This year, National Margarita Day is Sunday. Feb. 22. So why not pretend that Manhattan is actually a warm, sandy island? We've got the lowdown on the best places to sip on a tasty tequila cocktail (and wash down those winter blues). By Carly Petrone.
Garden Variety Margarita
If you're looking for a twist on the classic margarita, head over to The Wayland in Alphabet City. They're serving up the Garden Variety Margarita on the rocks ($11) – blanco tequila, ginger and kale juice, lime, agave nectar, and smoked sea salt. Let's just say it's the alcoholic version of a healthy green smoothie? Sure, we'll go with that. The mix of ingredients is both refreshing and packs a punch. Open until 4 a.m.
Spicy Cilantro Margarita
Those who can handle the heat should order the Spicy Cilantro Margarita from Los Feliz. This $12 cocktail is concocted with jalapeno and habanero infused el jimador blanco, fresh lime juice, organic raw agave, and cilantro. Valentine's Day may be over but that doesn't mean the Love Potion 109 Margarita is off the menu. This drink is bursting with flavor since it's made with Serrano infused la pataya blanco, guava, lime juice, pineapple, and organic raw agave. Don't forget to check out the mescal cocktails like the Smoke & Samba or the Sancho or the wide list of tequilas that are available.
Take a seat at the bar and order the Margarita Tamarindo at Hecho en Dumbo. You won't be disappointed. House-made tamarind juice is the secret to this tasty cocktail. It also includes Pueblo Viejo tequila blanco, and a dash of cane sugar. It's served on the rocks with a spicy chile piquin rim that will leave your taste buds intrigued. If you like grapefruit or elderflower, try the Pantera Rose (the "Pink Panther") – house-infused chile Serrano tequila, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. It's shaken and served on the rocks with a salted rim. These colorful margaritas pair perfectly with the queso fundido – a fusion of melted cheeses over your choice of roasted poblano pepper with sautéed onion, crumbled house-made chorizo, or huitlocoche mushroom with epazote, served with warm flour tortillas and fresh salsas. Drooling yet?
The French Mexican
Church St. Tavern is celebrating National Margarita Day with two unique twists on the classic cocktail. For half the price ($8), you can enjoy The Spicy Margarita and French Margarita on the late-night menu. Let mixologist Lenny Amoia serve you The Spicy Margarita – muddled red chili pepper and cilantro, Don Julio Anejo, lime, triple sec, and St. Germain or The French Mexican – muddled ginger, Don Julio, pineapple, lime, and agave. Sit back and enjoy the vintage décor, including the exposed brick walls and subway-tiled walls. You'll feel like a true New Yorker.
Frozen Pomegranate Margarita
Those who like their margarita on the slushy side can make their way to Rosa Mexicano. Try their signature cocktail (since 1984!) - The Frozen Pomegranate Margarita. It's made with blanco tequila, triple sec, pomegranate, and lime. If you're in the mood for a different fruity flavor, taste the Frozen Tropical Margarita, made with your choice of lime, strawberry or mango with blanco tequila, triple sec, and organic agave. Grab a basket of chips and guacamole en Molcajete to go with your frozen margarita during happy hour (4 p.m. – 7 p.m.) and get your evening started!
Ward II has got a seriously delicious margarita cocktail that is filled with quite a dimension of ingredients. The El Mocambo ($14) includes blanco tequila, ginger, lime, orange flower water, and Tabasco. If you're looking for something made with mescal, try The Esmeralda ($15) – mescal, Cocchi Americano, green chartreuse, and jalapeno tincture. It's a great place to impress your date or catch up with friends.
Red Pepper Margarita
Yep, you read that correctly. El Vez is serving up the Red Pepper Margarita and it's every bit as tasty as it sounds. Swap out your typical Bloody Mary for this spicy number. It's made with Fidencio Clasico mescal, Ancho Reyes, red bell pepper juice, and thai bird chili. If you're in the mood for something more refreshing, check out the Cucumber Mint Margarita made with (you guessed it) cucumber, mint, lemon, and Cazadores Blanco. Both drinks are $12.
Under The Volcano
Gotham Bar and Grill has quite the selection of unique cocktails to choose from. May we suggest the Under The Volcano? Dulce Vida tequila, fidencio, jalapeno/rosemary, fresh lime, and angostura make up this delicious drink. This place is also taking part in Restaurant Week (lunch only) so you can pair your mezcal with one of their entree choices: Pan Seared Halibut, Short Ribs, Crispy Moroccan Spiced Quail, or Pearl Barley or Wild Mushroom Risotto. Yum!
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