My first time in Mexico, I had a margarita epiphany. Behind every bar and atop every oilcloth-covered table were bowls of bright green, gumball-sized limes that seemed so delicate compared to our big ol’ American limes. I soon learned that these miniature, slightly sweeter iterations were key limes—as opposed to the Persian limes that are ubiquitous here—and they were utterly delicious. Of course I had indulged in a key lime pie or two in my day, but it wasn’t until I returned from that vacation that I started incorporating key limes into my go-to recipes.
And that brings us to my new favorite take on the margarita. It’s made with key limes, of course, and a kiwi simple syrup that adds a subtle but tropical flavor that feels so perfect for a warm spring day. I topped the whole thing off with a bit of soda water for some sparkle and lined the rims of the pretty pale-green margarita glass with poppyseed-studded sugar to keep the kiwi theme going strong. Finally, I garnished it with a kiwi ice pop that soaks up a bit of the boozy tequila and adds an air of festivity to this cocktail, making it the perfect thing to serve at your Cinco de Mayo party this year (even if that party is you sitting on your couch with your dog…just spitballing here).
If you’re into this recipe, head on over to Hola Jalapeño and check out the Margarita Week page. Kate has rounded up a bunch of great recipes from her food blogger friends, and she’ll keep updating the page until May 5th, so you’ll definitely be set for your Cinco celebrations.
Kiwi and Key Lime Margarita
• 2 oz tequila
• 1 oz key lime juice
• 1 oz kiwi simple syrup (recipe below)
• soda water
• kiwi ice pop (recipe below)
• honey, sugar and poppy seeds, for rim
1. Coat the rim of your margarita glass with honey, then roll it in a mixture of poppy seeds and sugar.
2. Add tequila, key lime juice and kiwi simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
3. Pour over fresh ice into the glass then top with soda water.
4. Garnish with a kiwi ice pop.
Kiwi Ice Pop
• 5 kiwis
• juice from 2 key limes
• 1/2 cup coconut water
• 2 Tbsp honey
1. Peel and roughly chop kiwis, then add them to a blender.
2. Add juice from two key limes, coconut water and honey and blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a popsicle mold (this is the one I have), top with wooden sticks and freeze.
4. When you’re ready to serve them, run hot water over the bottom of the mold until the popsicles are easy to remove.
Kiwi Simple Syrup
makes about 3 oz
• 1 kiwi
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
1. Peel and roughly chop the kiwi.
2. Add kiwi, sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves.
3. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to mash up the kiwis a bit as they’re cooking.
4. If you want a smooth syrup, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, or you can do what I did and simply fish out the large chunks of kiwi, leaving the seeds and a bit of fruit in the syrup.
5. Let cool and use immediately or store it in the refrigerator until you need it.