The Desert Rose cocktail — with guava, passion fruit, lime and of course tequila — makes a great sparkling alternative to a classic margarita for Cinco de Mayo.
Who doesn’t love a margarita, especially on an important drinking holiday like Cinco de Mayo? As you’re probably aware, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s equivalent of the Fourth of July. May 5 was the date of an important battle near the city of Puebla where the Mexican army defeated French forces.
Here in the US, it makes a great time to enjoy Mexican beer, tequila and margaritas. There are so many great twists on the classic lime and tequila cocktail (Pink Cadillac anyone?), so I thought of a way to add some of my favorite tropical fruits to the drink while I was writing my champagne cocktail book The Bubbly Bar. A few drops of rose water, guava and passion fruit make my Desert Rose one of the most fragrant margaritas you’ll ever enjoy.
In this sultry sparkling version of a margarita, guava nectar and passion fruit juice add the sweet-tart flavor that would ordinarily come from sour mix.
1 ounce guava nectar
1 ounce passion fruit juice
Â½ ounce tequila
Â½ ounce Grand Marnier
Juice of ½ lime
3 drops rose water (optional)
3 ounces dry sparkling wine
1 key lime slice for garnish
Add guava and passion fruit juices, tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice and rose water if using to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a margarita style glass. Garnish with the lime.
Makes 1 cocktail
From: The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009)
The Blood Orange Margarita at Whisk'n'ladle in La Jolla features a hibiscus infused tequila, but you can use the regular stuff at home.
Ian Ward makes some of the tastiest and most creative cocktails in San Diego, but alas they’re not usually the kind of drinks mere mortals can make at home. Take the super tangy Blood Orange Margarita that Ian made for me on a recent visit to Whisk’n’ladle.
Turns out that he mixes it with a hibiscus blossom infused-tequila; and then the nice pink layer on top is a blood orange foam that includes gelatin and coconut.
The thing that I took away from the experience though is remembering the intensely tart flavor of blood oranges. On early visits to Northern Italy, I fell in love with the sweet tart taste of blood orange juice, since that’s usually what you get when you order a glass of fresh orange juice. You’ll find that although many blood oranges aren’t ripe enough to eat on their own, they really shine when mixed with a bit of sweetener, such as agave nectar. Here’s my version of a Blood Orange Margarita, to use the last of these fruits from the farmer’s market.
Blood Orange Margarita
1-1/2 ounces good tequila
3/4 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce agave nectar
1 ounce fresh blood orange juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Add the tequila, Cointreau, agave nectar, blood orange juice and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 30 times or until your hands are really cold. Strain the contents into a wide flute style glass or a traditional margarita glass.