One of my favorite seasonal fruits in the whole entire world is blood oranges. Peaches come in at a close second, but this takes the cake. Nothing beats the gorgeous hue and tart sweetness of blood oranges. Use these babies in place of a regular orange in any recipe that calls for citrus and your eyes and tummy will thank you!
Food is more fun when it's colorful, right?
Blood Orange Season (Kind of a Big Deal)
Fair warning: if you have a foodie friend in your life, it's likely that they're totally and utterly obsessed with blood oranges. Like, blood orange all the things!
This is natural. We go nuts over delicious and beautiful foods that are only available for a few months or weeks in the year. If the foodies in your life aren't head over heels for blood oranges yet...then please introduce them. They'll love you forever.
In case you were wondering, yes, I'm one of those foodie freaks.
Case in point, when I walked past the produce aisle in the grocery store about two weeks ago and spotted the first crop of blood oranges I squealed a little too loudly (yep, no shame!) and scooped up two handfuls to take home.
In the past few years when blood orange season rolled around, I made white wine sangria, banana bread muffins, and smoothies with them, but this time around I had my eyes set on margaritas!
Homemade Margaritas > Commercial Mixes
After discovering that commercial margaritas mixes are full of junk (no wonder they always made me feel gross after one drink), I've been making my own homemade margaritas with fresh juices and whatever sweetener I prefer (simple syrup and honey both work).
Margaritas are SO simple to make, although if you're fixing a pitcher for a crowd, I definitely recommend buying 100% lime juice in a bottle cause it'll take awhile to squeeze all those limes!
If you do decide to squeeze all the limes by hand like a frigging superhero, don't forget to announce that to every single person who takes a drink. After all, it was a beautiful labor of love. Or you could just groan loudly from the kitchen to get their attention. Either works.
Choosing the Tequila
As for choosing the tequila, it doesn't have to be fancy schmancy, but then again you don't want to totally cheap out. You're using fresh fruit, not syrup-laden margarita mixes. Throw crappy "well" tequila into the mix and it'll ruin the flavor.
A safe bet is to choose a tequila that is 100% agave (anything else could have corn syrup...like one major brand. ::ahem::
Since I live in Texas, I have a plethora of tequila options and just picked one that had an awesome bottle & label design so I could save it afterward.
Margaritas with Fresh Blood Orange Juice
Back to the blood oranges. Use them as often as you can. Seriously! They are amazing, beautiful, and perhaps even a little dangerous in margaritas. But so worth it. They make you want to gulp the drink down a little faster, but that's okay. Make another.
Just don't come knocking on my proverbial internet door when you're six drinks in, slurring away, and half naked. ;) Don't say I didn't warn you!
P.S. Margaritas pair extremely well with a huge bowl of tortilla chips, mango avocado salsa, homemade queso dip, and carnitas tacos made with easy slow cooker pork shoulder. If you're having a fiesta or just unwinding after a long week, this is the stuff of dreams.
Blood Orange Margaritas
Homemade margaritas made with fresh blood orange juice, limes, raw honey, and 100% agave silver tequila. This drink recipe looks beautiful (blood oranges give it a wonderful hue) and goes down easy!
Yield: 1 medium or 2 small servings
Juice from 2 blood oranges (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon of raw honey OR simple syrup
Juice from 2 small limes (approximately 4 tablespoons)
2 ounces of silver 100% agave tequila
1 ounce of Grand Marnier, or another orange liqueur (optional)
Splash of carbonated water (optional)
Coarse sea salt, for the rim
Note: This recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to change the ratios of orange juice, lime juice, honey, and tequila to suit your personal taste. If you a more tart flavor, add more lime. Want it sweeter? Try extra blood orange juice or honey.
Stainless Steel Cocktail shaker
Or if you're really cool, a Mason Jar Shaker
Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page.
Pour a circle of coarse salt into a small plate or saucer. Rub a lime or blood orange wedge around the rim of your glass (or dip the rim into a small bowl of citrus juice) and press the glass' rim into the salt, twisting the glass around slightly until there's a small coating of salt around the rim. Fill your glass with ice and set aside.
In a separate container, mix the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and blood orange juice. If you're using fresh fruit, make sure to roll the oranges and limes out on the counter with the palm of your hand to redistribute the juices before cutting them open. Measure in the raw honey (do not heat it) and stir until combined. It may take 30-60 seconds to dissolve, possibly longer if the OJ and tequila are chilled.
Optionally, top off the drink with a splash of carbonated water. If you want it extra cold, shake the margarita over ice before pouring into the salt-rimmed glass to serve.
I'd like to hear from YOU!
What's your favorite way to fix margaritas? Do you have any foods you love to pair with them?
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This post was shared at Full Plate Thursday.