Cucumber-Mint Tequila Tonic
2 cups chopped English cucumber
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, sectioned and juiced
Dash of salt
1/2 cup tequila blanco
3/4 cup chilled tonic water
Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Scrape mixture into a bowl; stir in tequila. Chill. Strain. Stir in tonic water. Serve over ice.
Agave-Kissed Margaritas with Citrus Salt
This cocktail simultaneously satisfies a desire for something sweet, salty, and tangy. Agave nectar, made from the agave plant (also the source of tequila), is very sweet, so a little goes a long way (1⁄3 cup agave nectar equals about 1 cup granulated sugar). You can find it in health-food stores and large supermarkets.
11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1⁄4teaspoon finely grated lime rind
2 lime wedges
1⁄4 cup tequila
1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
11⁄2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 (3-inch) strip orange rind
4 ice cubes
1⁄4cup chilled orange-flavored sparkling water
1. Rub salt and grated citrus rinds between fingers on a small plate. Run lime wedges around the rim of each of 2 glasses. Reserve lime wedges. Dip rims of glasses in salt mixture, coating evenly. Fill each glass two-thirds full with crushed ice.
2. Combine tequila, juice, and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker. Slightly crush orange rind strip; add orange rind strip and 4 ice cubes to shaker. Shake mixture, and strain XX cup tequila mixture into each glass. Add 2 tablespoons sparkling water to each serving; garnish with reserved lime wedges.
Yield: 2 servings.
CALORIES 127 (0% from fat); FAT 0g; PROTEIN 0.2g; CARB 15.1g; FIBER 0.2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.1mg; SODIUM 242mg; CALC 7mg
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh blackberries
Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and kosher salt in a dish. Cut lime into 9 wedges; rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip rims of glasses in salt mixture. Combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 1/2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar; cool. Combine syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher; discard solids. Serve over ice. Garnish with remaining lime wedges.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
Frozen Watermelon Margarita
Hands-on time: 10 min. Total time: 10 min.
Watermelon adds a fruity new dimension to a classic beachside cocktail.
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups diced seeded watermelon
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
1 cup ice
1⁄4 cup silver tequila
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
1. Place 1 teaspoon sugar in a saucer. Dip rims of 4 glasses in water; spin rim of each glass in sugar to coat. Set prepared glasses aside.
2. Combine watermelon, juice, and agave in a blender; process until smooth. Add ice, tequila, and liqueur; pulse to combine. Divide margarita evenly among glasses; serve immediately.
SERVES 4 (serving size: about 2⁄3 cup)
CALORIES 96; FAT 0.1g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 0g); PROTEIN 0.5g; CARB 13.4g; FIBER 0.4g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.2mg; SODIUM 1mg; CALC 7mg