Fresh pink grapefruit and slightly spicy ginger put a fun twist on the classic margarita. This refreshing cocktail well help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend!
Margaritas are one of my favorite summertime cocktails.
They actually hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of when my husband, Deano, and I first started dating.
It all began at Chili’s Grill over margaritas and bottomless chips and salsa.
We were both 2nd year law students at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. After much flirting in class and long texting conversations, Deano finally mustered up the courage to ask my on a date. He had just gotten back from a Spring break trip, so the date was set for a Sunday evening. Turns out that only a few restaurants are actually open on Sundays in C-dale.
Chili’s just happened to be one of those restaurants.
I remember the exact booth we sat in right next to the bar in the front of the restaurant. Deano looked so cute because he had a little bit of a sunburn from his trip and his cheeks were slightly kissed by the sun. We talked about anything and everything and drank one too many margaritas.
And I’m talking the large Presidente margaritas (he went big on the first date).
Deano always jokes about taking me there for our first date. But I wouldn’t have changed anything about it. To me, it was perfect. And now every time I sip on a margarita, I think of that night.
Sorry to get so sappy!
We can get back to these particular margaritas. As much as I loved the one at Chili’s, I realized they were packed full of sugar and calories. I also realized making them at home was super easy. Plus, you can control the ingredients and put your own fun twist on the classic.
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend, I wanted to invent a creative new margarita. I love pineapple jalapeño margaritas because it’s both sweet and spicy. But there are so many great recipes for that margarita, I wanted to do something slightly different.
I love anything with ginger and it provides that nice spicy kick, similar to a jalapeño. I happened to see pink grapefruit on sale during my weekly grocery shopping trip and knew it would be the perfect accompaniment- its slightly bitter so would tame the sweetness of the cocktail while also providing a pretty pink hue.
And that is how this Grapefruit Ginger Margarita was born.
Let’s get to shaking.
This margarita is all about the citrus.
The thing t I love about making margaritas at home is you can use fresh squeezed citrus juices and add your own sugar. A lot of restaurants (including my fav Chili’s) use pre-made margarita mixes that are chalked full of sugar and preservatives and actually are much too sweet for my palate.
Fresh citrus with a splash of agave is a much healthier, fresher way to make a marg.
In this margarita, I used a half cup of fresh grapefruit juice, juice of one whole lime, and about a tablespoon of fresh orange juice. For the sweetener, I added about 3 teaspoons of agave. I also used 3 1/2 ounces of silver tequila (I used Casamigos, it’s one of my favorites) and a 1/2 ounce of orange liquor.
You need the lime juice to make it taste like a margarita. I also love added a splash of orange juice because it pairs so well with the orange liquor in the marg and also adds natural sweetness. The grapefruit is how I elevated the classic and add a slightly bitter taste, which help tame the sweetness.
But let’s not forget about the ginger! This is what rounds out the whole drink to make it very balanced. Plus, it gives it a spicy kick!
I really wanted to achieve maximum ginger flavor. So I muddled the tequila, orange liquor, and peeled ginger together and let it sit in the fridge for about four hours so the flavors had time to marry together. It also allows the ginger to impart it’s flavor and spicy kick into the liquors.
If you don’t have time for this step, it’s ok! Just make sure to muddle the ginger and liquors together well to get the most flavor out of the ginger.
After the ginger and liquor is muddled, add in the remaining ingredients to the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
I salted the rims with a salt, ginger, and sugar mix, added in one big ice cube, and strained the margarita mixture into the glass. To make it pretty, I garnished with a slice of grapefruit and mint leaves.
Also, you can add a splash of ginger beer (I used diet) to top off the drink. It adds a little carbonation and an extra zing of ginger. But this is totally optional!
Voila. Time to party!
This drink is sure to be a big hit at any Cinco de Mayo get together and all summer long.
It’s perfectly sweet from the fresh juices and agave, a touch bitter from the grapefruit, and slightly spicy from the ginger.
The salt ginger sugar mix around the rim adds a bit of salty sweet pop to each sip. I’m a huge fan of the salty rim with the sweet margarita!
Plus, it’s a gorgeous hue of pink that makes for a festive, stylish cocktail.
My husband and I are actually having a little fiesta planned for tonight for a pre Cinco de Mayo celebration and to reminisce about our early days as a couple. And of course we will enjoy one of these grapefruit ginger margaritas. Or maybe 2!
Grapefruit Ginger Margarita
Fresh pink grapefruit and slightly spicy ginger put a fun twist on the classic margarita.
- 3 1/2 ounces tequila
- ½ ounce orange liquor
- 3 inch piece of ginger cut into chunks
- ½ cup grapefruit juice fresh squeezed
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice juice of an orange wedge
- 3 teaspoons agave
- 4-6 sprigs mint
- 2 grapefruit wedges
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cane sugar
- can of ginger beer optional
Add tequila, triple sec, and peeled ginger to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the ginger with the alcohol.
Recommended: let sit in fridge for an hour up to 4 hours (if do not have time can skip this step).
Mix together the salt, sugar, and ground ginger to a round shallow dish (make sure it is wider than the top of the glass). Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of your glasses and dip the rim of the glass into the salt mixture. Add in ice cubes.
Add grapefruit juice, lime juice, orange juice, agave and ice to shaker and shake vigorously.
Strain the margarita into the rim salted glasses. Top with a splash of ginger beer (I used diet). Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and fresh mint leaves.
* I highly recommend allowing the ginger to seep into the liquor for at least an hour before making the cocktail to get the maximum ginger flavor.
*This drink can be made beforehand and stored in a pitcher in the fridge.
*The splash of ginger beer is optional. It adds a little fizz and extra ginger flavor to the drink.