Wintery Cranberry Margarita
Today is National Margarita Day! Today is National Margarita Day? Yes, February 22 is National Margarita Day! That conversation played out in our household about one week ago. As I was suggesting ideas for upcoming celebrations to feature on Make Every Day an Event, Margarita Day seemed like an ideal, and let’s face it, obvious choice! Why is Margarita Day at the end of February when it’s still wintery and really cold outside? I have no idea. But I don’t make the news (or the days for that matter). I just find fun ways to celebrate them. And who am I to argue that today shouldn’t be dedicated to the always popular, often festive libation that is affectionately known as the margarita! Happy National Margarita Day everyone! Cheers!
I do have to admit, Matt did have a point. It does seem a wee bit odd to celebrate margaritas when it’s still this cold and wintery outside. So I did what everyone knows is the key to a successful marriage and compromised. Let’s celebrate with a Winter Margarita! What is that enticing and intriguingly named cocktail, you ask? Well let me tell you …
For more than a decade, we’ve annually visited Aspen for skiing, relaxing and, of course, dining! One of the town’s most popular spots is Mezzaluna, which is known for its signature jalapeño cranberry margarita. In fact, it’s often simply referred to as the winter margarita. What began as a specialty drink for a holiday season a few years ago has since evolved into a bit of a cult classic for the restaurant. The beverage was even featured in a January 2020 article from The Aspen Times.
We have been fortunate enough to sip on a few of these delights during many of our trips there. They are so good. What’s the secret? According to the article, it’s jalapeno-infused tequila. And we would have to agree. It’s just the right amount of spice to be a grown-up version of what can often be a sickeningly sweet drink.
Since travel is a bit of a challenge right now, we set about to see if we could create the magic of the Winter Margarita at home. And I have to admit, we came pretty darn close. Here’s how we did it:
JALAPENO INFUSED TEQUILA
Yes, it sounds difficult. But in reality, it’s super simple. We found a great article in Food and Wine that demonstrated how to create it, in five simple steps:
- Cut the top off of two jalapeño peppers and slice into thin strips.
- Add them to a bottle of Blanco tequila
- Replace the top and shake gently.
- Let sit overnight.
- Strain out the peppers and seeds, and you’re done.
WINTERY CRANBERRY MARGARITA
1 part Jalapeno-infused Tequila
1 part Cranberry juice
1/2 part lime juice
Splash of sour mix
Place all ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass. Stir until combined. Dust the rim of the glass with crushed dried lemon rinds, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Pour cocktail over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and a stick of fresh cranberries. Enjoy!
PRO TIP: What do you mean by “one part”? Depending on how many margaritas you’re planning to make that’s your “part.” The more margaritas, the larger the part. A good rule of thumb for an individual drink is one part equals two ounces. So if you’re looking to serve two people, try four ounces as one part. Four people, eight ounces, etc.
I also tried to recreate a bit of the magic of Aspen with a few simple decor items. I think it added to the wintery fun!
Did you try this idea? Share it on Instagram with the hashtag and tag @makeeverydayanevent! Looking for another winter cocktail idea? Check out the Snowman-hattan, made with real snow!
Wintery Cranberry Margarita
Jalapeno Infused Tequila
- Two jalapeño peppers and slice into thin strips
- One bottle (750 mL) Blanco tequila
- 1 part Jalapeno-infused Tequila
- 1 part Cranberry juice
- 1/2 part lime juice
- Splash of sour mix