A Smoky Maple Margarita is an attractive cocktail sweetened with maple syrup and kicked up a notch with a bit of smoked paprika. It is the perfect thing for a cold winter’s night.
The holiday season is here, and while those of us in the South have only had a couple of days of cool weather, I think everyone is ready for a good seasonal drink. This Smoky Maple Margarita recipe is warming and comforting, even though it’s served over ice. It’s perfect for enjoying by the fire after dinner or for sipping on while you bake cookies and decorate the tree.
Bittersweet smoked paprika has been one of my favorite spices since I first tried it a few years ago. In addition to lending a moderate level of heat to savory dishes, it also imparts a characteristic smokiness that can take meals from good to great. Like its non-smoky cousin, cayenne pepper, it also helps bring out the other flavors in the food just a bit. Whenever a recipe I make for dinner is lacking a little something, a sprinkling of smoked paprika perks it right up.
Smoky Maple Margarita Recipe
Ever since making these grapefruit jalapeño margaritas last spring, I’ve been obsessed with adding a little spicy, savory element to cocktails. Like salt on a dessert, I find spice in a cocktail irresistible. Drinks without that little extra kick totally bore me now. I knew I wanted to try smoked paprika in a drink, but waited for fall because it felt like the perfect thing for a cold-weather libation.
The paprika doesn’t make this smoky maple margarita spicy per se, but it adds a smoky, savory element that will keep your guests coming back for sip after sip. They’ll be asking themselves, “What IS that?” and “Why is this marg so good?”. The sweet maple syrup is the ideal foil for the smokiness of the paprika, and a mix of sugar and salt on the rim continues to walk the line between sweet and savory. Fresh-squeezed orange and lime juices give these drinks a classic margarita backdrop that lets the other flavors shine. Using maple syrup and pure fruit juice also means these cocktails are refined sugar free.
So if you’re looking to pour something intriguingly delicious this holiday season, I hope you give this smoky maple margarita a try! It’s just the thing for sipping fireside on a chilly evening.
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon bittersweet smoked paprika
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked or flaky sea salt
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon bittersweet smoked paprika
- Maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
- Juice of 2 limes (1/4-1/3 cup)
- 3 shots of blanco tequila
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons smoky maple simple syrup, or to taste
- To make the simple syrup, heat all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steam begins to rise from the edges. Cool to room temperature before using. Simple syrup can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a week.
- To make the drinks, mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker or stir together in a pitcher.
- To rim the glasses, mix the sea salt, sugar, and smoked paprika on a small, flat plate. Smear a little maple syrup onto the rim of each glass. Dip the glasses into the salt and sugar mixture, turning to coat evenly.
- Add 4-6 ice cubes to each glass. Divide the margarita mixture between the glasses, stir, and serve.
Home Chef Tip: To get the most juice out of your citrus fruits, make sure they’re at room temperature. Before cutting into the fruit, roll each one under the palm of your hand on a cutting board, pressing firmly, to prime it to release more juice.
We hope you love this Smoky Maple Margarita cocktail recipe from SoFabFood Contributor, Rebecca from A Calculated Whisk, as much as we do. If you enjoyed this drink recipe, be sure to find more like it in our Cocktails section. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and stop by our Google+ Community to see all of the amazing recipes our community members are sharing. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Message intended for our readers 21+ only. Please drink responsibly!