If there’s one thing that our neighborhood does right, it’s throw a party! Every year on the 4th of July we have a block party with the neighbors on our street. It started as a small event where everyone brought a few beers, some chips, and we let the kids play with sparklers. Fast forward 6 or so years and now we have a full-on spread of homemade delicious food, creative drink mixes, and this year we even brought out the real-deal-light-up-the-sky fireworks!
For this year’s 4th of July festivities I wanted to bring a drink that would give our party an extra punch. Originally I had plans for something light and bubbly, maybe a Prosecco based drink, but I just wasn’t sold on the idea. Then I remembered the bowl full of blueberries that my mom gave me from her garden. They seemed like the perfect ingredient for our Independence Day celebration, because “blue”berries are patriotic, don’t ya’ think? That’s how this Roasted Blueberry & Blackberry Margarita with Basil Simple Syrup was born!
July 4th was a hot summer day and those little blueberries were just begging to go for a swim in some tequila… who am I to deny them of that? ;) But before they could make a splash in some spirits, I popped them in the oven to roast for a few minutes, until they began to burst. Have you ever tried roasting berries? It’s amazing how a little time in the oven can really enhance their sweet, juicy flavor.
The bright, summery roasted berries combined with the fresh, clean basil simple syrup made for an unforgettable flavor combination. Toss in a few premium liquors and you’ve got yourself one heck of a party-worthy margarita!
Our neighborhood block party is always a highlight of the summer for us, and this year was no exception. We spent hours catching up with our neighbors (and meeting a few new ones too)! Everyone nibbled on tasty party food, sipped margaritas, and waited for the sun to set so that the real fun could begin.
Of course, by “fun”, I mean fireworks! A few neighbors got their hands on the good fireworks this year, the kind you can’t find here in Maryland. We all watched in amazement as the ginormous fireworks lit up the sky over our houses. I think we were all secretly praying that our roofs didn’t catch on fire in the process! Luckily nothing burned that night (except for the hot dogs- sorry Bob, we’ll be teasing you about that for awhile)!
We enjoyed this Roasted Blueberry & Blackberry Margarita with Basil Simple Syrup for the 4th of July, but it would be a great addition to any summer celebration. This recipe is easy to make but is sure to impress your guests. If you want to send it over the top and knock their socks off, rim the margarita glasses with some Meyer lemon sea salt. You’ll have them thinking your Martha Stewart in no time! Cheers!
Roasted Blueberry & Blackberry Margarita with Basil Simple Syrup
(makes a pitcher of margaritas- perfect for a party!)
2 cups fresh blueberries (plus a few extra for garnish, if desired)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
sea salt, just a pinch
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
10 basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups of tequila
1 1/2 cups Grand Marnier
2 oz orange liqueur
5 limes, juiced
Meyer lemon sea salt (for rimming the margarita glass)
1. Preheat your oven to 400*.
2. Spread the berries out into a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle them with sea salt.
3. Roast the berries for 15-20 at 400*, or until they begin to burst. Once they have finished roasting, let the berries cool down completely.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the basil infused simple syrup. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, and basil leaves. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes over low/medium heat, stirring to make sure that the sugar does not burn. Let the syrup cool until it is room temperature.
5. Next, combine the roasted berries and the basil simple syrup in a blender. Pulse on high speed until all of the ingredients are combined and the texture is smooth.
6. Pour the berry syrup mixture into a large pitcher and add the tequila, Grand Marnier, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
7. Serve chilled in a margarita glass rimmed with Meyer lemon sea salt. Can be served straight up or on the rocks. Garnish with additional blueberries for an extra festive touch!