Like a beautiful beach, margaritas come in all shapes and sizes. Some are poured like a martini, some are rimmed with a spicy-salt mixture. And some forsake the traditional ingredient, tequila, altogether in favor of more experimental spirits. This National Margarita Day (yes, that’s a holiday that exists, and where would we be without it?), which happens on February 21, we’re not looking to get tipsy on just any old cookie-cutter cocktail. We want to be wowed by some of the most inventive margaritas out there. Without further ado, here are 9 infusions guaranteed to wow your taste buds and satisfy your sense of adventure at the same time…
Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Rico
The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is only one of a handful of resorts in the world that grows its own agave and produces its own brand of tequila. As a result, the resort’s bartenders tend to be pretty well acquainted with they’re serving, including the Horchata Margarita (CasaMagna aged tequila, Controy, horchata, and simple syrup; $8), which blends sweetened Mexican rice milk with the locally-made spirit.
New York, NY
New York may not be enjoying tropical weather right now, but that hasn’t stopped the recently-renovated Park Central Hotel from getting into the spirit of things with a special creation known as the “Rothstein’s Revenge.” (The name references a 1920s mobster who spent time at the hotel, and eventually met his gruesome end there.) Served at the hotel’s Prohibition-era-inspired bar and lounge area, the drink ($15) combines Avion tequila, Pernod absinthe, lavender syrup, pineapple juice, and flamed Alepo pepper. After just a few sips of the herbal blend, you’ll have forgotten about winter altogether.
Various locations, FL
The Florida-based taco chain, Rocco’s Tacos, is keeping busy gearing up for the opening of their first northeast location in (of all places) Brooklyn. But that hasn’t stopped them from cranking out some of the best margaritas this side of the Tijuana border. Just as the restaurant’s tortillas are made by hand each day, so too are the drinks free of pre-mixed syrups and concentrates. The Antioxidant Margarita ($11.50) is one of the top-selling margaritas on the menu, and offers a fruity take on the Mexican classic, pairing Maestro Dobel, Cedilla acai liqueur, lime juice, and agave nectar.
Guánica, Puerto Rico
Between the white sandy beaches and twenty acres of landscaped gardens, Puerto Rico’s Copamarina Beach Resort is the setting for the ultimate tropical beach getaway. You’ll feel the relaxing vibes wash over you while sipping a Coconut Margarita ($14) poolside, or dining at the hotel’s two restaurants, Las Palmas and Alexandra. Incorporating every possible element of the theme ingredient, the drink is made with Patron Silver tequila, Malibu coconut rum, St. Germaine, fresh coconut water, a drizzle of Coco Lopez, fresh vanilla bean, toasted coconut, and is garnished with a lime peel pierced with a bamboo sword.
Beverly Hills, CA
As if you weren’t in a festive enough mood, SLS Hotels is stepping up the glam factor with a specially-made margarita available at both SLS Beverly Hills and SLS Miami Beach. Inside Jose Andres’ high-design eatery The Bazaar, guests can sample the red and tangy Jasmine’s Margarita ($16), which gets an extra special kick from Sal de Gusano, a traditional Oaxancan spice made from sea salt, toasted and ground agave worms, and chile costeño. For extra flare, a handful of pomegranate seeds are sprinkled on top.
As part of a new hotel-wide cocktail menu, Omni Hotels‘ head mixologist Kim Hassaurd has prepared the Smoky Margarita ($12), which is available at all Omni properties across the U.S.. The custom-made beverage incorporates Del Maguey mezcal, which comes from villages in Oaxaca that have been making the spirit for hundreds of years using the same tried and true method. Agaves (piñas) smoked in the ground for days, and even weeks, lend a smoky punch – somewhat akin to a single malt scotch.
Fort Worth, TX
Reata Restaurant, located in downtown Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, offers up “cowboy cooking” that’s a fusion of Southwestern, Creole, and Southern styles. One drink in particular, the Billionaire Margarita, manages to fit the Raeta vibe perfectly while also staying true to the spirit of National Margarita Day. In classic Texas fashion, the one-of-a-kind cocktail costs $50, and, according to head bartender, is made “using the freshest and most decadent ingredients.” For that price, we certainly hope so. Infused in the salt-rimmed glass are Don Julio 1942 Anejo tequila, Gran Mariner 150th, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and sugar.
San José del Cabo, Mexico
For those who like their cocktails on the spicy side, One&Only Palmilla‘s Serrano Margarita ($12) is a heated blend of Tequila Blanco, brown sugar, one barspoon-full of seedless Serrano Chile, Controy, pineapple juice, Agave syrup, and lime juice. The tequila, fiery Serrano chiles, and pineapple work together to create an explosive libation tempered only by the bar’s calming oceanfront views and Moroccan-inspired decor.
Paradise in a glass must be what Paradisus Cancun had in mind with their Margarita de Pepino (included in the $466 per night rate), a zesty combination of tequila, homemade simple syrup, lime juice, fresh cucumber slices, and triple sec. Dusted along the rim is the house’s own “chile piquin” powder, it’s an expert touch from the property’s tequila master, Carlos Duarte, who teaches a complimentary tequila tasting class every Friday evening. You’ll learn the history of the tequila-making process, but who knows how much you’ll remember after all the flavors have been, ahem, sampled.