Sour orange pie tree Sour orange pie recipe

Florida Studies and the Sour Orange Margarita


Oranges in central Florida, perfect for sour orange margaritas
Introducing the sour orange margarita. Pictured: oranges at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park, where many of the formerly orderly groves now have wild offspring. Yes, you can find sour oranges here. 
Photo by Cathy Salustri

How chasing a master’s degree in Florida Studies led to the creation of the first-ever sour orange margarita.

Ever since I took the Florida Foodways class (karma’s bitch, by the way), I’ve been preoccupied with the idea of a Florida cocktail. I even attempted to research it, which, according to my professor, didn’t work out for me, but hey, that could have been the whole itching powder thing a few years back or just crappy research on my part. Whatever. Anyway, when I couldn’t find a definitive Florida cocktail, I got to thinking that I could come up with one. I worked with key lime margaritas for a while, but when the Florida Studies program went to Fisheating Creek a few months ago, I grabbed a handful of sour oranges growing wild there. I wasted that batch on a sour orange pie that I didn’t really care for, but when the faculty went back last week two of them were kind enough to make sure I got a fresh batch. I’ll try sour orange pie again, but until then…

Florida Studies Sour Orange Margarita

Mull all but one slice of key lime covered with a healthy dose of Tupelo honey (purchased on north Florida field trip with the Florida Geography class); add to shaker.
Add ice, and then…
5 counts tequila
4 counts triple sec
and the juice from one sour orange.

Shake. Serve with or without ice; garnish with key lime slice.

See? Higher education… it’s a good thing!

Related: More than sour orange margaritas

Try my recipe for sour orange cider and sour orange pie.

This post initially appeared on my former blogspot site.