If there’s anything better than looking at hibiscus, it’s tasting one. Especially when it’s paired with a delicious tequila. Spring is such a short season, but it can be elongated just a bit with a beautiful and indulgent hibiscus margarita. With a beautiful blend of liquors and a sweet, floral syrup, this is the perfect spring cocktail that you’ll want to drink all year long.
What is a Margarita?
We’ve all been to a Mexican restaurant and seen a margarita on the menu. We’ve also seen them come out in beautiful margarita glasses, salt glistening off the rim and garnishes galore. It’s truly a sight to behold. But what exactly is a margarita?
Margarita is a classic cocktail that traditionally has tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Typically they’re served in margarita glasses, and usually have a salt rim and some garnish.
Margaritas can be served in a variety of ways. Some are shaken with ice, some are blended with ice, and some don’t contain any ice at all. Many people over the years have put their own spins on margaritas, too, usually adding a fruit or some other flavor. Some will even use a substitute for orange liqueur, or make it with a flavored tequila. One of my favorite spins is this hibiscus margarita.
What is Tequila?
Tequila is a liquor made from the agave plant, and is named for the city in Mexico where it was first made, Tequila, Jalisco. Tequila has different tastes and notes depending on the brand and particular ingredients, but all have a sweet yet earthy flavor.
How is it made?
Tequila is made through a distillation process. Once the agave is harvested, its core is baked and shredded, and the juice is extracted. After that, the juice is fermented and distilled, then it is aged. The aging length depends on the color the distillers want, but some can sit in barrels for years before being consumed.
What is Triple Sec?
Triple sec is an orange flavored liqueur (liqueurs are just liquors with added spirits and flavors). Some people like to enjoy triple sec on its own, but it’s fabulous in other cocktails like cosmopolitans and sidecars. Triple sec has a sweet flavor and a pretty high alcohol content.
How is it made?
Triple sec is made with orange peels. Oranges that are not yet ripe are steeped in a spirit and distilled once again to give it its distinct flavor.
For this recipe you can use another type of orange liqueur if you don’t have any triple sec on hand. You could use curacao, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier.
What is Hibiscus Syrup?
Hibiscus syrup is a simple syrup made with hibiscus. As mentioned, it can be purchased at a store or online, or you can make your own.
How Do I Make it At Home?
Making hibiscus syrup at home is very simple. All you need is water, sugar, and hibiscus. You can use fresh or dried petals, but dried petals can be easier to find and can be purchased online.
Using equal parts sugar and water, boil the two in a saucepan. Remove the saucepan from your stove top, and steep the petals in the sugar and water mixture for 5-10 minutes.
Strain out the petals and add syrup to a container. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
Dried Hibiscus Notes
You can buy dried hibiscus, making this recipe very simple, but you can also use your own hibiscus plants if you have them. You can use fresh petals for a homemade syrup or as a garnish, but for the rim, you’ll want to dry them, which you can also do at home, either in your oven or a dehydrator. You will have to crush the petals in a food processor to make them fine enough for a rim, though.
Substitutes for Mocktail
Alcohol free? No problem. This recipe can be easily adapted to accommodate anyone’s drinking habits.
The best substitute for tequila, because of its distinct taste, is just a nonalcoholic tequila. There are plenty you can buy online or in stores, and these will mimic the taste of tequila. You can also use club soda and lime juice.
Instead of triple sec, try using grenadine. This is a good substitute in both flavor and color. You could also use club soda and orange juice for a triple sec substitute, or just leave out triple sec all together and add a little orange zest. You’ll still be left with a lovely spring mocktail.
What You’ll Need
To make this tasty hibiscus margarita, you’re going to need these ingredients:
- Hibiscus syrup – You can purchase this yourself or make it at home.
- Tequila – Use your favorite brand.
- Triple sec or orange liqueur – Use your favorite brand.
- Lime juice – I suggest squeezing it fresh.
- Dried hibiscus flowers – You can purchase these online, or use your own if you have a plant at home.
You’ll also need these items:
- Cocktail glass
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail jigger
- Measuring utensils
For the perfect spring cocktail, follow these tips:
- Shake, don’t stir – A classic margarita is shaken, not stirred. Make sure you have the proper equipment before attempting to make this drink.
- Use fresh limes – I’ve mentioned it once, but it bears repeating: use fresh lime juice, not concentrate. This is going to give you the freshest flavor.
- Get the most out of your limes – Even if you purchased the hardest limes at the store, you can still get juice out of them. Before squeezing, roll them around on your counter, or heat them up in the microwave for just a bit to get the most juice.
- 2 oz blanco tequila
- 1/2 oz triple sec
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz hibiscus simple syrup
- salt for rim optional
- salt the rim of a glass and set aside.
- Add tequila, triple sec, lime juice, syrup and ice to a cocktail shaker.
- Shake and strain into prepared glass with fresh ice.
- Garnish with a lime wheel and hibiscus flowers (optional).