Celebrate National Margarita Day with these classic, sweet and spicy versions

Today is officially National Margarita Day. Not that I need an excuse to have a margarita (or two), but I did enjoy brushing up on my margarita history yesterday, including finding out that the idea for the frozen margarita machine was based off of an ice cream machine.

But what I really want out of today is to try a new margarita recipe. I love the classic frozen one (like Aaron Sanchez's Margarita Granita recipe) but I also like to experiment with a spicy one (like the Spicy Blood Orange-Jalapeño Margarita below) or a sweet one (like the Mango-Avocado Margarita) to perfectly complement my guacamole snack before dinner tonight. These are just too perfect to pass up.

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Margarita Granita (recipe courtesy of Aaron Sanchez/FoodNetwork.com)

Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons agave nectar
6 tablespoons tequila blanco (silver)
1 teaspoon grated lime peel

Directions:
Stir the water and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in the lime juice, agave nectar, tequila and lime peel. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Transfer the mixture to a container; cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead and kept frozen.)

Freeze 4 margarita glasses for 1 hour. Scrape the granita into the frozen glasses and serve immediately.

Mango-Avocado Margarita (recipe courtesy of David Bonom/Cooking Light)

Ingredients:
2 cups ice cubes
1 cup chopped peeled mango (about 1 large)
6 tablespoons chopped ripe peeled avocado
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
4 lime wedges (optional)

Directions:
Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly among 4 glasses. Serve drinks with lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.

Spicy Blood Orange-Jalapeño Margarita (recipe courtesy of Nora Maynard/TheKitchn.com)

Ingredients:
4 ounces jalapeño-infused silver tequila (*see recipe below)
3 ounces fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 ounces Cointreau (I scaled it back to 2 ounces)

Directions:
[*To make jalapeño infusion: Slice up a fresh jalapeño pepper and allow it to steep in 1 cup (I used just half a cup) of tequila for 2 hours. Taste to check the heat level, and continue to steep if a stronger infusion is desired (I left the slices in for a full 4 hours). Once infusing process is complete, remove the slices by pouring the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer.]

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Optional garnish: salt the rim of the glass.

What kind of margarita are you making today to celebrate National Margarita Day?

Image via nathangibbs/flickr

Topics: mexican food  food and wine