Orange Blossom Margarita

Orange Blossom Margarita

Cocktails and libations tend to have many “origin stories” surrounding them, even the ones that were developed within the last 100 years. Apparently people love to take credit for the drinks that we enjoy on a regular basis. There are many rumors surrounding the birth of the margarita, though my favorite has to be the story of a showgirl and aspiring actress named Marjorie King. In the late 1930s, Ms. King became a regular patron at a bar near Tijuana called Rancho La Gloria. Apparently she was allergic to all alcohol apart from tequila and couldn’t stand the stuff on its own. Bartender Carlos “Danny” Herrera was up for a challenge, and after some experimenting served her a mixed drink with the same essential components of a tequila shot – tequila, salt and lime juice mixed with ice. She was pleased with the results, and in her honor the drink was named “Margarita,” the Spanish equivalent of Marjorie. There’s another popular story involving a Dallas socialite named Margarita Sales who loved to invent new libations for guests at her vacation house in Acapulco. It would take some time to “sleuth out” the true origin story, so for now let’s raise a glass to this margarita mystery and say “L’chaim!”

This week I developed an orange margarita recipe for two simple reasons – 1) Cinco de Mayo is coming up soon, 2) I had a bunch of fresh, ripe oranges in my fruit basket. Tequila works really well with citrus, and I liked the idea of the sweet fresh oranges and agave nectar playing off the slight bitterness of the tequila (since tequila is made from agave it seems like a natural pairing). My first attempt was tasty, but nothing super special. Everything changed when I added a splash of orange blossom water to the mix. Orange blossom water is a popular Middle Eastern ingredient which gives a flowery flavor, aroma and essence to food and drink. It is most often used in baking and traditional desserts like baklava. I like adding it to herbal teas and cold, sweet beverages for a hint of the exotic… inhaling the scent takes me on a journey to Tunisia, where warm breezes blow through groves of blossoming citrus trees. A little goes a long way. Used sparingly, orange blossom water can give a lovely perfume to a number of sweet dishes (and a few savory ones as well!). When added to this margarita, the result was magical– sweet, exotic, icy and refreshing. The drink took on a whole new identity. I think Marjorie King would approve.

Fresh orange juice is really important here, the bottled stuff won’t taste nearly as good. I prefer organic raw agave and a nice quality gold tequila if you can find it. For those of you avoiding alcohol, I’ve provided an absolutely delicious virgin Orange Blossom Chiller variation below… that way everybody can indulge!

You can purchase Orange Blossom Water at your local Middle Eastern market or kosher market. You can also buy it online from The Shiksa Market.

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this weekend? What’s on your menu?

Note: Every cocktail recipe featured on my site can be made kosher using kosher-certified liquor and bottled beverages. I’ve only used liquors and ingredients that can be easily obtained with a kosher hechsher. For kosher-certified alcohol choices, check out the links below:

cRc Liquor List

JSOR.org Kosher Liquor List

Star-K Beer, Liquor and Liqueur List

Orange Blossom Margarita

Orange Blossom Margarita Ingredients

  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) tequila
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) Cointreau
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 3 cups ice
  • Fresh orange slices and sugar for rimming the margarita glasses

Virgin Orange Blossom Chiller Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 3 cups ice
  • Fresh orange slices and sugar for rimming the margarita glasses
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 4

To Make Margarita:

  • A few minutes before you make the drinks, place the margarita glasses in the freezer to chill. In a blender combine fresh orange juice, tequila, Cointreau, agave nectar, orange blossom water and ice. Blend till smooth.
  • Use a fresh orange slice to rub a little juice around each rim of your chilled margarita glasses. Dip the moistened edge into a plate of sugar (I don't like to rim the glass with salt on this margarita, as it tends to distract from the aroma of the orange blossom water, but if you prefer it feel free). Fill each glass with the blended margarita. Serve cold.

To Make Chiller:

  • A few minutes before you make the drinks, place the margarita glasses in the freezer to chill. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Use a fresh orange slice to rub a little juice around each rim of your chilled margarita glasses. Dip the moistened edge into a plate of sugar. Fill each glass with the blended margarita. Serve cold.

 

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Category: Beverages, In the Kitchen, Pareve, Purim, Recipes, Slide Show, Tomato Free, Vegetarian

Comments (17)Post a Comment

  1. Tammy Urban says:

    Lori Carr Huber…. I see these in the near future!!!!

  2. Im not waiting until Cinco de Mayo….How stupid.

  3. Tammy Urban says:

    I said NEAR future…. as in tonight or tomorrow! ;-) Actually it will depend on when I find orange blossom extract :-/

  4. Do you have a Fresh Market?They have it

  5. Tammy Urban says:

    No….. but we have a middle eastern market with everything from Moroccan to Algerian to Israeli, to who knows what else…. hoping they will have it.

  6. Tammy Urban says:

    Thinking they will go great with Berbere Chicken :D

  7. I have orange extract, but not orange blossom extract.

  8. Tammy Urban says:

    yeah…. I have the plain extract but I have a feeling that the orange blossom extract/water has a somewhat different flavor…. I may try both :D

  9. just don´t try it in your pancakes… ya know instead of the vanilla extract sitting right next to it. js

  10. anyway this sounds delish! TX Roadhouse has a peach margarita that is yummmmmmy! sugar on the rim.

  11. This sounds exotic and wonderful. I made a Cardamom Rose cocktail on the blog a couple of weeks ago with s similar floral/Middle Eastern feel. The virgin chiller sounds perfect for lunch today!

  12. I called it! Shabbat Shalom!

  13. mmmmm, the virgin orange blossom margarita is gonna be my official summer/lounging in the backyard drink!

  14. Helen Burton says:

    Thank you for including the non-alcoholic version of this drink.
    Not everyone can or chooses to drink alcohol.

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