In honor of my Dad’s birthday today and Cinco de Mayo this Sunday, I’m sharing my favorite recipes to get you party ready.
First off, my Dad’s cocktail of choice was a margarita (and I love them too!). There is a right way to make them and I cringe when I see bartenders doing it the wrong way. A little back story you may not know, I was a bartender for many years (that’s actually how my husband and I met, we bartended together). Making a margarita the correct way takes practice and a little bit of skill so let me break it down for you. This recipe is my family’s all time favorite - the “Cadillac margarita”; although I’m spicing it up a bit with jalapeños!
Spicy Cadillac Margarita
A basic shaker, like this one (which also comes with a strainer)
Tequila (A really good one like Patron Silver).
Triple Sec (brand does not matter on this one)
Homemade Sour Mix (see recipe below)
Fill your pint glass with ice. I eyeball every drink but for the sake of this recipe, use a shot glass for measuring. Add 2 shots of tequila, 1 shot of triple sec, Next you’ll add your homemade sour mix (almost to the top), a couple freshly squeezed limes and optional sliced jalapeños. This is the most important part…take your shaker and put it over the pint class. Turn it upside down so the pint glass in now on the top. Make sure it is secure and shake that baby over your shoulder (holding both ends!!!) for a good minute so it’s nice and frothy. The key to a good margarita is the tequila, the key to a GREAT margarita is the shake. Safely separate the pint glass and shaker, keeping the margarita in the shaker. Add a swipe of lime juice to the top of the pint glass, then rim the glass with salt. (Adding kosher or sea salt to a small plate makes it easy to get the salt on). Pour back into the pint glass. Now comes the best part…that Grand Marnier I mentioned? Top your margarita with a heavy floater of it and drink! Salud!
Homemade Sour Mix
So easy to make and SOOOOO much better than any store bought.
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
1 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
If you’re going for a spicy margarita, add a sliced jalapeño (with seeds) to your water/sugar mixture
In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar and jalapeños (if using). Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, then remove the syrup from the heat, and allow it to cool. Once cooled, mix in the lemon and lime juice. Store covered (I use a large mason jar like this one) in the refrigerator for up to one week.
My Favorite Guacamole
Guacamole is one of those recipes that everyone does a little different. Mine is super simple and delicious.
4 Avocados (must be ripe)
1/2 Small Red Onion, diced
1 Jalapeño (optional), diced and seeded
Cilantro, chopped (I use a large handful)
1 lime, freshly squeezed
Sea Salt (I eyeball and taste until it’s just right)
Mash your avocados with a fork in a medium sized bowl, add your diced red onion, diced jalepeno, chopped cilantro, lime juice and sea salt. Mix really well until all flavors are incorporated. Taste and adjust your seasonings. If you’re not serving immediately, add one of the avocado pits to the center and tightly cover until ready to serve. Remove the pit and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Want to make a meal of it? My recipes for shrimp quesadillas and the BEST homemade salsa, can be found here.
And a very special shout-out to my sister, who also celebrates her birthday today. Love you sis!
Have a great weekend!