Where to Sip the Most Memorable Margaritas for Purists (and Rule Breakers)By Jennifer Auvil
There are national holidays, and then there is the lineup of wacky niche celebrations that you likely never heard of until social media came along. You may want to hit the snooze button for some. (Squirrel Appreciation Day? National Melba Toast Day? No joke — these exist!)
But tequila-lovers won’t want to miss National Margarita Day. Of course, any day’s a good one for a marg.
Whether you’re lounging on the beach, hitting the ski slopes or heading to the bar for happy hour, here are top picks for some great spots to throw back a margarita.
Oyamel, Washington, D.C.
José Andrés is a legend in Washington, D.C., and beyond, with praise from foodie institutions like the Jame Beard Foundation and Michelin Guide. His lively Mexican restaurant brings a taste of Mexico City to Penn Quarter with authentic food and speciality tequilas and mezcals.
The signature margarita (and Andrés’ personal favorite) is the Oyamel, made with Milagro blanco tequila, Combier triple sec and fresh-squeezed lime juice. But the real star is the cap of foamy “salt air” that floats atop this boozy wonder.
Los Amigos, Vail, Colorado
After a chilly day on the slopes, some opt for a hot cocoa or a hot toddy fireside, while others — the more adventurous, perhaps? — cap off the day with a frosty margarita.
Snag a seat along the rail of the outside deck, and take in the wintry antics of Vail Village with an order of chips and guac and the Troublemaker — a mega 16-ounce cocktail with a double shot of El Tesoro Platinum Tequila topped off with a float a Patrón Citrónge.
Agave 308, Key West, Florida
Skilled bartenders elevate the classic margarita at this Key West cantina by combining infused tequilas with fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. The spicy Cucumber Caliente gets its kick from jalapeño-infused tequila paired with cucumber, agave and fresh lime and served in a jalapeño-salt-rimmed glass.
Fruity margaritas, often frowned upon by purists, reach a level of sophistication with unexpected pairings like hibiscus-infused tequilas and fresh grapefruit or strawberry and jalapeño.
Sleepyheads will appreciate the Eyes Wide Shut, an eye-opening mixture of agave, vanilla bean–infused tequila and espresso that may help ensure you stay awake for all of National Margarita Day.
Matt’s El Rancho, Austin, Texas
This family-owned restaurant has been dishing up Tex-Mex since 1952, long before there was even such a thing as a “food scene” in Austin. More than 50 years later, much of the menu hasn’t changed, and classics like chile rellenos, green enchiladas with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans, and the cheesy Bob Armstrong queso dip are still popular.
Also a crowd favorite is the impressive Matt’s Knockout Martini, a super-sized margarita that packs a punch with 100-percent Agave Milagro Reposado tequila shaken with cointreau, simple syrup and fresh lime juice.
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, Mexico
Escape the winter blues at the swanky D-Lounge in Cancun where big spenders splurge on the $100 Margarita. This sophisticated sipper (and you should sip to draw out the experience) is prepared table-side with ultra-premium tequila and Grand Marnier 100, agave syrup and sour orange.
To complete the spectacle, the glass is decked out with edible gold salt and served alongside two pieces of edible gold chocolate truffles.
Beyond your budget? No worries. The house margaritas may not come with edible gold, but they’ll do the job to deliciously quench your thirst after a long day on the beach.
Prohibition Bakery, New York, New York
Not in the mood for a drink? Well, thanks to a sweet riff on the celebrated cocktail, you can have your margarita cupcake and eat it, too. Dainty margarita cupcakes are flavored with tequila, triple sec, lime and fleur de sel. These may be the cutest margaritas that you’ve ever seen, but they are all business — the alcohol is added after the cupcakes are baked so it doesn’t burn off while baking.