AlcoHOLidays | National Margarita Day | The Choco-Rita


The Choco-Rita Cocktail

The history of the margarita is hotly debated. Sometime in the 1930s or 40s someone concocted it, but whether it was a Texas socialite or one of the two south-of-the-border bartenders that claim the honor, it remains a wonderful drink for warm days.

The basic margarita consists of tequila–usually silver, though I prefer gold, lime juice, and orange liqueur. Do not–I repeat, do not–let me catch you using sour mix or triple sec in a margarita; that’s just rude. If you want a sweeter margarita to pair with the salted rim, add a bit of sugar syrup to your shaker but leave the sour mix on the shelf. And you know how I feel about triple sec. Just don’t go there.

In case you haven’t caught on, today, February 22nd, is National Margarita Day and we’re very happy to celebrate that here at Casa de Sips!

Of course, as much as I love a good, classic, Margarita on the rocks with salt, paired with some rich and spicy Mexican food, I also like to mix things up a bit and play with the classics.

Which is why I’m offering you this alternative to the classic:

The Choco-Rita

1 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Anejo Tequila
3/4 oz Chocolate Vodka
1/4 oz Orange Liqueur
cocoa powder and/or crushed cacao nibs for garnish

Rim a shallow cocktail glass (margarita-style or coupe) with cocoa powder or some crushed cacao nibs. Combine all ingredients in a shaker glass half full of ice. Shake until frosty and strain into the prepared glass. Sprinkle with remaining cacao nibs if you used them.

This cocktail is a meeting between a traditional margarita and those chocolate oranges you see at the holidays, the ones you get to smash on the table to break into segments.  As usual in one of my cocktails, neither the orange, nor the chocolate, nor that unmistakable tequila flavor overpower any of the other ingredients. Instead, each sip is a little different and your tongue will pick up hints of the chocolate and orange midst the warmth of the tequila.

You can use a blanco or silver tequila if you insist, but I do encourage you to try a golden tequila for that added depth of flavor. For my version of this I used Partida Anejo Tequila, Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka (which I’ll be sharing more about next Tuesday), and–of course!–Cointreau liqueur. In a pinch you could use a premium unflavored vodka and a bit of chocolate liqueur, but it won’t quite be the same.

It’s Friday and National Margarita Day, what are you drinking tonight?

Celebrate | National Margarita Day


La Pinta Pomegranate-Infused TequilaThe best days, I think, are when I come home to a liquor delivery on my doorstep.

What made last night’s delivery even better was that is was a new tequila to try out, just in time for National Margarita Day.

First things first, y’all know how much I adore good packaging and this bottle of La Pinta from Casa Tradición ultra-premium tequila line delivers that in spades.

But looks aren’t everything, how does it taste?

Smooth. Sweet and savory. The unmistakable scent and flavor of tequila and the tart, sweet taste of pomegranate.

I would (and did) drink this straight. And I don’t usually drink liquor straight.

It was that good.

But it’s National Margarita Day, so it’s time to put this tequila to work!

According to Margaritaville (and who better to ask), Jimmy Buffet’s favorite Margarita goes like this:

The Perfect Margarita (Jimmy’s favorite):

1 oz Margaritaville Gold Tequila
.5 oz Margaritaville Silver Tequila
.5 oz Triple Sec
.5 oz Orange Curacao
.5 oz Lime juice
2 Lime Wedges

Rim margarita glass with salt.  Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.  Squeeze limes and add to tin.  Shake vigorously and pour into a margarita glass and enjoy.

Now, we all know what I think about triple sec (just say no!) and I seemed to be somehow out of limes–the horror!

But when you have a fabulous tequila like the La Pinta around, a missing lime is so far from the end of the world it’s not even worth worrying about.

La Pinta Pomegranate MargaritaInstead, I concocted my own cocktail which I think shows off the tequila to great advantage.

La Pinta Pomegranate Margarita

1.5 oz La Pinta Pomegranate Infused Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
juice of 1 Clementine or Mandarin orange
salt for rimming the glass

Salt the rim of your chosen cocktail glass and add a few ice cubes to it. Combine all ingredients and half the clementine in a shaker over ice and shake like a maraca! Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a wedge of clementine.

It’s got the sweet, it’s got the salt, it’s got the tart and that not-really-sour but more of an umami flavor that just says tequila and without which you can’t call it a margarita.

And if you don’t have La Pinta handy, combining a high quality tequila with some pomegranate liqueur and you might be able to get close.

How are you celebrating National Margarita Day?

I was provided a sample of La Pinta Pomegranate Infused Tequila for review, all opinions are my own.