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Blueberry, Blackberry and Basil Margarita Puree

Serves: Makes two (¾-liter) jars of margarita purée; each jar is enough for four margaritas

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz. tequila (silver) and ¾ oz. Cointreau (omit for non-alcohol version)


Procedures:

Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher; wash the rubber gaskets by hand.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the basil, decrease the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the simple syrup into a blender. Discard the basil.

Add the blueberries, blackberries, and lime and lemon juices to the blender. Holding the blender lid securely in place, blend the mixture on high speed until puréed. Using a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, strain the berry purée to remove all the seeds. Using a rubber spatula, press down to extract all the purée. Discard the seeds.

Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the margarita base into the prepared jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean and secure the lids. Label and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tequila version: To add a cool touch, as well as whimsy and fun, to a backyard party, blend the base together with premium silver tequila and a touch of Cointreau in an ice-cream maker. Serve in a chilled margarita glass rimmed with sugar and garnished with a wheel of lime.

Storing: Refrigerate for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Diane Morgan and Sur La Table, Gifts Cooks Love (Andrews McMeel)

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