Sometimes there’s a perfect confluence of events that leads to a surprisingly great concoction. Such is the case with this recipe for guava margaritas. It all started because of two things: 1) the fact that we nearly always have guava nectar in our refrigerator and 2) Ina Garten. Let me explain.
About a year, maybe a year and a half ago, Joe started making kombucha for us at home. We’d often buy it from the store, and one day he looked at me and said, “I bet I can make this myself and save us a ton of money long term.” You know what? He was right. It took a bit of experimentation, but his home brewed kombucha is pretty fab. He uses guava for the secondary ferment (that’s the part that makes it fizzy), along with blueberries and ginger, which add a ton of color and flavor. So that’s that — now you know why we always have guava nectar in our refrigerator. It’s totally random, but it’s come in handy when you least expect, like when you need a delicious cocktail on the fly.
The other piece of this is cooking shows, specifically Barefoot Contessa. We have this thing where we sometimes (ok, frequently) like to watch cooking shows while we’re eating. I sound like a maniac writing that, but what can I say? Even though we’ve seen all the episodes like a bagillion times, it’s just our thing. Don’t question it.
So the other day, we were eating dinner while watching Ina and were coincidentally cocktail-less. In a classic turn of events, Ina decides to make pomegranate cosmopolitans for her friends who are coming over to play bridge. Maybe it had been a long day, maybe it was warm outside, but we looked at each other and decided pomegranate cosmopolitans sounded pretty great. Of course, not having ingredients for that on hand, we had to improvise. My invention? An easy guava margarita. It sated our cocktail craving, which was all that mattered!
What I love about this cocktail is both how easy it is, and how you can use it as a basic recipe and zhush it up with other juices. If you can’t find guava nectar, substitute mango. Try adding a bit of cayenne pepper to the salt rim, to make the cocktail a sweet/spicy thing. Top it off with a little sparkling water (or even prosecco if you’re feeling dangerous) to make it fizzy. Or, just drink it plain like we did. It’s delicious, super refreshing, and a fun twist on the classic margarita.
Here’s how I made it:
Makes 4 cocktails
- 1 cup silver tequila
- 1/2 cup guava nectar (see note, below)
- 1/4 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4-6 limes, depending on how juicy they are)
- — kosher salt
- — wedges of lime
- — ice
In a pitcher or carafe, mix all ingredients and gently stir. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
To serve in a lowball, with ice: In a small salad plate, pour out a tablespoon or two of kosher salt. Then, grab a lime wedge and using a paring knife, make a small cut in the center of the wedge, so that it could sit on top of a glass like a garnish. Rim the edge of the glass with the lime wedge, to moisten it. Then, turn the glass over and move it through the salt. This will make the salt stick to the rim, and presto, you’ve got a margarita with salt! Add lots of ice to your glasses, then pour the chilled mixture on top. Serve, and enjoy!
To serve in a martini glass: Follow the instructions above if you would like the rim of your martini glass to be salted. In a cocktail shaker, add lots of ice, and the chilled drink mixture. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your shaker. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds, until the drink is very, very cold. Pour out into your prepared martini glasses, and serve.
Note: we buy our guava nectar at Whole Foods, in the same section that has refrigerated orange juice. The brand is Sun Tropics, and it looks like this. Look there for other types of juices and nectars too — passionfruit, mango, even tropical fruit blends would be great in this. I’m fairly certain that Safeway stocks this brand too. If you can’t find any juice or nectar you like in the refrigerated section, you can always check the frozen food aisle. Some stores may stock frozen tropical nectars from concentrate, which would be an ok substitute (just try to find one that doesn’t have a ton of added sugar!).
What do I do with all this extra guava, Victoria? So glad you asked. Another favorite simple cocktail is two shots of vodka, the juice of one lime, a healthy splash of guava juice, and if I have it, a splash of club soda too. It’s easy and delicious!
Check out my recipe for classic margaritas.