Oh boy, is it nice to be back in the United States. Home of reliable 4G networks! Where chips and salsa flow like water! Queso? Por favor! I may have gone out for a Mexican dinner last night, but my mind is swimming with recipe inspiration from the Middle East. Recipes, coming up!
I came up with these apple margaritas before I left town. Credit goes to Marb, who commented to tell me that she made an apple version of my classic margarita recipe when she was out of orange juice. I owe a big thank you to Marb and everyone else who takes the time to share their adaptations and cooking discoveries with me. I really appreciate you all.
So, instead of silver tequila, Marb used reposado tequila. Reposado, meaning rested, tequila is briefly aged in oak barrels. As a result, it has a light oaky flavor reminiscent of whiskey. The combination reminded me of my cinnamon pear nectar and reposado cocktails, which are among my favorite fall drinks, so I had to try Marb’s margaritas.
I played around with the proportions of reposado tequila, apple juice, honey simple syrup, lime and cinnamon until I got these margaritas just right. I finished mine off with festive, sparkling, spiced sugar and salt rims. These cocktails would be perfect for your holiday fiestas. ¡Salud!
- 2 ounces reposado tequila
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces apple juice or cider, preferably organic
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime, juiced)
- 1 teaspoon honey simple syrup (recipe below) or 3/4 teaspoon agave nectar
- Dash ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar (I used coconut sugar, but cane sugar or turbinado sugar will also do)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Lime wedges
- Optional garnish: 1 star of anise per drink
- First, prepare the honey simple syrup by combining the water and honey in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until the honey is dissolved in the water. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- On a small plate, use a fork to blend the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Run a wedge of lime around the top of each drinking glass, then turn the glass down at a 45-degree angle and roll the top of the glass through the cinnamon, sugar and salt blend. Fill the glasses with ice and set them aside.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Feel free to make 2 to 3 drinks at once. Pour in the tequila, apple juice or cider, lime juice, honey simple syrup and cinnamon. Put on the lid and shake the cocktail for about 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass(es) and add a star of anise if you'd like. Cheers!
Change it up: I’m pretty sure this cocktail would be great with whiskey/bourbon in place of the tequila, in which case I would use lemon juice instead of lime.
Make it vegan: Use agave nectar in place of the honey mixture.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use 100% agave tequila.
Honey simple syrup storage: This simple syrup will keep well in an air-tight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.