Happy belated Thanksgiving friends!
Did you have a nice turkey vacay? Have you finished off all your leftovers? Is it just me or do ya feel kinda sad inside when the leftovers are gone? Every Thanksgiving there’s so much angst over what to cook, all the prepping and grocery shopping and then when the big dinner moment arrives…it’s over in 15 minutes and Uncle is passed out in a turkey coma on the couch.
Buuut, if you host Thanksgiving, you usually end up with ALL the leftovers. And that makes all the prep and cooking sooo worth it. Leftovers for days and days. Lunch, dinner, love love love. The leftovers must be why Thanksgiving weekend is extra long. Eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat, sleep…and then leftovers are gone (enter sad music), time to go back to work.
Here. Have a drink.
Especially if you are one of the brave souls that does your holiday shopping in real stores versus the I’m-still-in-my-pajamas virtual shoppers. Is there an equivalent road rage term for holiday shoppers? Ya know the shoppers with the tense facial shopping face thing going on. They’re shopping but it seems like they are also part of some sort of secretive speed walking competition from one deal to the next. Maybe they’re just trying to shed some Thanksgiving pounds OR maaaeeebeee they just need a drink.
Check out this pretty Blue Q Margarita friends. It all started with some chicken and PBS TV. Do you watch PBS?! I have a serious tv watching issue when it comes to PBS shows. Maybe because we don’t have cable. 100% antenna basic channels baby. I’m pretty sure I’d still be glued to PBS even if I did have fancy TV though. I’m cool like that. But my in-laws have Netflix too. Yep, still living at my in-laws. Don’t ask. Just give me a Blue Q Margarita.
Anywayz…PBS is my fave.
Downton Abbey -> LOVED IT. PBS, please tell me, will there be a Downton Abbey Returns? Let’s make it happen. Right away. Please.
Poldark -> Did you watch the season finale this last weekend?! Why does PBS only give us 10 episodes and then we have to wait until next September for the next season? So cruel to make us wait so long. Do you think it’s true that Elizabeth will never come between Ross and Demelza again? Sigh…
A Chef’s Life -> I ❤❤❤ this show. Vivian Howard is my chef inspo from her active participation and strong value for sourcing local and sustainable foods to her creative and ingenious dishes, and her ability to open her own restaurant, be a mom of twins, a wife, an active and involved chef in the cooking/foodie community all while publishing a cookbook and sharing her personality and thoughts through the best and worst of times during her career in front of the camera (that was a lot to say in one breath). And she makes a mean Blueberry BBQ Sauce (aka Blue Q).
After seeing her Blueberry BBQ Sauce on an episode 2 years ago, I’ve been wanting to try it out. Then my sweet Bae surprised me last summer with a birthday trip to North Carolina for a bday dinner date at Vivian’s restaurant Chef and the Farmer in Kinston. My Hubby is awesome. Duh. And Vivian’s restaurant should move closer to me so I can go to it for all my birthdays and convince her that we should be mom friends in a non-weird be my friend way. That does sound weird though doesn’t it. Yes? No? Maybe? Check a box. Vivian if you’re reading this I’m not weird. Really. And I love your restaurant. And your TV show on PBS. And in all of my mid-thirties birthday excitement I left your restaurant without remembering to buy a bottle of your Blueberry BBQ Sauce. Can we still be friends?
So did you guys know that Google is like really good at finding stuff like THEE recipe for Vivian’s Blueberry BBQ Sauce!!! I had a Snoopy & Charley Brown happy dance moment. Apparently Vivian has shared the recipe with a bunch of internet people. She’s so nice like that.
Okay back to the chicken. Did you remember the chicken? I was going to tell you about the chicken but then we started talking PBS and birthday trips. So I made a roasted chicken that was smothered all over with Vivian’s Blueberry BBQ sauce and it was dreamy and sweet and delicious. Exactly what I was hoping and dreaming it would be. And maybe I ate some of the sauce by the spoonful while the chicken was cooking. And maybe the sauce secretly whispered to me that it wanted to be in a drink too, and not just on chicken. Since it would be sort of weird to tell you I think you should put BBQ sauce in a mixed drink and since I’m totally NOT weird like that (I promise Viv I’m not…may I call you Viv?), I’m not going to say that I think you should put BBQ sauce in your drink. Instead let’s just call it a blueberry shrub (fancy mixologist terminology cuz I be so fan-say like that) and let’s put some shrub in your drink.
Wanna try a Blue Q Margarita? Yes, obviously. Especially since it looks so festive for the holidays right?Print
A refreshing margarita that is perfect for summer as well as a beautiful festive drink for the holidays. Features Vivian Howard’s “Blue Q” sauce combined with fresh squeezed lime juice, Cointreau Triple Sec, and Don Julio Tequila Blanco.
Vivian Howard’s Blue Q Sauce
- 3 cups blueberries
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar, divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 tsp. chile flakes
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
Blue Q Margarita
- Kosher salt for the rim of the glass (optional)
- Lime wedge
- 1.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1.5 oz. Cointreau Triple Sec
- 4 oz. Don Julio Tequila Blanco
- 2 Tbs Blue Q Sauce
Vivian Howard’s Blue Q Sauce
- Place blueberries and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a food processor and pulse just until the berries are broken up.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the pulverized berries with the remaining vinegar, sugar, chile flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and then cover the pot. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf from the sauce. Carefully transfer the hot sauce to a blender. Remove the knob from the top of the blender lid and cover with a dish towel to prevent an explosion. Blend the sauce to get it as smooth as possible. Vivian Howard recommends passing it through a fine mesh strainer before returning the sauce to the pan but I omitted this step. It’s up to you what you would like to do!
- Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by about one-third of its original volume (25–30 minutes). It should coat the back of a spoon and have the viscosity of maple syrup. Let the sauce rest, at least overnight (if you can wait that long), before using. Blue Q will keep for months, covered, in the refrigerator. Yields approximately 4 cups.
Blue Q Margarita
- If you prefer a salted rim, rub a fresh lime around the outside edge of your margarita glass. Then roll the rim of the glass in the Kosher salt.
- Place the glass in the freezer to chill while you prepare the drink in your cocktail shaker.
- Add the Blue Q Sauce, fresh lime juice, Cointreau Triple Sec, and Don Julio Tequila Blanco to the cocktail shaker. Remove your margarita glass from the freezer so it’s all ready for the drink to be poured into it. Add a handful of ice to your shaker, seal the shaker, and shake vigorously for several seconds.
- Using a small fine mesh strainer, strain the ice cubes in the shaker out while you pour the drink in your glass to get a nice clean texture for the drink. Garnish your drink with a lime wheel and a frozen blueberry. Cheers!
One thing to keep in mind when you purchase ingredients for your Blue Q Margarita is that your drink will only be as good as the weakest ingredient in it. It’s important to keep that in mind should you decide to use something else besides whole Kosher salt, fresh lime juice, or premium alcohol options such as Cointreau and Don Julio Blanco Tequila.
Also, to ensure that your drink is gluten free make sure you purchase a tequila that is labeled “100% agave.” Some cheaper brands of tequila contain gluten and will be labeled as “mixto” versus “100% agave.” Cointreau Triple Sec is also naturally gluten free as it is made from the distillation of sweet and bitter orange peels and blended with natural alcohol, sugar and water.
Serving size and preparation time is for the drink itself and not for the Blue Q Sauce.
The Blue Q Sauce is adapted from talented chef and owner of Chef and the Farmer Vivian Howard’s Blueberry BBQ Sauce recipe. You can find Vivian’s story on the origins of the Blue Q Sauce and her recipe featured here. Vivian’s Blueberry BBQ Sauce is also available for purchase here.
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