Screw the Snow: National Margarita Day Tells You So
Photo: Bob Muschitz (Getty Images)
There’s something ridiculous about the fact that it’s snowing seemingly every day in vast swaths of the country, yet we are expected to celebrate ridiculous, made-up food and drink holidays. Not that we’re hating on National Margarita Day. But what genius decided that an extremely summery cocktail should be celebrated in the height of the winter? It’s would be like celebrating National Hot Chocolate Day in July.
Regardless, we’ll crank up the heat, turn on our fake sunlight lamp, and shake and pour up some tasty tequila-filled margaritas. If you’re planning to celebrate the holiday, make us a deal. Stay away from bottom-shelf tequila (we’re looking at you gold tequila). We know Margarita Day falls on a Friday, but you wouldn’t want to spend your whole Saturday nursing a wicked, brain-exploding hangover, would you? You probably have errands to run or, at the very least, something fun planned.
But just because you’re staying away from the bottom shelf, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend your whole 401K to get a buzz on. There are myriad great tequilas available and we tasked a handful of bartenders with finding them for us. You can check out all of their favorites for mixing into a margarita below.
Toast National Margarita Day: 7 Adventurous Margarita Variations
“Tanteo Habanero is one of my favorites to do a variation of a spicy/sweet margarita. It's 100 percent blue agave so you're not sacrificing quality and it has the right amount of spice to go for a second glass.” – Kevin Zadoyan, owner of Te’Kila in Los Angeles
“Herradura Ultra, a blend of premium anejo and extra anejo, extra-filtered for a superior finish. It’s naturally sweet with a wonderful balance.” – Andrew Holmes, director of food and beverage at Hotel LeVeque in Columbus
“My favorite tequila to mix into a margarita is Azuñia Reposado Single Barrel. I visit the town of Tequila every year and hand-select a barrel of reposado from Azuñia. Azuñia is the only 100 percent organic tequila that has all its own estate-grown agave plants.” – Ryan Andrews, lead bartender at Prohibition in San Diego
“If I’m looking to create a margarita with a touch of smoke, I’ll use Pueblo Viejo Blanco. For a clean, herbal and fruitier margarita, I’ll use Milagro Silver. Milagro is distilled three times while most other tequilas are distilled twice.” – Young Kim, beverage director at The Flatiron Room in New York City
“What is your favorite tequila brand to mix into a variation of the margarita and why? I absolutely love tequila, which makes this question something of a bind: I'll happily drink my favorite blanco tequila all night long just in a glass without ice. A perfect margarita tequila for me, then, is inexpensive but still redolent of the roasted agave from which is comes, and my favorite there is probably Cimarron Blanco.” – Jason O’Bryan, spirits director at The Florence in San Diego
“I love a younger Patrón Reposado because it's picked up those beautiful vanillins from the barrel but hasn't aged so much that it can't be used in a cocktail.” – Mariel Burns, head bartender at Trademark Taste + Grind in New York City
“Herradura Reposado is my go-to. When you're sipping on the margarita, you can actually taste the notes that come out of it. It’s definitely a little more spicy than most reposados, that paired with the orange peel and vanilla flavors, can’t be beat.” – Big Jon Conkin, bartender at Wonderland Ocean Pub in San Diego
“Fortaleza, hands down. I always like a nice balance of creamy and grass notes of a lowlands tequila with the crisp tart of lemon and sweet. The combination makes for a wonderfully diverse and keeps you ordering more.” – Spencer Elliott, head bartender at The Boogie Room in New York City