Raspberry Mint Margarita Recipe

Spring calls for cocktails that can't be beat. With all the fresh fruit, especially berries, that are in season, creating cocktails couldn't be simpler. My interest in playing with ingredients for cocktails is fairly recent. In all honesty, I'm not a big drinker and don't pretend to be. Wine is my go-to and I enjoy a good coconut rum but other than that, I've never really branched out. The main reason behind this is that I don't like the taste of alcohol so if I'm going to have a drink, it's going to be because it tastes freaking fantastic.

Frozen margaritas are something I have always loved, even though the flavor of tequila makes me gag. But they are typically filled with sugar, thus the hangover the next day. I believe that with the right mix of ingredients and a good quality tequila, you can make a margarita on the rocks that is even better than a jumbo frozen margarita from the nearest Mexican joint. What's even better? No hangover because you'll be using natural sweeteners like fruit and in the case of this recipe, agave nectar. Oh, and no brain freezes. Those might be worse than an actual hangover.

A margarita traditionally consists of white or silver tequila, triple sec and lime juice. I leave the triple sec out unless I'm purposely going for a citrus theme. After all, the best part in playing with cocktails is that you call the shots. With that said, I don't think I have made one margarita without mint. Mint and tequila were made for each other and it gives the drink a cool freshness that is perfect for warm summer days. Finally, the fruit. Use whatever fruit you want in a margarita but I personally love berries. This particular recipe features raspberries (my favorite). Whenever you use a fruit with lots of seeds, You want to make sure to strain after mixing. My strainer didn't do the best job but hey, what are you going to do? Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think!

1/4 cup Raspberries
3-4 Mint Leaves
1 ounce Agave Nectar
1 ounce Lime Juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
2 ounces Silver Tequila
Ice cubes (optional)

For Garnish:
Lime wedge

1. Place raspberries and mint leaves in the bottom of a mixer. Muddle until berries are crushed well. Add agave nectar and lime juice, muddle about 30 more seconds. Add tequila and two ice cubes*, close or cover well and shake for at least 30 seconds.

2. Fill a rocks glass with a couple of ice cubes, strain the mixed ingredients into the glass and garnish with a raspberry and lime wedge. Serve.

*The ice cubes are optional when shaking. I prefer to use them because it keeps the ingredients moving and gives them a good mix. It also chills the mix really well. If you decide to use ice cubes when shaking, make sure to add them all the way at the end so they don't melt and water down the cocktail.