Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pomelo Margaritas #NationalMargaritaDay

Whole chunks of juicy pomelo blended with demerara simple syrup, tequila and Grand Marnier make a refreshing margarita, perfect for the National Margarita Day celebration. 

As I’m puttering about the kitchen, cooking and baking and cleaning up after myself, I either listen to music or podcasts that don’t take a whole lot of concentration to follow. One of my favorites is Spilled Milk, presented by Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton, where they cook and eat food, and, as they say, we listeners don’t get any. I always learn something from those two and enjoy a few laughs as well. For instance, in the podcast Classic Cocktails, I learned that many bars are using different sugars, like muscovado or demerara, in their simple syrups, which add depth of flavor along with the necessary sweet component in cocktails. Some bars amp that up by making what they call “rich” syrup instead of simple syrup by doubling the amount of sugar instead of using the normal 1:1 sugar/water ratio. Intriguing!

That program came back to me when I read that crunchy demerara sugar is great to sprinkle on pomelo and I decided to use it to make my simple syrup for pomelo margaritas. It was an excellent choice and I may never make plain white sugar simple syrup again.

Which brings me to the point of this post, the National Margarita Day celebrations, organized and hosted by Heather of girlichef!  Make sure you scroll down to the bottom and check out all the great drinks and tasty treats we are sharing today!

For the margaritas:
3 cups or 450g pomelo, thoroughly cleaned of white pith
6 oz or 180ml tequila
3 oz or 90ml Grand Marnier
3 oz or 90ml demerara simple syrup or to taste
Ice to fill rest of blender

For the demerara simple syrup:
1 cup or 230g demerara sugar
1 cup or 240ml water

Optional: flakey sea salt for glass rims

To make the simple syrup, warm your water and sugar in a small pan on the stove, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. This can be stored in the refrigerator in a clean jar almost indefinitely.

Peel your pomelo by feeling for the indentation of where the fruit starts at the stem end.

Cut the end off right about there.

Open the hole at the top so you can see where the division of the slices are.

Make vertical cuts in the peel from top to bottom between the slices.

Peel back the thick skin to reveal the fruit inside.

Now separate the pegs or slices and remove the thick membrane from each.

Cutting the top off of with scissors will open the membrane up so it can be more easily removed.

If any white pith is stuck to the fruit, slice it off with a sharp knife.

My pomelo was a huge guy, weighing 1.5 kilos or 3 lbs 5 oz. and he was almost as big as my head. After peeling and removing all the pith, he was still just over one kilo or 2.2 pounds - big enough to make two blenders of frozen margaritas.

Seriously. Almost as big as my head. 

To blend the margaritas, put the chunks of carefully peeled pomelo in your blender along with the tequila, Grand Marnier and simple syrup.

Fill the blender with ice and blend until smooth.

Run a spare piece of pomelo around the rim of your glasses and dip them in flakey sea salt to coat, if desired.

Pour your pomelo margarita into your prepared glass and garnish with a bit of pith-free pomelo peel and a sprinkle of some of the loose pomelo pips, if desired.

Enjoy! If you’ve never tried pomelo, it tastes like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit, with a milder bitterness than grapefruit.

How are you celebrating National Margarita Day? Might I suggest some of these delicious options?

Margarita-inspired food:

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