You know how it is when you walk into a run-of-the-mill bar and ask for a margarita on the rocks? Odds are you’ll get some sickly sweet drink that’ll knock your head back and will taste more synthetic than anything else. That’s because the primary ingredient used by bartenders in such drinks is sweet and sour mix (sometimes called just “sour mix”). Sweet and sour mix can be made well – just lemon or lime juice and simple syrup but is more often some concoction of a lemon/lime facsimile, corn syrup, artificial flavors and preservative. Yuck. It makes the drink BOTH too sweet AND too sour.
You can make great, easy margaritas without adding all the chemicals from Monsanto’s secret labs. Here’s how I make flavored margaritas just using 100% fruit juice and the usual liquor lineup. They are delicious, easy to make and a great summer drink for the crowd around the grill.
- 2 1/2 oz Tequila (I use Reposado)
- 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (I use Patron Citronge which has a sharper, more citrus-y taste than Cointreau, but Cointreau works well too). Feel free to use a tad more if you like – see notes below.
- 4-6 oz of 100% Pomegranate Juice (enough to top off the glass)
- 1/4 lime wedge for juice and garnish
- If you’re planning on making it through a long evening sucking these down, you may want to cut the Tequila back to 2 oz. Yes, it makes a difference over the long haul. These go down easy, so you’ll probably lose track. No need to cut back much on the Orange Liqueur. The Pomegranate juice tends to dominate the flavor and an extra orange kick is welcome.
- You can make this same recipe with pineapple juice. Also excellent. For juices that are less strong in flavor, you may need to play with the alcoholic ingredients a bit.
July 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm
What’s the difference between pomegranate juice and Grenadine?
July 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Grenadine is a syrup made with pomegranate juice and sugar. Depending on the manufacturer or home brew, it can be roughly half and half juice and sugar by volume. It is much sweeter than pomegranate juice. A brief check on the ingredients of one of the leading manufacturers of grenadine shows these ingredients on the label as well:
high fructose corn syrup, water, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate (preservative), red 40, natural and artificial flavors, and blue 1. Yummy 🙂
July 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm
That sounds like Rose’s. The Stirrings ingredients are much better: TRIPLE-FILTERED WATER, POMEGRANATE JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE (WATER, POMEGRANATE JUICE CONCENTRATE), CANE SUGAR, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVOR, PECTIN. But I see what you mean – in pure form, it’s just sweetened pomegranate juice. Now here’s the other question: how much pomegranate juice is actually in pomegranate juice? With cranberry, it’s almost impossible to find the straight stuff, it’s almost always a mix with apple.
July 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm
It’s actually pretty easy to find pure pomegranate juice. Our local store (not a Whole Foods) has two brands. Pom brand pomegranate juice is available almost everywhere and it’s 100% pomegranate.
July 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm
I picked some up; that is quite a color – there might be some fun ideas related to that. I made a highball with 1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz lemon juice, and fill with pomegranate and it didn’t work – basically pomegranate juice. Powerful stuff.
July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Yeah. It’s tasty but overpowering. That’s why I went to 2.5 oz of tequila 🙂 When you get the mix right, it’s delicious.
July 11, 2013 at 12:52 am
Tonight I made a highball inspired by this. 2 oz tequila, 2 oz pomegranate juice, juice of 1/2 lemon (didn’t have a lime), fill with club soda on crushed ice. Tasty and light.
July 11, 2013 at 2:21 am
Excellent! Sounds delicious!