  5. Strain into prepared glass. (We used a metal strainer.)

Frozen Blackberry Margarita

We have been having fun this summer branching out from our usual cocktails. I am not usually partial to a frozen margarita, but this slushy one was tasty and had such amazing color! Perfect for a summer night.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times. We made them a little sweeter by using agave nectar instead of simple syrup, and slightly less potent. Fabulous.

Yield: Makes 1 large or 2 small drinks

  • 6 large blackberries, plus 1 (or more) to garnish each drink
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 2 T lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 2 T agave nectar or simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • mixture of coarse salt and coarse sugar for glass rims
  • lime wheels, optional
  1. Blend all of the ingredients (except garnish: salt, sugar, lime wheels) until smooth and frosty. (I used a Vitamix.)
  2. Run a lime wedge along rims of margarita glasses and dip into salt-sugar mixture.
  3. Pour the blended drink, garnish with blackberries and lime wheels, if desired.

The Perfect Margarita

Perfect Margarita

When I was pregnant with my son, I was craving a margarita– of course I didn’t want one in January after he was born!! 🙂 A margarita is the perfect warm weather cocktail– especially with guacamole. Although I am usually pleased with any margarita, this is our favorite recipe– a blend of many. We have simplified it recently to use agave nectar in place of simple syrup– so much easier when making just one or two cocktails.

  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 3/4 oz cointreau or triple sec
  • 1 1/2 T lime juice
  • 1/2 T simple syrup or agave nectar
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  1. Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Serve on the rocks in lime juice and salt rimmed glasses.
  3. Enjoy!

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