Gunner’s Libation: Minted Margarita
Makes 8 servings
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup water
Zest of 4 limes
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar
3/4 cup triple sec
2 cups blanco or silver tequila
Sliced limes, to garnish
Flaked sea salt, to serve
In a blender, combine mint leaves, water, lime zest, lime juice and agave nectar. Blend on high until the mint is very finely chopped. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Discard the solids. Stir in triple sec and tequila, then chill.
To serve, moisten rim of cocktail glasses with a piece of lime. Dip rims in the salt. Add ice to glasses and pour margaritas. Garnish with slices of lime.
Memorial Day marks the official start of summer for many of us. As such, there is never a shortage of family get-togethers, neighborhood barbecues and other festivities to ring in the season. The best way to be sure the crowd doesn’t go thirsty is by mixing up pitcher cocktails. A few years back, the cocktail writers of The Associated Press whipped up several different “batch” libations. This one, the Minted Margarita, has stayed in my repertoire ever since. Two classic summer cocktails — mojitos and margaritas — inspired this pitcher cocktail, which has intense lime flavor to contrast the mint. The flaked sea salt on the rims of the glasses allows for a more subtle salting than a traditional table or kosher salt. And it looks awfully good on a picnic table surrounded by all those traditional Memorial Day fixin’s.
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