It was warm and sunny today; a balmy 65 ºF at the end of January. That's winter in the south my friends. The hubs is on dinner duty tonight (chili cheese enchiladas!) so I pulled out some pineapple from the fridge and made margaritas.
The fresh pineapple and freshly squeezed orange juice is really killer. However, they could easily be subbed with frozen or canned pineapple, and commercial oj. I bought a sample pack of bitters (lime, cardamom, chocolate, and grapefruit), and the lime bitters made a tasty addition. However, I would've just added lime juice if I didn't have them.
On a side note, this weekend was spent exploring some nearby hometown digs. The Sloss Furnaces
in Birmingham were visited, followed up with a visit to Avondale Brewing Company. The Sloss Furnaces are a historic site with preserved intact post-industrial steam furnaces used to make iron and pig iron. I learned why Birmingham is called the Magic City, and that it was founded at the junction of two railroad crossings. The iron factories would operate all day and night, and when the iron was being poured out it would light up the budding Birmingham skyline a gleaming orange. That, coupled with tremendous growth, caused Birmingham to rapidly change, as if magic had miraculously expanded the city.
Avondale beers have a distinct flavor. They have a jolly rancher-esque tang that permeates the saison-styles, and is on the nose of many of their other beers. The hubs enjoyed a few pints of the oud bruin, a Flemish-style red, and I liked the Miss Fancy's Belgian-style tripel. It's always fun to hear the Flemish words pronounced in the American way. Oud sounds like ode, when it should be the "ow" that you hear in town; bruin was pronounced "broon," but should be said like it's English translation, "brown." Duvel gets it the worst. Everyone here thinks Duvel is French and pronounces it the French way, but (alas and sigh) it's Flemish and is said like "doovle" and not "du-VEL" with the emphasis on "vel." Alright folks my snobby self is leaving you with these margs: which is said exactly like it's spelled.
Pineapple Top-Shelf Margs
Yield: 2 margaritas for 2 greedy people, or enough for 4
1 cup, fresh pineapple chunks (frozen pineapple would be great)
Juice of 2 medium oranges or approx 1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup tequila (I used Don Julio)
1/4 cup triple sec
2 T brown sugar (or 2 T simple syrup)
lime bitters (optional), I used Scrappy's Lime Bitters, but feel free to sub in fresh lime juice
pineapple wedges for garnish
In a blender, add all of the ingredients from the pineapple to the ice. Blend on high speed until fully blended. Pour into mason jars, or festive glasses, garnish with pineapple chunks, and a swizzle stick. If you don't have a swizzle stick, a single chopstick works well. The margarita tends to separate into 2 distinct layers, so a swizzle is nice.