Happy Tequila Tuesday, everyone! Just kidding…. when I found out that I would be pregnant through the summer, my first though aside from the undoubtably hot days I’ll face was the margaritas I’d be missing out on. With my due date set on September 1st, I immediately was relieved that there will still be a couple of weeks of summer left for me to enjoy a limey, tart salty marg (priorities, amiright?). Knowing that my margarita day would come wasn’t enough however. I needed something for the rest of the summer to hold me over and keep me in the festive summer spirit.
I spent the last three days perfecting what I am now considering the best virgin margarita recipe ever. I tried lots of recipes that I found online from various blogs or bartending sites and they were all way too sweet and syrupy. I needed a solution that would both cut the tartness of the lime and the sweetness of the sugar. That thing was Italian soda. It’s a little sweet with a tinge of bitterness that was a great substitute for the alcohol.
As I played with it more and more, I realized that the absolute best version of this drink was the simplest, but with depth from garnishes
The Best Virgin Margaritas
4 oz all natural margarita mix (I like the Powell and Mahoney mix they sell at Whole foods)
4 oz Lime Italian Soda (I use the 365 brand from Whole foods but there is a lime coconut italian soda at Kroger in the natural section too that would be delish)
Muddle a pinch of salt, a basil leaf, and a wedge of lime in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass with ice and fill it half way with marg mix and half with lime italian soda. Garnish with another slice of lime and basil leaf.
You can skip step one and choose to lime & salt the rim of the glass as well if you like that (I DO!) but even if you’re not a salt person, still don’t skip step one. It makes a huge difference!
I know these seems super simple… like, “how can it be that great” simple. But trust the girl who just spent a weekend with every possible margarita ingredient under the sun. Also you can trust the keen pregnancy senses that make me a rigid judge of food and beverage.
But let’s not stop there. My absolutely favorite kind of margarita is one with a touch of grapefruit. I like bitter and tart flavors, so the addition of grapefruit just kicks it up a notch for me. You can add a splash of grapefruit to this cocktail and it is downright amazing. I did something a tad different though. Now, I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent here, but stay with me…
Have you ever had Guava Goddess Kombucha? I love it and swear it tastes like a slightly more tropical grapefruit juice. The benefit to using this kombucha in the margarita instead of grapefruit juice is that it adds a little more of a tropical flair, plus the tangy, funkiness of the kombucha really does a great job of replacing some of the tang you get from the alcohol. It’s an all-around great addition.
Sidenote: Some people aren’t comfortable with kombucha while pregnant because it’s a raw beverage and has trace amounts (less than 0.1%) of alcohol. BUT there are also tons of people – midwives, doctors, etc who are fine with it and praise it’s probiotic qualities. If you’re pregnant, as your doctor first. Also, since it’s a probiotic, it can effect different people in different ways in the bodily plumbing department.
I don’t feel like this recipe is just for those of us who are with child either… the addition of soda to regular mix cuts the sugar a little and gives it a slightly fizzy quality which I love. Go ahead and add your favorite tequila to this recipe and I swear you’ll be over the moon for it as well!