Saturday, November 26, 2011

Harvest Margaritas

The day before Thanksgiving I was cooking away and watching Food Network's Thanksgiving Live.  The show featured recipes and tips from Rachael Ray, Anne Burrell, Sunny Anderson, Melissa d'Arabian and Bobby Flay.  I was so inspired watching these professional chefs.  What a GREAT life they seem to have!

One recipe idea that sounded good also happened to be completely out of character for me.  It was a cocktail idea.  The cocktail conversation kept coming up on the program.  Maybe they were trying to sell cocktails.  Well, they succeeded!

Bobby Flay presented his recipe for Harvest Margaritas.  About 10 or so years ago I bought some Tequila for some event.  We still have it.  Does alcohol ever go bad? Hmmm....good question.  Anyway, we just keep moving it from house to house and it sits up in the cupboard waiting for a good idea.

I looked up his recipe online and headed to the store for the ingredients we didn't have.  Bitters.  What the heck is bitters?  After arriving at the grocery and wandering down the alcohol aisle I read just about EVERY label and did not see something that read "Bitters."  I then sought the expertise of the internet. Apparently bitters used to be added to most drinks.  Interesting, but what is it?  I never found it, so I would have to improvise.  I used a couple splashes of Triple Sec instead.

Another item the store was out of was whole allspice.  Must have been a run on whole allspice for the fall holidays.  Again, improvisation was necessary.  I would leave it out.

Here's Bobby's real recipe:

Bobby Flay's Harvest Margaritas (Almost)


  • 2 ounces tequila, such as Patron reposado tequila (I used whatever was in the cupboard)
  • 1 1/2 ounces chilled Spiced Simple Syrup, recipe follows
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Few dashes bitters (or Triple Sec like I used)
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge, for garnish
  • Kosher Salt


Combine the tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, bitters and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Serve straight up or on the rocks with a lime wedge for garnish.

Spiced Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 8 whole cloves
  • cinnamon sticks
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Combine the sugar, 1 cup water, allspice, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold.

How did it turn out?

We were graciously invited to enjoy Thanksgiving with some friends.  Ahead of time, I made the simple syrup.  I brought my Harvest Margarita ingredients to share and get some professional opinions.  They margaritas were a HIT!  They are super strong, so each couple just shared one.  We must be a bunch of lightweights.  It was fun to try something new.

I will keep them in mind for the future.

Thanks Bobby, for the great idea.  Maybe next time I'll need to find out what in the world bitters are.

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