Few things evoke memories of my teensy, tiny hometown like the county fair. It only lasted two weeks each year, but those two weeks brought unparalleled excitement to town. The flashing bulbs of the carnival lights, the bustle of people walking along the midway and the novelty of county fair snacks that were only available once each year created an almost electrifying buzz, at least for us small town folks. Everyone had their favorite snacks but for kids, the bags of cotton candy spun wistfully on a stick were tough to beat. Now that I’m an adult, cotton candy seems far less satisfying than I remember it being. But when the fair recently passed through town, I felt inspired to recreate the magic of cotton candy as best I could. And that, I did, with these cotton candy margaritas.
These cotton candy margaritas represent the most novel of county fair food, transformed for sipping. Granted, some people might think first of corndogs when they think of county fair foods. You can thank me for not making those. Yuck.
I’m a girl who appreciates a strong margarita. Rather than attempt to drown the taste of tequila in syrupy sweetness, I’d rather accentuate it with layers of complimentary flavors. This margarita recipe demonstrates that perfectly. While it is a sweet margarita, it’s also a strong margarita. There’s no missing the cotton candy, but the tequila doesn’t cower in the corner either. If you prefer a more mild margarita, you can, of course, go a little heavier on the lime and sweetener to temper the tequila.
While I do utilize actual cotton candy in the drink, you might be surprised to find that much of the flavor that lends itself to the cotton candy comes from the addition of a surprise ingredient: Jones Soda Cream Soda. You’ll find it any Whole Foods store, or in the “healthy” section of most grocery stores. It’s a soda sweetened with natural cane juice instead of high fructose corn syrup. It has a distinctive taste, completely reminiscent of cotton candy. That, my friend, is why you’ll definitely want to use it when making these cotton candy margaritas.
- 3/4 tequila
- 1/2 c. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 c. cream soda (Jones soda brand, preferred)
- 1/4 c. orange liqueur
- 1 package cotton candy
- Combine all liquid ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously. Fill serving glasses 3/4 of the way with cotton candy. Pour mixture over cotton candy until glass is half full (because we're optimists around here). Add ice. Stir to combine. Cheers!
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