I usually know that Cinco de Mayo is approaching when I begin to see the lilac bushes blooming. This is one of my favorite times of the year because the trees are painted with pops of white, pink, and purple and the grass looks like a lush green carpet–of course our lawn is dotted with dandelions which makes me happy because we are fertilizer-free and dandelions are great for our pollinator friends. 😉
Cinco de Mayo means that my favorite season is right around the corner, and the school year is coming to a close. Longer, warmer days mean I get to be outside in the garden dreaming of all the fun projects I will be doing in a little over a month.
And although Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, I still like to celebrate it because it serves as a kind of gate to a wonderful season ahead.
My awesome friend, Kate, of ¡Hola! Jalapeño is hosting the 2nd Annual Margarita Week to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. You can find tons of great margarita-inspired recipes from other bloggers on her blog and Instagram feed.
I never cease to be impressed by the creativity of the blogging community–there is everything from margarita cupcakes, to donuts, to a whole array of drinks.
I wanted my margarita to be a representation of this season, so I decided to make it a celebration of spring.
I made a simple syrup infused with some perfumey lilac flowers and enhanced it was raw honey from my beehive. I used fresh-squeezed orange, lime, and lemon juice as the base (because quite honestly fresh citrus is the only way to go) and sweetened it with the simple syrup. Then, in went the tequila (or mezcal if you prefer a smokier flavor), and I rimmed each glass with crushed pink Himalayan sea salt laced with Mexican vanilla bean specs.
Cheers to Cinco de Mayo, days washed with sunshine, pretty blooms on the trees, and a dazzling summer ahead!
honey lilac margarita with vanilla bean salt
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
30 lilac flowers*
1 TBSP local honey
→Place sugar, water, and flowers in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in honey.
→Let the syrup cool to room temperature and strain out the flowers.*
Vanilla Bean Salt
1 TBSP coarse Himalayan sea salt
→Make a slit in the vanilla bean. Cut off one end of the bean. Then, use a butter knife to scrape out the vanilla caviar toward the cut end of the bean. Place the caviar in a molcajete (mortar).
→Add the salt and grind until well-incorporated. Set aside
¼ cup (2 oz.) fresh-squeezed orange juice, from ½ orange
¼ cup (2 oz.) fresh-squeezed lime juice, from 2 limes
2 TBSP (1 oz.) fresh-squeezed lemon juice, from ½ lemon
¼ cup (2 oz.) tequila
1 TBSP simple syrup (recipe above)
Handful of crushed ice
→Combine juices, tequila, and simple syrup.
→Rub the rim of a small glass with some juice. Lightly dip the rim of the glass in the vanilla bean salt. Add the crushed ice to the glass. Pour the margarita over top. Decorate with a few lilac flowers.
- You will have to pull off each individual lilac flower.
- You could also leave the flowers in the syrup. They are edible.
- I used a spent vanilla bean leftover from making extract.