Beforehand, I thought push presents were a little strange, because.. isn’t the baby the push present? Like, all I care about is meeting little Leo (did I tell you we named him? We named him!) and if O gave me a pair of earrings at the same time I probably wouldn’t even remember I owned them for another six months. Or so I hear.. about newborns and, you know, their requirements.
But anyway, I changed my mind when O and I were on our babymoon, a four-day cruise out of New Orleans, really laid-back, yes? Well, they of course had the duty-free liquor store on board with incredible deals on certain bottles, and I spotted a 1L bottle of Patron Reposado..
I’m a tequila-lover. By far and away, the best liquor, in my estimation, is tequila, because whiskey tastes hollow, like there’s something wrong with it, and vodka tastes like it should be cleaning the scrape on my knee, and gin–don’t even get me started on gin–tastes like Christmas but in a really bad way, and rum tastes silly like cheap booze cruises and what even else is there? I’m talking about the bar basics, because if you throw St. Germain into the mix, of course all bets are off, but tequila, now.. tequila. Tequila’s a different story, mama, and it’s the only liquor I can drink on the rocks (and actually enjoy–did I sip bourbon on the rocks to impress boys in the past? Yes. Am I glad those days are over? Double-yes.), so I had to make O buy me that big ol’ bottle of my favorite Patron (with our joint bank account, naturally) and refer to it as my push present. It’s even on the hospital bag list.. Well, OK, maybe not, but a bottle of champagne is!
Combine my love of tequila with my horse-like obsession with salt and my hankering for bold flavor in pretty much everything, and an adoration of margaritas follows naturally. Yet a year or so back, I had a champagne margarita at a local restaurant, and loved the bit of lightness and bubbly that the champagne topper added. And yet, nearly a year or so back (nearly! Seems like, at least.. 8 months!), I got pregnant, and while I drink a bit of wine here and there, tequila doesn’t quite make the cut for me, so I’ve been jonesing for a recreation of the champagne margarita for a long, long time.
So I figured a batch would be perfect for Father’s Day, since my dad feels just as strongly about tequila and margaritas and champagne margaritas as I do, and he’s unabashedly, annoyingly honest (which is horrible for the self-esteem of a teenage girl but excellent for recipe development!). I took a classic margarita and simply topped ‘er off with bubbly, and they were perfect. I had a little sip, of course, and I can freely validate these claims.
The champagne just barely cuts through the acidity of the margarita without adding any extra sweetness and adds a subtle carbonation that lightens the mouthfeel perfectly. They’re so, so easy to make and more elegant than the average ‘rita, and I think you will just love love love them. And if you don’t, you’re a super weirdo and please gimme.
- 3 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup, recipe follows
- ½ to 1 teaspoon orange liqueur
- Dry champagne or sparkling wine, to top
- Fresh lime juice, to rim
- Kosher salt, to rim
- Ice cubes
- Simple syrup:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- Make simple syrup: combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, up to one month.
- To make a champagne margarita: Prepare your glass. Pour fresh lime juice in a shallow bowl or plate that's just large enough to dip your margarita glass in and pour a layer of kosher salt in another shallow bowl or plate. Dip rim of glass in lime juice then in kosher salt, then add ice. Combine tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and orange liqueur in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and shake vigorously. Pour over ice into prepared glass and top with champagne--about 2-4 tablespoons will do it, but it's totally up to your own taste!