A differentapproach adapted from an article in Cook’s Illustrated, using lemonand lime, after steeping the zest in the fresh juice for four to twenty-fourhours.
Thelonger the zest and juice mixture is allowed to steep, the more developed thecitrus flavors in the finished margaritas. We recommend steeping for the full 24hours, although the margaritas will still be great if the mixture is steepedonly for the minimum 4 hours. If you’re in a rush and need to serve margaritasimmediately, omit the zest and skip the steeping process altogether.
4 teaspoons grated zest plus ½ cup juice from 2 to 3 medium limes
4 teaspoons grated zest plus ½ cup juice from 2 to 3 medium lemons
¼ cupsuperfine sugar
2 cups crushed ice
1 cup 100 percent agave tequila, preferably reposado
Combine lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice,sugar, and salt in large liquid measuring cup; cover with plastic wrap andrefrigerate until flavors rneld, 4 to 24 hours.
Divide 1 cupcrushed ice between 4 or 6 Margarita or double old-fashioned glasses. Strainjuice mixture into 1-quart pitcher or cocktail shaker. Add tequila, Triple Sec,and remaining crushed ice; stir or shake until thoroughly combined and chilled,20 to 60 seconds. Strain into ice-filled glasses; serve immediately.
Peel and core 1 small, ripe pineapple (about 3½pounds); cut half the pineapple into rough 2-inch chunks (reserve remaining halffor another use). Puree in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel bladeuntil smooth and foamy, about 1 minute. Follow recipe above for FreshMargaritas, omitting zest and steeping process, reducing lemon and lime juicesto ¼ cup each, and adding ½ cup pureed pineapple to juice mixture.
Follow recipe above for Fresh Margaritas,omitting zest and steeping process and pureeing 1 cup fresh raspberries, limeand lemon juices, sugar, and salt in workbowl of food processor fitted withsteel blade until smooth. Strain mixture into pitcher or cocktail shaker;continue with recipe, reducing Triple Sec to ½ cup and adding ½ cup Chambord(or desired raspberry liqueur) to juice and tequila mixture in pitcher.
For strawberry margaritas, substitute an equal amount of hulled strawberries forthe raspberries.
Notesfrom Cooks Illustrated regarding Margarita ingredients
Aftertrying various proportions of tequila, orange liqueur, and citrus, they foundthe best margaritas were made with equal parts of each of the three majoringredients.
A premium tequila called reposado, meaning rested, made with 100 percentblue agave (the plant from which tequila is distilled) and aged for 12 months orless, has a slightly mellow flavor which blends well with the other ingredients.Grand Marnier and Cointreau are delicious, but Cooks recommends choosingTriple Sec for the orange flavored liqueur in mixed cocktails; it has a lower alcohol content than either Grand Marnier or Cointreau and amore delicate flavor.
Margaritas are traditionally made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, but notsurprisingly Cooks various experiments led to a different approach –steeping the zest (no white pith) from the lime and lemon in their juices. Thisresults in a full citrus flavor without the bitterness the white pith wouldcontribute, and the addition of a little sugar to the mix counters anyharshness.
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