Have you ever had a week that just made you want to drown yourself in a bottle of wine? Or faceplant into a pitcher of sangria? Or chug a margarita or four?
Yeah, I’ve had one of those weeks…and it isn’t even over yet! While I don’t have much to legitimately complain about, this week has been jam packed and super draining. I work part time as medical editor three days a week (I spend the other days chasing around my toddler and photographing food for you guys all while trying to maintain my sanity and social life!), and this week consisted of annual conferences that were just…exhausting. A lot of work these past few months has been building up to these conferences, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that they are over for another year. As exhausting as it is, it IS rewarding.
So, because I’ve had a week where I’ve been spread a little thin, and because Cinco de Mayo is just about two weeks away, I’m making a biiiiig batch of margaritas to celebrate. But not just any ol’ margs. FROZEN SLUSHIE COCONUT MARGS! Yes! AND, I’m making them for a crowd (or all for me? Yikes.) in my ice cream machine. Easy peasy.
Frozen margaritas can be a pain in the ya know what. All the measuring and blending and the crazy-loud sound pollution of ice being decimated. Plus, it’s hard to make a large batch for a crowd. It involves multiple blending sessions. Blah. A LOT of work! After the week I’ve had, I knew that frozen margs from a blender were not in the cards.
The ice cream machine method is sooo much easier (and quieter!). You still have to measure the ingredients, but the ingredient list is short and quick to get together. The only catch to my ice cream maker method? It takes a little planning.
You have to ensure that all the ingredients, including the ice cream bowl, are ice cold before you begin. Which makes these perfect for parties – make the margarita “mix” ahead of time and chill everything down. When it’s party time, break out the bowls of guacamole and start up the ice cream machine. Frozen boozy slushies are moments away. I love a cocktail that I only have to mix up once and then I can set it and forget it. These definitely fit the bill.
(On that note, I made the recipe as it is written out below, but I could easily see this recipe doubled for larger crowds. A lot of ice cream machines come with a back-up bowl these days. You could totally double your fun here. Just sayin’.)
While the old standbys are in play here (tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and lime juice), I amped up the creamy factor with coconut milk. And I have to pat myself on the back here for a minute: I am a genius. Hah! Coconut milk can ALWAYS be found in my pantry. I actually buy it in bulk online. It is a wonderful (vegan) addition to so many things, such as soups and stews or smoothies. And as it turns out, margaritas!
The creaminess of the coconut milk mellows out the kick of the tequila and works super well with the tang of the lime juice. AND! Along with the awesome slushy consistency, the coconut milk kind of adds a tropical twist to the standard marg.
Which makes me think of beaches and palm trees and relaxation. Until the tequila hits my system. And then I think of dancing, laughing, and letting loose.
After a long week, whichever effect these frozen slushies bring on is fine by me. I’ll definitely be making a batch (or two!) this weekend! And maybe again in a couple weeks for Cinco de Mayo. I will, after all, need something to wash down all the tacos and guacamole I plan on having.
1 (15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well to combine
Simple syrup, to taste
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup Grand Marnier or triple sec
1 cup silver tequila, divided (or use coconut tequila for more coconut flavor)
Coarse salt, for glasses
Lime wedges, for serving
Toasted flaked coconut, optional garnish
Chill the bowl to your ice cream machine for at least 4 hours (I try to keep mine in the freezer at all times when I have the room).
In the meantime, mix together the coconut milk, lime juice, and simple syrup. The amount of syrup you use will depend on a couple things: the sweetness of your coconut milk and your preferences. I started my mix with just over ¼ cup of simple syrup and that was good for the entire batch of margaritas. You can add more or less, to taste.
Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. I also place my booze in the fridge at this time as well. Working with all cold ingredients is ideal.
Set up your ice cream machine. To the chilled ice cream bowl, pour in the coconut milk mixture and turn on the machine. Run it for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is a slushy consistency.
Stop the machine and add the Grand Marnier and half of the tequila. Stir to combine and then taste to see if the mixture is sweet and sour enough. Add more simple syrup or lime juice to taste.
Run the machine for another 10 minutes or until the mixture reaches a slushy consistency again.
Scoop the mixture into chilled glasses rimmed with coarse salt. Top each glass off with a little more tequila.
Garnish with lime wedges and toasted coconut. Serve immediately.
Because the temperature of the ice cream bowl is what creates the slushy texture, you can’t really make this too far in advance. Once the bowl defrosts, so will your cocktail!
So, if you have leftover slushy, I recommend transferring it to an airtight container and keeping it in the fridge until you want it next. Allowing it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes should get you back to a slushy consistency.
OR: just make regular margaritas with this same recipe! Instead of placing the mixture into an ice cream machine, add the booze and shake everything together in a shaker with ice (or blend with ice). Serve over ice in glasses rimmed with salt. It will still be delicious!