I am the first to admit that I have consumed my fair share of margaritas made from a bottled mix. During college my roommates and I really enjoyed margaritas. We would buy the pre-made mixes at the store and whiz them up in a blender. We also enjoyed a pitcher of margaritas at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we would definitely take advantage of the 99 cent margarita nights on Fridays at a local restaurant.
I mean, come on, 99 cents for a margarita! That place was buzzing with broke college students every Friday night!
I remember that they had huge Gatorade coolers full of raspberry, lime, and peach flavors. When you would order a margarita they would pour some out of the spigot, into a blender, and whiz it up. And, voilà, you had your 99 cent, sugary, artificially-flavored margarita.
At the time I thought they tasted pretty good, even though I knew they weren’t the best tasting margarita, but that didn’t stop me from drinking my fair share of them.
If I were to drink one now with my refined taste buds and distaste for anything overly sweet I know I wouldn’t be able to finish an entire glass. I would have two sips and be done. It’s true what they say, “You get what you pay for.”
These days I want nothing to do with the mixed, bottled, artificial drinks. I am also willing to spend a little more than 99 cents for a margarita. Besides, we’re trying to be sophisticated grown-ups here and sip on legit cocktails. Right?
Now, it’s about quality ingredients in our drink, not quantity. You crazy college students, you.
If we’re talking about a quality raspberry margarita then we have to, and I mean HAVE TO, use fresh, real fruit. All of it is fresh; we aren’t even going to skip the step of squeezing our own lime juice. There is no bottled stuff in this margarita, my friend. This margarita is the real deal!
Okay, okay I confess, I used frozen raspberries instead of fresh. I bought the fresh raspberries and had the intention of using them to make the drink, but then I realized how much I truly, desperately wanted to eat those fresh raspberries, so I turned to the frozen raspberries for the drink-making and saved the fresh ones for the eating. NEED-TO-EAT-MORE-RASPBERRIES-NOWW!
You could definitely use fresh raspberries if you prefer. The frozen tastes just as good, though; trust me!
As I mention in the notes in the recipe, if you are making this recipe for a crowd you could multiply the recipe, keep the raspberries frozen, and throw everything in a blender and blendy-blend. When you are making just 1 or 2, or maybe 3 or 4 margaritas then I suggest the muddle and cocktail shaker method. It’s easy, you can customize each individual drink for level of sweetness, and you don’t have a big ol’ blender to wash.
This fresh raspberry margarita is by far my new favorite cocktail; I will be drinking it all summer long.
I know you will love it, too. It’s:
Sweet, yet not too sweet
Bursting with fresh raspberry flavor
Beautiful in color
Easy to make
Only takes 10 minutes
Only 6 ingredients required
And loaded with antioxidants- Bonus!
- FOR THE SUGARED RIM (optional):
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon tequila
- FOR THE MARGARITA:
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice, about 1 lime
- 2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar, or to taste
- ½ cup frozen* raspberries, thawed (you can use the defrost setting on your microwave, just make sure they don’t get warm)
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice, about ½ orange (you could also sub in 1 ounce orange liqueur)
- 1 to 1 ½ ounces good quality tequila
- 2 to 4 ice cubes
- Extra lime slices for garnish (optional)
- Fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
- FOR THE SUGARD RIM:
- Place the sugar, sea salt, and lime zest into a small food processor, or spice grinder. Pulse a few times until everything is incorporated and the lime zest has been chopped up into tiny bits.
- Transfer the sugar and lime mixture onto a small saucer and spread it out into a flat layer.
- teaspoon tequila onto a separate saucer.
- Dip the rim of the cocktail glass or margarita glass into the tequila so that it coats the rim. Hold upside down for 10 seconds to allow the excess to drip off and the alcohol to slightly evaporate.
- Move the rim of the glass that has been coated in the tequila in the sugar lime mixture in a circular motion. Make sure the outside of the rim is well coated. Set the glass aside until ready to use.
- FOR THE MARGARITA:
- To a cocktail shaker add the lime juice, agave nectar (start with 2 tablespoons, you can always taste and add more later), and thawed raspberries. Use a muddler to break up most of the raspberries (if you don’t have a muddler than you can use a tablespoon or the back of a wooden spoon). Keep muddling until most of the juice has been released from the raspberries. It is okay if there are a few small berry chunks left behind.
- Add in the orange juice/orange liquor, tequila (plus any tequila left on the saucer), and 2 to 4 ice cubes. Place the lid tightly on the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 1 minute, or until all of the ice has melted. Remove the lid and take a sip to taste, add more agave if desired and shake to combine.
- Pour the margarita into the prepared glass. If your prefer, you can pass the margarita through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the raspberry seeds and little chunks of solid fruit. However, I prefer the texture of the seeds left in, it reminds me that I am drinking a fresh raspberry margarita.
- Add an ice cube or two to keep the drink chilled. We love these oversized cocktail ice cubes that keep the drink well chilled but won’t water it down as fast as traditional ice.
- Garnish with a lime slice and/or fresh raspberry, if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Alternatively you could keep your raspberries frozen and add them to a blender along with the other ingredients to make a frozen margarita. This could be ideal for making larger batches of margaritas for several guests. I prefer using my shaker for 1 or 2 drinks because they are easy to customize in level of sweetness (I prefer mine more tart, while Paul prefers his on the sweeter side). A bonus is I don’t need to wash my blender, just a small cocktail shaker and a muddler.