Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Have a Happy National Tequila day with Blackberry-Mint Margaritas with Lavender Simple Syrup!

Truthfully, not only am I a big coffee lover, but I'm also a tequila lover! So when I saw this challenge, I decided to make a new twist on a traditional drink:  The Margarita. I wanted to make something a little different, not your usual margarita, and I thought this recipe using one of my favorite tequilas for National Tequila Day, the Herradura Silver, with Lavender Simple Syrup was the perfect combination.

I wanted to use fresh blackberries for the blackberry puree, it takes a bit more time and I don't mind being in the kitchen, so it was ok with me. But if you're short on time, you can use frozen blackberries and make an easy puree - no problem.  So, using fresh is not a must when your friends are staring at you waiting for a cocktail.

Blackberry-Mint Margaritas with Lavender Simple Syrup
by Lori

makes 8 servings

Fresh Blackberry Puree:
2 pints organic blackberries (save 8 fresh blackberries for garnish)
juice of half a lime
1/3 cup white sugar
4-5 mint leaves
(makes about 1 cup puree)

Lavender Simple Syrup:
adapted from the book I Love Coffee by Susan Zimmer 
2 cups water
3 Tablespoons lavender blossoms
more water to equal 2 cups later
2 cups white sugar

Lime Rimming Sugar:
1 cup sugar
zest of 2 limes

Blackberry Margarita:
1-1/2 cups Herradura Silver tequila (just as fresh fruit ingredients make a difference, a good quality tequila will too)
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 cup Lime Sugar
1 cup Blackberry Puree
1/4 cup Lavender Simple Syrup
1-1/2 limes juiced
2 Tablespoons blue agave syrup

To make the blackberry puree, add to a medium sauce pan your blackberries, lime juice, sugar and mint leaves then simmer for 25 minutes, stirring and gently breaking down the berries as they cook. After 25 minutes, press through a sieve to get as much puree as possible, leaving the seeds behind.

For the Lavender Simple Syrup, begin by making a lavender tea. Pour your water into a saucepan with your lavender and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil immediately turn off the heat, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Pour the lavender tea through a strainer, discarding the lavender. Measure and add a bit more water to equal 2 cups total. Add sugar and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved…DO NOT BOIL.

Rim your glasses with lime sugar. I like to make lime sugar, the scent is amazing and its so easy. In a small bowl add your sugar and lime zest and gently mix. Let it sit for 30 minutes. You will use this for rimming and in your margarita recipe. I spread the left over rimming sugar on a plate and dry it to have on hand at a moment's notice…gotta be prepared.

Ok, almost there…now to make your margarita. In a blender add your tequila, triple sec and Lime Sugar, then fill to the top with ice and blend until smooth. Next, add your Blackberry Puree, Lavender Simple Syrup, lime juice and agave. Blend again and add more ice if desired.

Run a slice of lime around the rim of each glass and twist into the rimming sugar, fill and garnish with half a slice of lime and a blackberry. Enjoy!

Happy National Tequila Day!

Cheers, Lori

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