With the holidays on our doorstep, I wanted to share with you a cocktail that’s a fantastic and easy-to-make drink that’ll be sure to please your guests.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Ladies’ Night In party in Chicago with Chef Marcela Valladolid, cookbook author and hostess of the Food Network’s “Mexican Made Easy.” We sipped and sampled numerous Sauza Tequila drinks and had a fantastic time tasting dishes from Marcela’s cookbook, Fresh Mexico.

One of the drinks Marcela showed us how to make was this warm winter margarita, reminiscent of a hot toddy – only way more Mexican! It was an instant hit with the crowd and the perfect way to end the evening.

I admit, I’ve got a hoarding problem when it comes to recording TV shows on my DVR. Right now, I probably have half a dozen episodes each of Marcela’s English-language show, “Mexican Made Easy” on the Food Network, and her Spanish-language show on Discovery en Español, “Relatos con Sabor.” I usually like to watch them once for pleasure and a second time to jot down notes with the recipes if it’s something I don’t already know how to make. José is always asking me if it’s safe to delete them or if I still have to watch my second run. I love Chef Marcela because her mission is a lot like mine: to teach people about authentic Mexican food.

It was so much fun to hang out with her for an intimate evening of cooking tips and getting to taste some of her recipes!

Click on the collage below to see the entire album of photos from the party:

You can also watch a video of the party to see the other drink recipes Marcela taught us to make using Sauza Tequila, including one of my favorites: the Paloma, a cocktail made with fresh grapefruit juice.

Thanks so much to Sauza and Chef Marcela for a fabulous Ladies’ Night In. And thank you to the hostesses, Stacey Roney and Beth Rosen for inviting me! I had a great time. Each party attendee received a little tequila to practice making their own drinks as well as a copy of Chef Marcela’s book, which I absolutely love and would very much recommend as a gift for yourself or the Mexican foodie in your life. I’ve already made this recipe a few times and several other recipes from her book and I’m definitely impressed. They taste very similar to the kinds of food I make here in the Tortilla Test Kitchen.

Click on the English or Spanish-language image of the book below to purchase that version.


adapted from a recipe taught by Chef Marcela Valladolid

  • 3 ½ cups (28 ounces) apple juice or cider
  • 1-2 sticks of Mexican cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated cane sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup dried fruit of your choice (I like apricots, apples, cranberries, tart cherries, and golden raisins)
  • ¾ of a cup (6 ounces) tequila blanco or reposado (whichever you prefer)

Combine apple juice or cider and cinnamon sticks in a deep pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks.

Add sugar and tequila and stir to incorporate. Pour into cups and add dried fruit to each cup just before serving so they don’t rehydrate too quickly. For added fun, you can sugar the rim of the glass if you like. Just gently wet the rim of the glass and dip it in a small dish of fine granulated cane sugar before pouring the margarita into the glass.

Yields 4-6 servings depending on serving size.

If you’re looking for other hot drink recipes to make your holidays a little more Mexican, check out Abuelita Elda’s recipe for ponche Navideño, a staple during our family’s holiday celebrations.

  • What’s your favorite holiday cocktail?
The photos in this post were taken with my iPhone 3Gs using the Cross Process app and ShakeItPhoto app by Banana Camera Co.


  1. says

    I LOVE Marcela! Wow! How exciting that you were able to meet her and taste her recipes made by her!!! I have a similar drink that I make but it’s made with pear nectar —- oh so yummy! I will be posting it for the holidays. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. vicequeenmaria says

    RT @MauraHernandez: My mom called me from grocery store 2 ask 4 ingredients 4 warm winter margaritas :) Get the recipe on #TOSOTT ›› htt …

  3. SandraJEvans says

    RT @MauraHernandez: My mom called me from grocery store 2 ask 4 ingredients 4 warm winter margaritas :) Get the recipe on #TOSOTT ›› htt …


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