We ring our own celebratory bell with this cocktail. It’s the 100th posting and selecting the base spirit is an easy call: tequila, distilled from the century plant, the agave cactus. Like many celebration offerings the shopping list and preparation steps are longer than usual but, we believe, the end result is worth the effort. This preparation makes the base for several drinks.
1 ripe mango, seeded, peeled and chopped
1 cocktail grapefruit, juiced
1 tangerine, juiced
2 limes, juiced
2 ounces of agave nectar
3 ounces of hibiscus water (see below)
Put the mango, juices, nectar and hibiscus water in a blender and process for 10 seconds on low speed and 20 seconds on high. Pour into a pitcher or other container and chill in the refrigerator. (The mix will keep for several days in the refrigerator.) To prepare the drink, put 2 ounces of the mix and 2 ounces of tequila in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 seeded slices of jalapeño. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin lime wedge.
Tasting notes: Terrific blend of strong, sweet, citrus and spice. Unless you are a real hot head, make sure the jalapeño slices are seeded!
Hibiscus water: Add one compact cup of dried hibiscus blossoms to 2 cups of boiling water. Stir, cover and remove from heat. Let it steep for 1 hour. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Store in the refrigerator up to a month.
Instead of tossing the hibiscus blossoms, use them to flavor vodka or tequila. Put wet leaves in a Mason jar and add 3 cups of vodka or tequila. Store for 10 days in the refrigerator. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and then a paper cone coffee filter and use it to create your own cocktails.
Tomorrow: Home sweet home
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