Spirited

Our recommendation from an area pro

From Joe Renaud, Beverage Director, Home Grown Café: Fire-Roasted, Blood Orange Margaritas

I believe in taking classic cocktails and putting my own personality to them. When I was growing up in Florida, there was never a shortage of citrus.

I felt a deep love for citrus and what it can do to any cocktail, given the right creative direction. At Home Grown, I use this passion to offer our guests creative options on a weekly basis.

This margarita is a fun twist on a very popular cocktail. By fire-roasting the blood orange you get an almost rustic depth, as well as nice caramel notes that are accented with the vanilla and subtle oak notes of the tequila. I love this drink for early spring and late winter. It brings out the feel of the summer deck experience and warm weather feelings, but with a touch of winter flavor. It will warm you up even on the coldest of afternoon happy hours.

Ingredients (for two beverages):

• 4 ounces of Reposado Tequila

• 1 whole lime

• 1 whole blood orange, plus an extra

• 1/4 blood orange for garnish

• 2 ounces agave syrup, plus a little more for blood orange prep

Prep:

• Cut one blood orange in half. Dip halves into agave syrup and put them on a grill over medium heat for 30 seconds, cut side down. Flip them over and let the outside roast for about a minute. (This may also be done with a brûlée torch, cast iron on the stove, or over a flame on a gas oven.)

• Remove halves from the grill and place them in bowl. Seal it with plastic wrap. Allow it to sit for five minutes. This will open the oils in the skin and slightly caramelize the sugars in the orange.

Building the cocktail

Combine in a large shaker:

• 4 ounces of Reposado Tequila (recommended: Suerte Reposado)

• Juice and husk the fire-roasted blood orange (the two grilled

halves) with a hand-held orange press

• Juice and husk of one lime (Use the orange press)

• 2 ounces agave syrup

• Ice

• Seal and shake vigorously 20 times. Strain and pour your margarita over fresh ice into two glasses.

Garnish (optional)

• Take a blood orange wedge and put a bamboo pick through it

• Take a torch and scorch one half of the wedge to open the oils and give the drinking experience more depth.

Enjoy!

So, what do you think? Please comment below.