On gloomy days, we dream of wasting away in Margaritaville. So we order a round (or three) to warm ourselves up from the inside out. Here are eight marvelous margaritas to help you chase away the winter blues while celebrating National Margarita Day.
Blood Orange Margarita at Rocco’s Tacos, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A citrusy spin on the classic. Blood orange liqueur and puree, lime juice, and just a touch of grapefruit add acidic pep to the ruddy tipple. It has a strong kick, thanks to plenty of blanco tequila. Make a reservation at Rocco’s Tacos.
The Chef’s Margarita at I|O Godfrey, Chicago, Illinois
This is not the usual mixture of tequila and lime. Sure, it includes blanco tequila, but it’s buttressed by Cointreau and Cointreau Noir as well as a bevy of fresh juices. There’s a crowning cloud of habanero salt air to complete this charming proposition. Make a reservation at I|O Godfrey.
Prickly Position at Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C.
If you drink too many of these, you may end up in a prickly position. Or maybe a more lascivious position. The potentially fate-changing cocktail features sotol (a Mexican spirit distilled from the dasylirion plant), mezcal, nopal juice, pineapple gomme, lime juice, and serrano pepper ice cubes. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
El Chingon Margarita at Don Chido, San Diego, California
How many cocktails featuring a rubber ducky dressed as a mariachi guitarist have you enjoyed? Zero? We thought not. This massive made-for-sharing margarita incorporates reposado tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar to sweeten the deal. Make a reservation at Don Chido.
Classic Frozen Margarita at PM Fish and Steakhouse, Miami, Florida
There’s something to be said for the classics — because they’re classics for a reason. Case in point: this freshly blended frozen ‘rita made garnished with a lime wheel. No fuss, all flavor. Make a reservation at PM Fish and Steakhouse.
Margarita Flight at Searsucker, Austin, Texas
Why enjoy only one margarita at a time when you can take on a trio? Better yet, each one has a spicy sizzle. First up is pineapple-serrano. The second features a strawberry-jalapeño infused tequila and candied jalapeños. The last incorporates tequila infused with mango and habanero and comes garnished with thinly sliced habaneros. Muy caliente! Make a reservation at Searsucker.
Mango Margarita at Pepita Cantina, Arlington, Virginia
These go down easy, so consider yourself warned. Añejo tequila provides the backbone, mango juice delivers a tropical sweetness, arbol chile syrup adds a hit of heat, and cilantro tincture gives it a brightening herbaceous undertone. As a nod to the cantina’s nearby sister restaurant – the Greek minded Kapnos Taverna – it’s garnished with housemade harissa salt. Make a reservation at Pepita Cantina.
My Own Damn Fault at South Water Kitchen, Chicago, Illinois
Black garlic tincture is not an ingredient in your typical margarita, but this is not your average ‘rita. Slightly savorier than the classic, it also incorporates chile-infused vodka and features a black garlic-stuffed olive. Curaçao and lime juice give it some lift, so it doesn’t get bogged down in the savory notes. Make a reservation at South Water Kitchen.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Greg Powers (Pepita Cantina).