After college, I moved to Texas for close to five years before my lovely husband (then fiance) whisked me to D.C. (now Charlottesville). I had never really had amazing Mexican food before living in Texas and am pretty positive that I didn’t even know such a thing existed. My experiences began with Pancho’s cheese dip (yes, I am from Tennessee and we did/do call it cheese dip) and ended with greasy, cheesy, quesadillas with fat-laden refried beans. Margaritas were usually made from a mix (the horror!) and full of who knows what. Not fresh lime juice I assure you.
These days, I live many, many miles away from the Lone Star State with very few decent Mexican restaurants in the vicinity (shout-out to Continental Divide in C-ville which has done a heck of job fulfilling my Tex-Mex cravings. If only they had queso, I would be the happiest girl.)
Instead of pouting about the lack of decent mex options, I have attempted (and failed many, many times) to recreate some of my tex-mex favorites. First, I started with guacamole. Then I tried queso which I am still trying and have yet to master. I made some pretty amazing fish tacos that I will post very soon and am hoping to take a stab at enchiladas, too. But most recently, we whipped together the most delicious, and pretty strong, margaritas—a very important—no essential—addition to any tex-mex or mex-mex meal.
These aren’t just any margaritas. These babies come from the master himself, Dean Fearing. Called the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” Fearing owns one of the best—if not the best—restaurants in Dallas (named Fearings of course). Located in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, it is quite expensive but definitely a treat and so worth it. Fearings has some of the best margaritas in town so obviously, I am going to look to him for some guidance. And with blood oranges in season right now (and on sale!), it became apparent very quickly that I needed to make these immediately.
Can’t find blood oranges, you say? Don’t fret. You can easily substitute navel oranges. Or you can be even more adventurous and try pink grapefruit juice! Just remember—fresh juice is key. Please don’t use any of that bottled stuff. The extra effort really is worth it, I promise.
Oh, and before I leave you…If you are looking to switch things up a bit for your sweetie, these hot pink drinks would be kind of perfect for Valentine’s Day. So festive, right?
Warning: These are pretty strong cocktails. Drink with caution.
Blood Orange Margarita
2 cups freshly squeezed blood orange or navel orange juice (about 8 oranges)
¾ cup freshly squeeze lime juice (about 6 limes)
1 3/4 cups silver tequila (I use Patron)
¾ cups Cointreau or Triple Sec
blood oranges for garnish
kosher salt or sugar for rim of glass
Mix blood orange juice, lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau or triple sec in a large pitcher. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Wet edge of margarita glass with a damp paper towel. In a small plate, pour kosher salt (or sugar) until it covers the bottom. Lightly dip the glass with wet rim into the salt (or sugar) and rotate until you have a salted/sugared rim. Let salt/sugar “set” for about 5-10 minutes before filling.
Fill glass with ice and pour margarita into prepared glass. Serve!