YOUR NEW FAVORITE ZERO-PROOF MARGARITA RECIPE!
Oh boy! I am obsessed with this recipe and will most definitely be considering it my go-to long after dry January is over. The recipe was not sought out as I originally headed to the store to find blood oranges and to my pleasant surprise... came across stem and leaf mandarins at Whole Foods and knew I had to make a recipe with them. While you can still make this recipe with whatever oranges you have on hand, I'd highly recommend finding these adorable mandarins.
Citrus IS the main character of this season and for good reason - bright and refreshing produce during the winter months is a blessing and I look forward to 'citrus season' every year. Case in point: the mandarins are so cute (the stem on them!!!) and are super sweet and juicy. Not to mention - easy to peel and the leftovers look SO beautiful in my fruit bowl right now. They are the perfect snack (and in my morning green smoothies) and I hope if anything...reading this recipe description convinces you to buy some if you come across them at the store.
Facts are facts and THIS IS THE BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC MARGARITA RECIPE YOU'LL COME ACROSS THIS MONTH. :) Let me tell you a little bit why.
Without a drop of alcohol, the hot honey, non-alcoholic bitters, and freshly squeezed stem and leaf mandarins are a delightful pairing in this N/A Hot Honey Mandarin Margarita recipe. Thoughtfully garnished, the sumac on the rim of the glass just takes the flavor of this one to the next level. I'd most definitely make this in a pitcher or punch bowl when hosting this season, but I also think it is a great weeknight pick-me-up. Quick to prep and throw together, the fresh mandarin juice replaces the flavor that orange liqueur typically brings in a marg, and the hot honey adds a compelling flavor - mellow heat that adds a little oomph to every sip.
Both sweet and spicy, I cannot recommend this recipe enough, and KNOW that this recipe will change your mind about non-alcoholic margaritas! Long gone are the days that we are just okay with some fruit juices and sparkling water & calling it a non-alcoholic margarita. Ritual zero-proof tequila is fire and will have you wondering why you don't drink more zero-proof margaritas. If you make this or any of my recipes during January, please let me know! I'd love your feedback as I recipe develop more mocktail recipes this year & beyond for you!
1 oz mandarin juice (I used stem and leaf mandarins but you can also use any orange variety you have on hand)
1/4 oz of lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 oz of hot honey (I used Mike's Hot Honey)
2 dashes of non-alcoholic orange bitters, optional but highly recommended (I used Bab Louie's Classic Orange Bitters)
Fresh marigolds and/or dried red chili, optional for garnish
Sumac, for the rim, optional but highly recommended (I used Sadaf)
In a cocktail shaker, add your Ritual tequila, freshly squeezed mandarin juice, lime juice, and hot honey.
Add in two dashes of non-alcoholic bitters if using.
Then, add ice and shake until the cocktail shaker is cold to the touch.
If you'd like to rim your glass - to a small plate, pour some hot honey. On a separate plate, pour some sumac (roughly 1 tablespoon). First coat the rim of the glass with hot honey and then gently press into the sumac to coat.
Add a large ice cube to your glass and then pour in your shaken margarita.
If desired, garnish with a fresh marigold flower and/or a dried red chili pepper.
~ Serves 1
I love the Ritual non-alcoholic tequila alternative and think it is superior to others available on the market right now. I'd say it is in my top 5 non-alcoholic spirits. YES - I love it that much. You can use others, but if you see this one on hand - highly rec using it!
Mandarin juice is hard to come across bottled, but you only need one ounce for this recipe. If you can find even a single mandarin, I'd recommend using it as it is much sweeter than the juice of an orange typically. The hot honey naturally adds spiciness - so I've found that the sweeter the juice, the sweeter the pairing! Tangerine juice would be a great substitute if you're in a pinch at the store and looking for something for this recipe. The one at Trader Joe's is lovely!
If you don't want to use hot honey and opt to use regular honey instead, go for it! The recipe will be a little sweeter but will be just as wonderful.
Sumac can be found at most Middle Eastern markets or even health food stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods. I love to cook with sumac and wanted to rim the glass with something that would complement the mandarin. Sumac is a spice that has a lot of depth to it and brings out citrus beautifully. You can most definitely opt to rim this with tajin (if you are okay with upping the heat), a little bit of salt, or skipping this step entirely.