Friday, 26 June 2015

Get ready for the heatwave!!!

In the mid 1990's me and a fellow work mate discovered a bar in Soho called the Big Easy which made the most amazing iced cocktails.
This was our pre "hitting the town" place which we visited almost every Friday night and it was there that we fell in love with the Frozen Margarita!

Fresh, zingy, fruity and strong without being a knock out... it has just enough tequila to get you started for a long night of dancing!
I'm sure most people will have at least heard of frozen Margaritas, that's if they haven't ever tried one in one guise or another, but it's a classic which is a favourite in our house.
It's not only a thirst quenching frozen fruit based beverage but I'm sure it also counts as two of your five a day healthy eating fruit and veg deal! OK it's got watermelon and lime but it's got alcohol too so it's as healthy as it can be... and you know what they say "all things in moderation"!
So if you enjoy a little snifter but don't want to be legless then this is the one for you.
Please remember to drink responsibly and especially during a heatwaves you'll also need to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
This is also a great party alternative for anyone who doesn't drink but likes a pretty alcohol free cocktail to sip! 

Frozen Watermelon Margarita Cocktail recipe...though you can make all sorts of varieties including strawberry which is also delicious!

What you'll need:
A hand or cup blender
Ice cream maker / or a large heavy plastic container which is freezer safe and a fork

Lime (about 4 if you are making a large jug for plenty of friends)
Sugar syrup -add 2 table spoons of sugar to 3 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved and leave to cool.
Rock salt (I used fleur de sel as it has a softer taste but it's still nice and salty!)
Still water

In a large cup place your chopped and deseeded watermelon and the juice of one lime, blend until smooth. I used a large wedge about 400grams of watermelon which will be enough to make enough granita for a large jug. Though please make sure it fits the capacity of your ice cream maker.
Add the cool sugar syrup and stir well. I purposely haven't added too much sugar as the watermelon I had was already nice and sweet!

Place the watermelon juice into the ice cream maker and follow instructions -you should have a granita setting or instructions in your product manual that will tell you how to do this.
On my ice cream maker it took only 10 minutes.
If you haven't one then follow instruction as above but place your watermelon juice in a large plastic container. Place in freezer, remove every couple of hours and using a fork lift up the frozen watermelon juice to form fluffy ice crystals until it's the consistency of a granita. This will take a little work but it's worth it!!!

Once your granita is ready and you're ready to make your cocktail place 1 measure of tequila per person/serving, the remaining fresh lime juice and top up with cold still water in a large jug and mix. The water will loosen the mix so it's ready to drink but don't water it down too much as you're looking for something that will slowly melt but is nice and thick too.

Take your cocktail glasses and gently squeeze a cut lime segment around the rim of your glass.
In a small plate place enough rock salt to coat a few glasses, turn your cocktail glass upside down and twist over the salt. The lime juice will serves as a glaze and will hold the salt to the glass. Even if you are having a virgin Margarita the salt is still a must... it really does help bring out the natural sweetness of the watermelon!
Pour into your cocktail glass, decorate with a couple of frozen raspberries, a sprig of mint and some cocktail umbrellas or colourful straws.

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