Monday, June 7, 2010

Frozen Margaritas Anyone?

Summertime in our apartment can be pretty ruthless. We don't really have the funds to keep our apartment cool all the time. All we have is a window unit in the bedroom that we use when we're trying to sleep. Believe me, it's no fun waking up drenched in sweat.
The reason I'm telling you this is because one of the last lines of defense against the mercury expanding doldrums of summer is cool refreshing summer drinks. It's one of the few arrows in our frosty quiver. If you scroll down to past entries, you'll find a running theme of, "What will keep me from sweating my central nervous system out of my pores?"
I don't often resort to frozen drinks. I like them just fine, but I am very lazy. To do a frozen drink, I have to drag out the blender and then clean it afterward. But sometimes the thermometer requires bold action.

Heather has been chomping at the bit for fresh local strawberries to be in season. This past weekend she finally got her wish at the farmer's market. She used most of them to make something delicious (more details on Wednesday,) but there were enough left over for me to play around a little.

In searching the internet for a good drink recipe that incorporates strawberries, I came across a listing in The New York Times back in 2002 for a Strawberry Basil Margarita. It seemed like the perfect thing to cool us down, and easy to do because we have a makeshift herb garden on our windowsill. The only problem was that if I was going to make the recipe as written, there would be a lot of debris to deal with. I was looking for a smoother, more consistent experience. The simplest solution would be to make it frozen. It kills many birds with a single stone.

Frozen Strawberry Basil Margarita
adapted from The New York Times
-2 oz. Tequila
-2 oz. strawberries
-3/4 oz. lime juice
-1/2 oz. simple syrup
-6 basil leaves
Combine all ingredients in a blender with enough ice to thicken (1-1/2 cup.) Pour into a margarita glass and garnish with a basil leaf and lime wedge.

I liked this margarita a lot and it was very different from what I was used to. I also played around with it and replaced the six leaves of basil with about twelve leaves of mint. I think I preferred the mint to the basil. It was in keeping with the refreshing summer drinks theme. What could be more refreshing than mint? As Heather put it, the basil version might be better for pre-dinner cocktails and the mint version might be better as a dessert cocktail.

The nice part about making drinks in a blender is that once you have it out, you can do multiple drinks at once. I might have to bust one of these out for my dad this summer; he does enjoy a nice banana daiquiri from time to time. This makes these drinks an incredibly handy thing to be able to make full batches of for pool parties, get-togethers, hootenannies, and box socials...especially box socials.

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