Inspiration for this margarita came from the Lime, Hibiscus, and Clove soda from Joia. It is hands down my favorite flavor, but all their sodas are fantastic. My tequila knowledge for the margarita came from The “Agave on the Rocks” festival at the Desert Botanical Gardens where I had a chance to taste a variety of tequila and learn about their aging process.
There are three main kinds of tequila, Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo. Blanco is an un-aged tequila, clear in color and strongest in agave flavor. Reposado is the middle child, aging in barrels for 3-9 months, golden brown color with a smoother finished and refined smoky taste. Añejo (Spanish for “old”) is aged the longest, 18 months to a year, dark brown in color and full of complex flavors. Many companies also use one-pass Jack Daniel’s barrels, giving tequilas a fuller oaky taste. If you want to learn more about tequilas and the way to judge quality, check out this article.
Armed with my new found knowledge of tequila, I was ready to begin brainstorming. Knowing I wanted quality brands as a decent price, I took a trip to Tops Liquors.
The Tequila I chose is from Partida, a producer of 100% agave tequila. I like this brand because their price doesn’t break the bank, and you get a true “Product of Mexico”. You want to avoid tequilas that are not 100% agave, known as mixito tequilas, as they are blended with sugar and water during distillation, making them an inferior product.
For the hibiscus flavor I wanted to use an alcoholic option, but using Jamaica from your favorite mom and pop Mexican restaurant would be a fine alternative. Tops has a fantastically diverse collection, and I happily stumbled upon Fruit Lab’s Hibiscus Liqueur. Fruit lab has organic liqueurs with a short, easy to pronounce ingredients list, making them a reliable option.
I chose to juice my own limes for the lime juice. Margaritas taste best with fresh lime juice. There’s no arguing with me on that. However I am first to admit I have nights where I just want to get the drink made and head to the couch to watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. For those nights I like to use Stirrings Margarita Mix.
To get my clove flavor I found an easy clove infused simple syrup recipe online. Seriously, this stuff is effortless to make and can last up to 2 weeks! It also tastes great mixed into some hot tea.
Though I highly suggest using the products named above, feel free to use your favorite lime juice, tequila, or hibiscus flavoring!
Hibiscus Margarita – makes 2 drinks
Clove Simple Syrup
Fruit Lab Hibiscus Liqueur
Partida Reposado Tequila
1.) Start by juicing your limes. This is indeed a time consuming activity, but also fun to do with with friends! I bought 20 limes and used almost all of them (you will need a free lime wedge to wet the rim of your glasses before sipping them in salt). It’s better to have too much rather than too little so err on the side of “holy crap that’s a lot of limes” when you are shopping.
2.) After juicing it’s time to mix. For this you will need a shot glass and a shaker. If you do not have a shaker you can easily pour the drink back and forth between two large glasses. I often make my drinks because I don’t own a shaker, and it works great!
3.) With the shot glass, pour 2 parts lime juice, 2 parts tequila, 1 part simple syrup, and a little more than half part hibiscus liqueur into a glass or shaker full of ice. For a drink that’s on the stronger side, do 2 parts lime juice, 4 parts tequila, 1 1/2 parts simple syrup, and 1 part hibiscus liqueur.
4.) If you have a shaker, simply proceed to shake, shake, shake! If you’re using the two glass method, you will want to pour the mixture back and forth between the two glasses about 6 times (or until well mixed) over a sink.
5.) Once you’ve got your drink mixed, pour into two glasses with ice and a salted rim.
I’m featuring some vintage glasses (yes I lean left, are you really that surprised?) I purchased from Meek Vintage. It’s run by mom and daughter team Kelly and Emma Meeks, who find the most unique and fun vintage products for your home and family. Though they are living in Denver now, they once had a shop here in the Phoenix area. Follow them on Instagram for flash sales every Thursday and Sunday evening!
6.) Enjoy that beautiful, magenta concoction you just made!
The pictures in this post were taken over at our weekly White Elephant meeting where the margarita was a big hit! Being surrounded by super creative people, additional ideas for the drink came up. I thought about how if you wanted a totally sweet margarita, you could use honey and coarse grain sugar around the rim instead of using lime juice and salt, and J.J. Hernandez mentioned how muddling some basil or mint into the drink would be amazing! Lauren just drank the tequila….so there’s that option too!
I hope you all enjoy this margarita the way we all did! I can’t wait to have a summer get together and enjoy one of these bad boys in the sun with some good tunes blasting. if you give the recipe a try, leave us comments, tag us in your own photos on Instagram, share with us on Facebook… Whatever! Cheers!