Friday Night Cocktails: Blood Orange Margarita

The first few weeks of January can feel stark in comparison to the glitz of the holiday season, but there is a remedy for this:  BLOOD ORANGES.  They are available widely in the US starting in early January and accessible through February and sometimes even longer. They are quite simply the most beautiful fruit and when cut open their interiors range from coral to raisin colored (or more accurately, the color of dried blood) and they produce a tart-sweet juice that is the perfect mixer with spirits.  It makes any cocktail jewel-toned and the vitamin C it contains feels right this time of year.

I am a margarita purist and accept only two variations - The Blood Orange Margarita in winter and the Jalapeño Margarita in high summer.  In the case of the blood orange version, it is the perfect cocktail to drink and serve during deepest winter to accompany the events of the season like awards shows, football playoffs, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day.

Blood Orange Margarita
(makes 4 drinks - or more if serving over ice)

8 oz Blood Orange Juice (squeezed from 4-5 blood oranges)
3 oz Lime Juice (squeezed from 3-4 limes)
8 oz Silver Tequila
3 oz Triple Sec**

**(for a drink with a lower alcohol content and fewer calories, agave syrup to taste may be substituted for the triple sec)

Spread some kosher salt on a small plate.  Cut a lime and run the lime wedge around the rim of four glasses and then swirl the rim of each glass in the plate of kosher salt to give it a salted rim. Combine ingredients listed above in a measuring cup or pitcher, shake with ice and distribute among the four glasses: