We love margaritas, in all their various colors and flavors, in classic form and frozen. But they definitely feel like a summer drink, so we’re a little perplexed as to why National Margarita Day falls in the dead of winter (Feb. 22 to be exact). We are not complaining, though, and we’ll take any excuse to celebrate, because the simple blend of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur in the right proportion never fails to charm—even outside of the margarita glass. Here, then, are 9 recipes, from skirt steak to cake, that take the classic Cinco de Mayo cocktail as inspiration so you can enjoy one any time of year, and at any meal, for that matter.
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Cocktail doughnuts are a fabulous mash-up and an acceptable way to have a tiny bit of booze for breakfast (okay, weekend brunch at least). These easy, fluffy baked doughnuts with lime zest and lime juice meet a sweet-tart tequila-spiked glaze and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to finish in proper style. Get the Margarita Doughnuts recipe.
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Bake an even dozen doughnuts at home.
A savory salad of baby spinach, strawberries, mango, avocado, and red onion turns extra-special when it’s paired with a tequila-laced lime juice and agave nectar dressing. It’s pretty much the healthiest margarita you’ll ever meet. Get the Margarita Salad with Tequila-Lime Dressing recipe.
Steak marinated in all the elements you expect in a margarita—tequila, Cointreau—and some you don’t, like cilantro and garlic. (Try it with an avocado-tomatillo salsa too.) Get the Grilled Margarita-Marinated Steak recipe.
Shrimp, paprika, sea salt, olive oil, tequila, lime juice, honey, and jalapeño combine for a super-quick—and delicious—dinner that you can serve in a myriad of ways (over rice, over salad, in tacos or burritos…) Get the 10-Minute Spicy Margarita Shrimp recipe.
Chicken breasts get drunk on flavor in a marinade that includes orange and lime juices, garlic, tequila, and agave nectar. After grilling, top with perfect guacamole for a healthy meal. Get the Fresh Margarita Chicken recipe.
Fruit salad can be boring and bland, but this mix of watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, and other fruit (use whatever looks and tastes best) gets a quick toss with lime juice, silver tequila, and triple sec. Bright, fresh, and all grown up. Get the Margarita Fruit Salad recipe.
Delicate butter cookies flavored with grated lime peel and a touch of orange extract. A discreet amount of food coloring gives them a bright green color, and a tequila and powdered sugar glaze gives them authentic sass. Get the Margarita Cookies recipe.
Lemon cake mix gives you a head start, while lemon pudding mix guarantees a moist texture. Tequila and triple sec, meanwhile, ensure a fiesta-like kick. (If you don’t have any Bundt pans, try this Tequila Lime Margarita Sheet Cake recipe with cream cheese frosting.) Get the Mini Margarita Bundt Cakes recipe.
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Okay, maybe this is cheating just a little, but who can resist an easy blender drink, especially one this tasty? Frozen mango, orange juice, lime juice, and a little honey are pretty much all you need—and since it’s a mocktail, it counts as “not a margarita.” (But by all means, if you want to add a shot of tequila, do!) Get the Frozen Mango Margarita Mocktail recipe.
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Header image courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats.