Hibiscus Chile Margarita

Crazy, Sexy, Cool

This one goes out to my best friend Kate, my partner in crime for the majority of my favorite shenanigans of all time.  That’s right, of all time.  Kate and I have been friends since well before I was legally allowed to and/or had the money to pay for the margarita below.  And yet, when I think about the sheer giggle fits we’ve shared in this rag tag life, I’m amazed at how few were dependent upon tequila or discretionary funds.

Hibiscus Chile Margarita © Photo by Angela GunderKate and I first sampled this margarita at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Cafe Frida.  The perfect combination of sweet, salty and spicy, we were officially hooked on the majesty of tequila and hibiscus (and totally unaware of the potent combo until a little later).  Sassy and classy, as my sister Lex would say.

The fun ingredient at the party is the hibiscus – for seeming so exotic, it’s incredibly cheap and easy to use.  I purchase the dried flowers from Davidson Teas through Amazon – it’s organic and under $10 for a whole pound of the stuff.  For the chile salt rim, I like to use subtle, smoky guajillo chile peppers – they offer all the peppery goodness without any real bite.  If you like things hot, though, feel free to kick things up with a bit of cayenne or even some dried habanero chile.  It can be as dangerous as you’d like it – you’re the boss, Tony Danza.

Hibiscus Chile Margarita © Photo by Angela GunderHibiscus Chile Margarita

3 oz. of tequila blanco
2 oz. hibiscus simple syrup (recipe below)
2 oz. of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. of grand marnier

coarse salt
guajillo chili flakes

Mix the salt with a few pinches of the chiles and place on a flat dish. Rub a wedge of lime around the lip of the glass and carefully dip in the chile salt.

In a martini shaker, blend the lime juice, tequila, grand marnier and simple syrup. Pour into your salted glass and get your drink on.

Hibiscus Simple Syrup

1/2 c. of hibiscus flowers
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. of sugar

Bring all ingredients to a boil.  Strain into a tupperware and chill.  Use for good and not for evil.