It’s margarita time! Today, our wedding wellness expert, Carlene Thomas of Healthfully Ever After, whipped up a sophisticated wintry margarita that entices with the pleasantly pungent flavor of kumquats, winter’s unheralded citrus gems, and a sprinkling of smoky black pepper. With sweet, tart, spicy, and citrusy notes in equal parts, this wonderfully complex and layered drink is an ideal signature cocktail choice for the chic and modern bride. Here’s Carlene with all the details.
Winter is the peak season for citrus. While you could buy oranges, it’s time to enjoy a petite and little-known fruit: the kumquat. Kumquats, including the skin, are 100 percent edible. They are tart like lemons but release an addictive sweetness as you chew. Put a spin on a traditional margarita with this little-used ingredient and a spicy dash of pepper on the rim of the glass. A black pepper kumquat margarita is the perfect signature drink for the bride with razor-sharp wit and a thoughtful heart.
Ingredients (makes 2):
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 kumquats
- 3 ounces tequila
- 3 cups crushed ice
- 1/2 cup sugar (to make simple syrup)
- 2 ounces of Cointreau
- 1 ounce of lime juice
Moisten the rims of margarita or cocktail glasses with lime juice. Sprinkle salt and black pepper into a small bowl and dip the glass rims.
To make sweetened kumquats: Wash and puncture kumquats with a fork. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the kumquats to a boil, and drain the water. Repeat the process twice. Once you have boiled and drained the kumquats twice, add more water and an equal amount of sugar. Allow the sugar to dissolve over heat with the kumquats. Set aside.
In a blender, finely crush the ice. Add to glasses with the salt and pepper rims. Add syrup and a few kumquats to the glass. In a cocktail shaker, add tequila, lime, and Cointreau. Shake and pour over the kumquat ice.
Photos and recipe by Carlene Thomas