NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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January 23, 2013

Pitcher perfect

Meyer lemon margaritas bring zest to a party

(Continued)

For ease, the entire recipe can be made in advance and refrigerated. That way when your guests arrive all you have to do is fill a cocktail shaker with ice, shake the drink to get it icy cold, and serve. You also could just serve it poured over crushed ice.

MEYER LEMON MARGARITA

Start to finish: 2 hours

(10 minutes active)

Servings: 8

11/2 cups Meyer lemon tequila (see recipe below)

1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)

3/4 cup triple sec

1/2 cup Meyer lemon simple syrup (see recipe below)

6 cups ice cubes

8 lemon twists, to garnish

In a pitcher, combine the tequila, lemon juice, triple sec and simple syrup. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice and pour in 1 cup of the margarita mixture. Shake, strain into two 6-ounce martini glasses and garnish each with a twist. Repeat for the remaining margaritas.

MEYER LEMON INFUSED TEQUILA

Start to finish: 4 days

(10 minutes active)

Makes one 750-milliliter bottle

8 Meyer lemons

750-milliliter bottle 100 percent blue agave blanco tequila

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from the lemons in large strips. Place the zest in a large glass jar, then add the tequila and cover tightly. Let stand for 4 days to allow the flavors to blend, tipping the jar back and forth a couple times a day.

Strain out the zest, and the tequila is ready to use. Stored in a glass container or its original bottle, it will keep its vibrant color for 1 to 2 months.

MEYER LEMON

SIMPLE SYRUP

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Makes 1 cup

2 Meyer lemons

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from the lemons in large strips.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the zest, sugar and water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture reach a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Strain out and discard the zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Keeps for several weeks.

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