Cinco de Mayo is fast upon us. And what better way to celebrate than with an Asian inspired margarita? Ok, maybe it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, but one sip of these citrusy Yuzu Margaritas will have you yelling, “Ole!”. Or maybe “Kanpai!”, like we do in Japan. Yu zu you. Sorry, maybe sampling these drinks has me a little punch drunk…
What is Yuzu?
Yuzu is a citrus primarily grown in Japan and China. Intensely aromatic, and also puckeringly sour, yuzu isn’t eaten out of hand. Instead its juice and zest are used to flavor sauces, marinades, desserts, and they make a mean cocktail. Since most yuzu isn’t grown in the states, your best bet is to get a bottle of juice from a well stocked Asian grocer.
1 Tequila, 2 Tequila
These Yuzu Margaritas do not skimp on booze. Hey, we’re celebrating, right? But the kind of tequila you choose is up to you. I generally reach for a silver, or blanco tequila. That’s the clear kind, and it lets this be a fruit forward cocktail. If you really love the more robust oaky flavor of an aged tequila, or a Reposado (the brown kind), go for it! I also call for Cointreau in these, which can be pricey. There are some decent imitators on the market-just be sure to get one that is a pure orange liquor, rather than one blended with whisky.
One thing I love about these Yuzu Margaritas is that they are party ready. Some cocktail recipes are so complicated that making them for a large crowd is a multistep process. Not these! Make one big batch ahead of time, chill, and you’re done. I give the measurements for a single margarita as well, but what fun is that?! The simple syrup is essential, but as the name implies, is also super easy. Just dissolve sugar into water, and chill. Simple syrup is also excellent for sweetening iced coffee and teas, and will last for months in the fridge.
Once you measure out the juice and liquor, take a little taste. Add the simple syrup accordingly. There’s no shame in liking an unapologetically sweet drink. Just remember that even though it goes down like candy, it still packs a punch.
While yuzu may not be your standard margarita flavor, I do follow tradition with a salted rim. A little salt and a little citrus add just the kiss to balance out the tequila. Moisten the rim with either a little yuzu juice, or by running a lime around it, and then press it into the salt.
When you make our Yuzu Margaritas, we want to hear all about it! Leave a comment below, and tag is your fiesta pics @funkyasiankitchen.
For A Pitcher:
- 1 cup (8 oz) yuzu juice
- 1 cup (8 oz) Cointreau
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz) tequila*
- ½ cup to 1 cup simple syrup depending on taste
For One Drink:
- 1 oz yuzu juice
- 1 oz cointreau
- 1 ½ oz tequila
- 1 oz simple syrup or to taste
- Kosher Salt for rimming glasses
- Extra yuzu juice or a lime cut into wedges for rimming glasses
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Make the salted margarita glasses by putting a little yuzu juice and salt separately into shallow plates. Dip the rim of the glass into the yuzu juice first and then into the salt. Set aside. (Alternatively, you could take a wedge of lime and run it around the rim of the glass to moisten it and then dip the glass into the salt.)
- Combine the yuzu juice, cointreau, and tequila.
- Taste and add simple syrup to taste.
- Refrigerate the drink or serve over ice in your prepared glasses.
For the Simple Syrup:
- Combine ½ cup of water with ½ cup of sugar in a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Let cool to room temperature and store in the fridge.
- Lasts for months in the fridge.
*Use Tequila Blanco (aged less than 2 months) for a more straightforward flavor or Reposado (rested) which is aged from 2-12 months and has oaky vanilla flavor.
Keywords: margaritas, cinco de mayo, asian cocktails, yuzo