Steeping dried Jamaica flowers in tequila gives a tart, sangría-esque quality to this refreshing twist on a margarita. To make the infusion, warm silver tequila in a saucepan (don’t worry: The alcohol won’t cook out), add the dried flowers, cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a pitcher and stir in Grand Marnier, simple syrup, and plenty of fresh-squeezed lime juice. Pop it in the fridge to chill, then serve it up, or over ice in a frosty margarita glass.
What to buy: Jamaica is a member of the hibiscus family, and although it’s labeled as a flower for purchase, it’s actually the calyx, the cover that protects the flower before it blooms. You can find dried Jamaica flowers in natural food stores and Latin markets; they may be labeled “flor de Jamaica,” “Jamaica flowers,” “hibiscus flowers,” or “Roselle.”
Special equipment: You’ll need an instant-read thermometer for this recipe.
Game plan: Be careful, or better yet, wear an apron when you’re handling the infused tequila—any liquid steeped in Jamaica flowers will stain your clothes.
- Yields: 6 drinks
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 30 mins, plus 1 hr 30 mins chilling time
- Active: 20 mins
- 16 ounces silver (blanco), 100 percent agave tequila
- 2 ounces dried Jamaica flowers, also known as hibiscus or flor de Jamaica (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 5 ounces Grand Marnier
- 4 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 8 limes)
- 2 ounces Simple Syrup
- Ice (optional)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Place the tequila in a medium saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until the temperature reaches 160°F and the tequila is just beginning to steam, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the Jamaica flowers, cover, and steep for 15 minutes.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a nonreactive, heatproof, 1-quart container and pour the infused tequila through the strainer; discard the solids.
- Add the remaining measured ingredients and stir to evenly combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Just before serving, stir to recombine. Pour into a margarita glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lime wedge. Alternatively, place 4 ounces of the margarita mixture in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake vigorously until the outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Pour the contents into a chilled margarita glass, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve. Repeat for the remaining margaritas.