Thirsty Thursday: Happy Margarita Day!

Miles and I recently went to Asheville. I can’t wait to tell y’all about the places we found there, but first, we have to celebrate National Margarita Day.

I agree–I would have thought that National Margarita Day would be during a warmer month, since I always associate it as being a summertime drink. But considering the high is 82 for us in Charleston today, maybe they weren’t too far off.

So, I haven’t had an extensive margarita experience in Charleston. I have had several around town, but considering I’ve been here for over five years now, it’s hard to say what’s still open or if anything is still good.

I’ll always affectionately remember the blood orange margarita at Taco Mamacita on Sullivan’s. Sadly, they are closed (though apparently there are still a couple of locations in Tennessee). As far as places that are currently open, here are a couple of places that I’ve been to or have heard rave things about.

  1. La Nortena is my and Miles’ favorite Mexican restaurant (and it’s five minutes up the street from our house), so I’m a little prejudiced here. But they have an excellent deal on the margaritas during happy hour and they don’t overdo it on the sweet and sour mix. (I am not a fan of super-sweet-the-only-thing-you-can-taste-is-sweet-and-sour-mix margaritas.) You should definitely go to have the food, but get a margarita, too.
  2. Taco Boy downtown is not somewhere I have been to in a while, but I like the atmosphere, even if I think the tacos are a little undersized for the price (or maybe overpriced for the size). I know I have gotten a margarita here before and liked it. More than likely, it was the Casa. My dad usually likes to get Cadillac margaritas (and I will probably try that next time I go).
  3. Southern Roots Smokehouse in Park Circle (not off Savannah Highway) is not somewhere I have been yet. My parents got a blackberry margarita here, though, that they absolutely raved about. They’re still trying to recreate it, but maybe we need to go and investigate to see if we can nail down other ingredients for it.
  4. Honorary Mention: Mex 1 Coastal Cantina on Sullivan’s Island is, again, somewhere on my list to go, but haven’t been to yet. I have heard the food is great but the biggest draw at this point is that they won the Charleston Margarita Festival last year. Considering they were up against some pretty stiff competition, I’d wager it must have been a near perfect margarita. We haven’t been to Sullivan’s Island in a while, so that may be something we do this summer.

I have an old college recipe for coronaritas (margaritas with Corona) that a good friend of mine shared with me. This is something you have to play with to perfect the amount of froth that you get or generate when you blend the Corona with the other ingredients in the blender, but for being so simple, this is a great recipe.

  1. Grab a blender.
  2. Have one can of frozen margarita mix, tequila, and corona handy.
  3. Fill the blender  halfway-ish with ice (if you like on the rocks margaritas, don’t add too much, but if you like frozen margaritas, add more).
  4. Add the frozen mix.
  5. Use the frozen mix can to measure out an appropriate amount of tequila. (Warning: using a full can for tequila may induce college memories and nostalgia.)
  6. I don’t remember if you blend, then add the Corona and blend again, but we’re going to go with that. Blend ingredients. Add the Corona and carefully blend again.
  7. Salt the rim of a margarita glass, pour your drink, and get yourself outside to enjoy the afternoon.

If you have a good margarita recipe, please share it! I do enjoy cocktails on occasion and having different recipes to try is always fun.

(This picture taken by me. One of those is the blood orange margarita from the now-defunct Taco Mamacita on Sullivan’s Island, may it RIP.)

Thirsty Thursday: Strawberry and Basil Lemonade with Bourbon

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have noticed my post earlier. One picture was last night’s dinner and the other was bunch of sliced strawberries.

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Now for the (maybe not very) grand reveal of what I was slicing strawberries for!

But first, backstory because backstory is the best.

My book club had our three year anniversary party on Saturday. I have a bunch of frozen strawberries given to us by one of Miles’ aunts. I decided to make essentially an icebox cake with strawberries, but the recipe called for fresh strawberries in addition to the frozen strawberries. BiLo was running a two for $4 deal on strawberries and the book club only ate about half a package of strawberries. Miles and I were left with one and a  half packs of strawberries. With the remaining half of the first pack, I made strawberry salad. But that still left me with a whole pack to use up and quickly.

I also found myself with a surplus of mint and basil from my little herb garden on my patio table. The mint, sadly, didn’t make it (I picked a vessel that was too small and didn’t fill it up enough), but I had a ton of basil left. I searched for a bunch of recipes, but the thing that sounded most promising was this low-carb strawberry mint mojito off of one of my favorite low-carb blogs, I Breathe I’m Hungry.

I considered just doing this, but Miles and I don’t really drink rum and I didn’t want to be stuck with a bottle of something we would take forever finish. So, I decided to switch to bourbon instead. And replaced the mint with the basil. And didn’t mix the liquor into the pitcher.

So! After all that, I made these drinks last night. They’re refreshing, light, and better with a little splash of club soda.

I haven’t come up with a super catchy name for this. BBLS? Bourbon, Basil, Lemonade, Strawberry? No. BBS Lemonade? Hmm. I don’t know. I’ll have to think on a better name. Until then, Strawberry and Basil Lemonade with Bourbon will have to do. Here’s the recipe (which is really more of a guideline since you can mix the bourbon and club soda to your liking).

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  • One pitcher packet of Crystal Lite Lemonade
  • One package of strawberries
  • Four large sprigs of basil
  • Bourbon
  • Club soda

This probably makes eight drinks.

  1. Slice strawberries, leaving ends off. Set aside.
  2. Rinse your fresh basil and set aside to dry.
  3. Make one pitcher (2 quarts) of crystal lite lemonade. Add the strawberries to the pitcher.
  4. Refrigerate at least an hour to let the strawberries seep their flavor into the lemonade.
  5. Pour the lemonade mixture into a tall glass (with or without ice), two thirds of the way full. Scoop some of the strawberries from the pitcher into the glass.
  6. Take four to five leaves off a sprig of basil. Roll the basil between your palms to release the oils and scent. Add it to the glass.

This is where things get personalized, but in general:

  1. Pour one shot of bourbon into the drink. Follow with a splash of club soda.
  2. Stir and/or muddle everything together in the glass and enjoy!

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