Cranberry and Orange Margarita

Cheers!  Cranberry and Orange Margarita

Tis the season, my friends. In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, may I offer you a drink?  I know you haven’t sat down since Black Friday, but the gift wrapping can wait until tomorrow.   Why don’t you light a fire?  Turn on some Christmas music and look through all those holiday cards that have come in the mail.

Better yet, just sit. Cheers!  Look at the decorations that took you hours to put up. Take a deep breath and savor the smell of Douglas fir and cookies baking.  Enjoy the peace of a house not yet filled with guests, or if the house is already full, smile at the sound of many voices and twice as many feet.

Cranberry and Orange Margarita

Tis the season, my friends. Remember to take the time to enjoy it.

_____________

While I set out to make a wintry margarita, it’s the tangy cranberry syrup that has my mouth-watering.  I plan to keep this syrup on hand throughout the holidays.  It’s great added to a little sparkling water or club soda for a refreshing, non-alcoholic spritzer.  It also makes a festive and bright addition to a glass of bubbly and I wouldn’t hesitate to pair it with vodka.  For that matter, forget cocktails all together and drizzle it straight from the jar over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Happy cooking!

Cranberry and Orange Margarita – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 1 refreshing cocktail

If I could change one thing about this cocktail, it would be the color.  The cranberry syrup is so beautiful that it saddens me that when mixed with everything else it yielded a light pink drink.  If you were so inclined, you could add cranberry juice in place of the orange juice for better color.

In terms of measurements, one ounce equals 2 tablespoons.  Most jiggers are either 1 ounce or 1-½ ounces.  The latter being the amount of liquor considered a serving.

Zest and juice from one orange
Margarita salt
Juice from one lime
1 ounce cranberry simple syrup (see recipe below)
1 ounce good quality tequila
½ ounce Cointreau liqueur
Lime slice, for garnish

In a shallow bowl, rub the orange zest into the margarita salt with your fingers until incorporated and the salt is slightly orange.   Rub the lime slice around the edge of a margarita glass and then dip the edge of the glass in the orange-infused margarita salt.  Turn to coat.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add the fresh orange juice, lime juice, cranberry simple syrup, tequila, and Cointreau and shake to combine.   Use a strainer to pour the concoction into the prepared glass.  Serve immediately garnished with a lime slice.

Cranberry Simple Syrup
Makes about 1 ½ cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup water

Combine the sugar, cranberries and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  The cranberries will pop as they cook.  After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to a strong simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes before straining through a fine mesh strainer.   Allow the syrup to cool before using.  Simple syrup will keep in the fridge for one week.

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