SPICED CRANBERRY ORANGE MARGARITAS

a head on shot of spiced cranberry orange margaritas garnished with cinnamon sticks and orange peels
pouring out the hot pink cocktail over some rocks

I was hesitant to call these margaritas because in my mind, the classic recipe is the definitive version of a margarita and that’s that. But as I was drinking one of the many trials we attempted with this recipe, the vibe of a traditional margarita with just a little bit of autumn “dressing” came through. I also feel like using “margarita” in the title might help some people better understand what the drink is like before scanning the ingredients. Either way, these spiced cranberry orange margaritas are really good.

We make a spiced cranberry syrup with ginger and cinnamon, and shake that up with cranberry cocktail, orange juice, a squeeze of lemon, tequila, and cointreau. Other great uses for the syrup: as a spritz with ginger beer, kombucha or sparkling water, or in an apple cider-based cocktail/mocktail.

Cheers to you and the weekend ahead. I’ve got my usual assortment of links and questions below. I hope that all my Canadian friends are having a nice holiday weekend. If you’re still planning your cozy dinners at home, I’ve got all my best ones right here.

LINKS:

  1. I loved this episode of the One Part Podcast with Brightland (the best olive oil seriously) founder Aishwarya Iyer.
  2. “It’s not just that people of color need to create a bakery that follows the traditional model. It’s that we need to create bakeries that are producing the kind of bread that comes from our culture, and helping people understand the different type of breads that are in the world.”
  3. Why Do Fast-Casual Restaurants Get a Pass on Appropriation?
  4. Dry skin season is coming! Arming myself with my humidifier and these tips.
  5. Five Tips to Strengthen Your Intuition

Q & A:

  1. How to educate others on benefits of plant-based diet without coming off as self-righteous?
    I’m a fan of the “show; don’t tell” approach. I try to embody the best example of a plant-based lifestyle, live in a way that’s healthy for me, and to create really delicious and beautiful food. My aim is to pull people in by their own volition. If they want to learn more, they’ll ask, and at that point, I’m happy to point them to the best resource.
  2. Do you have a method for keeping up with and utilizing your cookbooks?
    I keep most of my cookbooks in my office, but every month or so I rotate a new stack of 5 or so into my kitchen. I have a little spot on a table that’s constantly in view, so I flip through them for inspiration all the time! I’m not always cooking an exact recipe from these books, but I am often using the cooking techniques and flavour combinations that I’m finding within the pages.
  3. How to address antagonistic non-vegan relatives teasing about your choice to be vegan?
    I highly recommend ignoring the antagonizing and just living your life in peace! Most people antagonize to evoke some sort of reaction; not to truly engage. They might even be dealing with their own insecurities and find your lifestyle to be confrontational to their own way of living. Everyone is dealing with their own stuff, ya know? I just stay calm, confident, and unbothered in my choices because I know that they serve me well (and that I may unintentionally inspire others).
  4. What are you reading for fun lately?
    I’ve really been enjoying my Full Focus Planner, so I decided to read Free to Focus by its creator Michael Hyatt. It’s great so far! Not sure if that counts as a “for fun” reading choice haha. The Monk of Mokha is next on my list.
  5. Best chip flavour?
    To know me is to know my love of salty snacks. I really enjoy salt and vinegar chips and if I’m planning on having some snacks for a movie/game night, that’s typically my go-to! I also really love the jalapeño chips from Kettle Brand if I can find them at my local store. They’re one of the rare varieties of jalapeño chips that are also dairy-free! (so many of them have whey powder) The Canadian in me also goes hard for All Dressed Ruffles from time to time. All the flavours! So good.

THINGS I WANT TO EAT:

  1. Basically everything in Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. The book is all about new ways to play with vegetables and it’s incredible. The most inspiring cookbook I’ve seen in a while!
  2. Fall Harvest Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers
  3. Crunchy Apple, Date and Celery Salad
  4. Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake
  5. Rosemary Red Wine Fig Jam
a head on shot of spiced cranberry orange margaritas garnished with cinnamon sticks and orange peels
A pair of hands holding out two cocktails on the rocks in front of some Fall mums and pumpkins. Photo is taken outdoors in indirect light.
A lifestyle photo of my two dogs sitting on our front porch with a bunch of pumpkins and Fall mums.

SPICED CRANBERRY ORANGE MARGARITAS

Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 2
NOTES:
Other great uses for the spiced cranberry syrup: in a spiritz with ginger beer or sparkling water, as part of an apple cider cocktail with bourbon or rye, in a kombucha spritz over ice with either ginger kombucha or plain kombucha. The syrup keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge!
-We rimmed our glasses with the chili lime salt by Old Salt Merchants. So good!
-This is a strong drink! Just so you know ;)

SPICED CRANBERRY SYRUP:
1 cup cranberry cocktail (NOT pure cranberry juice)
1 cup cane sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ cup frozen or fresh cranberries

SPICED CRANBERRY ORANGE MARGARITAS:
3 oz silver tequila
2 oz Cointreau
3 oz cranberry cocktail
1 ½ oz lemon juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Spiced Cranberry Syrup
ice

TO GARNISH:
cinnamon sticks
frozen cranberries

First, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberry cocktail, cane sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberries. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a strong simmer, stirring often. Once the cane sugar has dissolved and the cranberries are popping and splitting, remove the syrup from the heat. Run the syrup through a fine mesh strainer and press on the cranberries to extract their juice. Let the syrup cool before bottling and storing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Make the spiced cranberry orange margaritas. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, Cointreau, cranberry cocktail, lemon juice, orange juice, and cranberry syrup. Top it up with lots of ice. Place the lid on the cocktail shaker tight and shake vigorously, until the outside of the shaker has condensation and feels very cold.

Strain the spiced cranberry orange margaritas over two glasses filled with ice. Garnish the beverages with cinnamon sticks and a few frozen cranberries.

a head on shot of spiced cranberry orange margaritas garnished with cinnamon sticks and orange peels
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