Spicy and sparkling margaritas

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U.S. observation of Cinco de Mayo began in California in the 1860s. When Mexican miners heard that Mexico was free from the French, they tossed aside their mining tools, grabbed their rifles and shot off a few rounds in a fit of joy. Those not possessing rifles celebrated with fireworks, patriotic songs and speeches. In the 1940s, Cinco de Mayo was back in the limelight during the Chicano movement. Cinco de Mayo gained momentum shortly after and exploded in the 1980s, when it became a drinking holiday, thanks to beer marketing and promotion. Not much has changed since then; it’s still the holiday celebrating Mexican food, drink, culture and traditions, where everyone is a sombrero-sporting Mexican with a margarita in their hand.

Spicy is always in vogue in Mexico. So bring some spice to your margarita, with jalapenos. Caliente!

Jalapeno Margarita
½ jalapeno, sliced
1 ¼ c. tequila
½ c. fresh lime juice
2 T orange liqueur
2 t. superfine sugar
Coarse salt
Lime for garnish

Steep jalapeño in tequila for about one hour.
Rub the rims of 4 glasses with lime, and then dip the rims in superfine sugar and coarse salt. Fill the glasses with ice.
Shake the tequila, fresh lime juice, orange liqueur and superfine sugar in an ice-filled shaker.
Strain into the glasses, and garnish with lime.

Credit - Food Network Magazine: 1,000 Easy Recipes

If you love your margaritas but want to be able to zip up your jeans come Sunday, a calorie-friendly margarita is in order. Some margaritas contain as many as 1,000 calories, and chances are slim that you’ll stop at one. If your margarita has a zero-calorie base, the calorie count is smashed like a piñata. For alcoholic beverages such as margaritas, sparkling flavored water provides a bit of oomph.

  • Sparkling ICE

Slim and Sparkling Margarita
3 oz. Lemon Lime Sparkling ICE or favorite lemon lime sparkling water
1oz. tequila
Splash of Triple Sec
Fresh squeezed lime
Coarse salt

Shake ingredients and pour into a chilled rocks glass rimmed in coarse salt.

Credit - Sparkling ICE

If you can’t find Sparkling ICE, a great alternative is Sam’s Choice sparkling water, which is a Wal-Mart exclusive brand and beverage. Sparkling ICE is available at the following locations:

Wal-Mart – 4302 W. Gandy Boulevard, Tampa
Wal-Mart – 1505 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa
Winn Dixie – 2525 E. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa
Winn Dixie – 7851 Palm River Road, Tampa

click to enlarge Spicy and sparkling margaritas - Andrew McCaul
Andrew McCaul
Spicy and sparkling margaritas

While you’re out shopping for sombreros this week, in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, consider shopping for margarita ingredients as well. If you’ve been using the same margarita recipe since Ricky Martin was “Living La Vida Loca,” perhaps it’s time to “mix it up” a bit and consider variations of the popular cocktail.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, which celebrates Mexico’s freedom from French reign. It may be a Mexican holiday, but ironically, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico.

click to enlarge Spicy and sparkling margaritas - Andrew McCaul
Andrew McCaul
Spicy and sparkling margaritas
  • Andrew McCaul

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