Seemingly, a frozen drink has no business in a winter cocktail repertoire. This one is different. It allows you to stand over a simmering pot of cranberries and orange, enveloping your kitchen with a cheerful and alluring citric air. Paired with spicy Mexican fare, Cranberry Margaritas will take you to a warmer place and you don’t even have to leave your kitchen to get there.
For each drink:
1⁄2 cup of cranberry purée (see recipe below)
11⁄2 ounces tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1⁄2 ounce Cointreau (optional—there’s enough orange flavor in the cranberry purée, so if you don’t have Cointreau on hand, omit it or just add more tequila)
Orange zest for garnish (optional)
Combine cranberry purée, tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour over ice and garnish with orange zest.
For a blended margarita, add purée, tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau in a blender with about a half cup or so of ice per drink. Blend until smooth. For a pretty and festive garnish, stir together some orange zest with ¼ cup of sugar on a plate. Rim the glasses with lime juice and dip the rimmed glasses in sugar mixture before pouring frozen cocktail into the glass.
(Makes enough for six drinks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
Combine sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then stir in cranberries. Boil for about a minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes, allowing cranberries to burst, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and cool mixture to room temperature. Purée in a food processor or blender until velvety and smooth.