There are cocktails & then there are margaritas. In its simplest form a margarita is tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar & an orange liqueur such as triple sec or Cointreau served in a salted rim glass. Yesterday I made cucumber lime margaritas with a sweet, salty chili mixture encasing the glass rim. The margaritas were fabulous! They went down like an ice cold glass of water on a hot summer’s day. Dangerously good. The cucumber & lime juice were perfect together. Not that there was any doubt. Pair these with my tomato cilantro salsa & some warm corn tortillas. Diviertete!
Lime juice is an integral part of a good margarita. Use only fresh limes. The stuff in the plastic bottles claiming to be “fresh lime juice” has additives, read the label. It doesn’t taste the same as freshly squeezed limes do. If you’re going to the trouble to make a good cocktail, use the real stuff. ‘Nuff said.
How many limes you’ll need will depend on how big & how juicy they are. If I’m going to the trouble to make a good cocktail, I usually double the recipe because I know people are going to want seconds. I know I will want seconds. If you’ve got lime juice leftover, either make more margaritas or, freeze the juice. Lime juice is great in salad dressing & drizzled over fresh berries.
When we have our forever home, I hope it’s somewhere we can grow lemon & lime trees. Because when I’m not adding them to cocktail concoctions, I actually like to cook with them.
These guys look like they’re done…
One of the tricks to a good cocktail, or in this case a good margarita, is balance. The balance of tequila to the non-alcoholic ingredients needs to be high…ha! Joking! Sort of…a margarita is boozy but when made correctly is like a mariachi symphony…if there is such a thing. You get my drift right?
Once you’ve had a well-made margarita, it’s hard to stomach the somewhat peculiar tasting fake stuff that comes out of a machine. You know the stuff…many bars sell it – sweet & slushy with bottled lime juice undertones. Thanks but no thanks. That stuff is also really high in calories & other additives.
Instead of the usual salt on the rim, I opted for something a little different. It worked so well with the cucumber – salt, chili powder & sugar. This mixture makes more than you’ll use but you need extra for ensuring a good coating on the rim of the glasses.
In the recipe, I suggest peeling the cucumber if you’re using the regular, garden-variety kind. I took the peels & made garnish by threading them onto short bamboo skewers. After I made them I turned them upside down in a bowl of water & popped them in the fridge until I was ready to use them.
When it comes to booze, I’m a bonafide wine lover. However there are a few cocktails I find it hard to resist – Long Island iced tea, sangria & margaritas. Cocktail fads might come & go but the popularity of the margarita will remain steadfast. And with good reason.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber, peeled if it’s the common garden variety
- 1 cup fresh lime juice (this was about 10 limes but it depends on size & juiciness of limes)
- 1 cup tequila (I used a white, agave tequila)
- 1/4 cup triple sec (or another orange liqueur such as Cointreau)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- lots of ice
- SALTY SWEET CHILI RIMMER
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 small lime wedge
- Place cucumber, lime juice, tequila triple sec, nectar & water in a medium bowl. Use a hand blender to blend until cucumber is finely chopped. Or use a food processor or stand blender. You don’t want to blend this until smooth, it’s going to be strained.
- Strain the mixture through a fine metal strainer – like a tea strainer. I used a metal sieve & then a tea strainer. If you have a juice extractor, you could also juice the cucumber which would alleviate straining. Place mixture in a jar with a screw-top lid or a pitcher & refrigerate 1 to 2 hours until cold.
- To make the salty sweet chili rimmer: Combine salt, sugar & chili powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle onto a small, flat plate.
- Take the lime wedge & run it around the rim of the serving glasses. Turn each glass upside down in the mixture & turn to coat the rim.
- Carefully fill glasses with ice. Pour margarita over ice. Garnish with a slice of cucumber or lime. Makes about 3 cups.
- Pair these with my tomato cilantro salsa & some warm corn tortillas. Diviertete!