Spiced Pear Margaritas

National Margarita Day is February 22 and National Tequila Day is July 24, but who really needs a holiday to celebrate one of Mexico’s most famous libations? This spiced pear margarita recipe has a cinnamon-infused kick and gets a sweet, molasses-like depth from piloncillo.

There are two great things about this recipe: First, it can be served cold or hot, depending what kind of climate you live in and whether you’re suffering through a brutal winter or not. Serving it hot is just like having a fruit-infused tequila hot toddy! And second, the spiced pear puree will keep in an airtight container (I recommend a glass jar) in the refrigerator for up to a week, and the recipe can be easily doubled if you want to make it in advance for a party or just enjoy a few cocktails during the week.

This margarita recipe calls for Bosc pears, which have brown skin and sweet flesh. They’re in season from September through April. If you can’t find Bosc pears, you can substitute Bartlett pears, which also are sweet and juicy, and in season from August through February.

spiced pear margarita recipe… 

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Jarritos fruity tequila cocktails

If you love to entertain and want to whip up some fun, fruity cocktails that are so easy to make, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your guests, this is your cocktail! This is what I’ll be serving up to visitors during the Labor Day weekend while we hang by the pool and soak up the last of the summer sun.

Jarritos tequila blanco cocktail with lime

I typically stock the following flavors at home to make this easy cocktail: Fresa (strawberry), tamarindo (tamarind), mandarina (mandarin orange), piña (pineapple), guayaba (guava), limón (lime) and mango. For those who like to play bartender, you can try mixing some of the soda flavors to make more unique cocktails, such as pineapple-guava or strawberry-mango. If you like, you can also substitute rum for the tequila. Even when we’re not entertaining friends, I like to hang out on the balcony or by the pool sipping these fruity cocktails.

Note: If you use the toronja (grapefruit) flavor + tequila, you can make a version of my paloma recipe!… 

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CLASSIC MEXICAN COCKTAIL: La Paloma

It’s been a very hot summer here in Chicago, with July actually being the hottest on record according to local weather reports. Due to the heat, I haven’t been in the kitchen very much because I’ve been trying to keep our place as cool as possible. Most of what I’ve been whipping up has been cold treats and drinks, and I know I haven’t posted a recipe in awhile so I thought I’d share my version of a refreshing, classic Mexican cocktail known as La Paloma.

Some people call it a margarita, some don’t; I think it depends where you’re from. I’ve also heard it called a paloma tequila,”  Traditionally, it has tequila in it, but if you’re not a drinker, you can leave the tequila out for a homemade grapefruit soda—or I suppose you could call it a toronjada.”

The drink is often made with grapefruit-flavored soda such as Jarritos de toronja or Peñafiel toronja or even Squirt or Fresca, but I also like to make the classic recipe with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and agua mineral (sparkling water) for a little fizz. 

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