"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have". - Frederick Koenig

Friday, February 4, 2011

Drink of the Moment

Ah  ... it's that time again.  The week is winding down, and the weekend activity is winding up!  I have to admit that I had been working on some other drink ideas for this week's feature, but since this weekend is bringing with it what some truly consider an American 'holiday', I figured I couldn't overlook it in good conscious.  Though my household rarely contains any football fans in it, we do usually relish in this annual occasion in order to have yummy food and drink, so this week's 'Drink of the Moment' is shared keeping in mind all of those SuperBowl parties that I'm sure will be going on this weekend.

Whether or not you are a fan of the football game, or just a fan of all the trimmings that come along with it, I'm sure you'll definitely be a fan of these stellar margaritas that Jay whips up when we do a little celebrating with friends.  They are casual and tasty enough to go wonderfully with all of the chips, dips, and chili that is usually around, but could also 'class up' your shindig if you feel like going in that direction.  They are also my favorite margaritas ever -- and I'm not just saying that because I'm partial to the bartender.  Seriously, these are the real deal -- no disgusting powdered mix, no syrupy sweet wanna-be fruit flavor that doesn't really taste like real fruit, and if you're watching your figure, I guarantee these do not pack the same calorie/fat content that those sugary syrups do.  Note that these do come with an 'overconsumption warning' though, as I've never known anyone that could stop at just one.

Serves: 4

2  Tablespoons of sugar         
2  Strips of lime zest
2  Strips of orange zest
6  Ounces (3/4 cup) good tequila
1/3  Cup Cointreau (or other orange liquer)       
1/2  Cup fresh lime juice
2  Tablespoons of water
5  Fresh lime wedges
Kosher salt or course sea salt (optional)
4  Cups of ice

Using a mortar and pestle, or drink muddler , pound the sugar, lime zest, and orange zest until fragrant.  Transfer the muddled mixture into a pitcher and stir in the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and water.  At this point, the mixture can be allowed to sit in the refrigerator while the flavors mingle, unless you have a room full of thirsty people.  (Jay usually includes an extra slice or two of orange or lime at this point to float in the liquid to amp up the flavor if we don't have time to wait -- and it makes for great presentation).  At the very minimum, you can allow the mixture to 'rest' while you ready your margarita glasses; using a lime to coat each rim and then dipping in salt if you'd like.

Just before pouring your margaritas, add the ice to the pitcher and stir (or shake) well for about 2 minutes.  Garnish each glass with an orange or lime wedge, and enjoy!

Now run out to the store and make sure you have all that you need for Sunday's game (or commercials, or half-time ... whatever it is that floats your boat).  Also, make sure you get enough limes and oranges so you can 'test' a batch too before having to share it with others (or so you don't have to share with others).  I'm not one for cheap tasting liquor or cheap tasting mixes, so my personal recommendation is to keep ingredients as fresh and as smooth as possible for a better experience while you're enjoying a sip, and also for a better experience the next morning when you realize that your 'sip' may have turned into a few 'gulps' ... or a whole pitcher if you're not careful.  Game on!

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