Ahh, the Margarita. Classic, Tommy’s, salt-lined, frozen… no matter how you enjoy it, there’s one thing for certain – we’ve taken this tequila-based tipple to our hearts. So much so that 22nd February has been declared (Inter)National Margarita Day!
There are various myths and stories surrounding the origin of the Margarita – was it named after Margarita Henkel, the daughter of the then German ambassador visiting Hussong’s Cantina? Or created by Carlos “Danny” Herrera for the dancer Marjorie King, who was allegedly allergic to many spirits, but not to tequila? Or was it invented in 1938 by a bartender in honour of Mexican showgirl Rita de la Rosa? There’s no definite answer, but any good Mexican restaurant can be judged on its proficiency to mix a super margarita with its tequila of choice. So, with the momentous day upon us, here are our top five London spots to celebrate Margarita Day…
Ella Canta x Patrón
If there’s one tequila brand that’s synonymous with premium quality, then it’s Patrón – so what better place to create a limited-edition, exclusive menu of Margaritas than the thoroughly glamorous Ella Canta? This gorgeous Mexican restaurant, situated on Park Lane in London, is headed up by acclaimed chef Martha Ortiz and is becoming famous for authentic dishes and top-quality margaritas.
Join them to try some luxurious twists on the classic margarita, such as the Coa de Jima (which incorporates Patrón Reposado Tequila with Huana Guanoabana Rum liqueur, homemade spiced pineapple purée and Champagne foam, amongst other tropical ingredients), and the Daisy-Do (above) – a herbaceous and fruity mix of Patrón Silver Tequila infused with kaffir lime leaves, pear purée, lime, homemade ginger syrup, egg whites and sage. Take a seat at the chic bar, order some tasty bar snacks, and prepare to make your way through the five cocktails – you won’t want to miss any of them!
El Camion x Calle 23 Blanco
Anyone who works in the bar industry, has a penchant for tequila, or generally hangs out around Soho until the wee hours, will have spent at least one evening getting merry in El Camion (or their basement bar, The Pink Chihuahua). In fact, the owner has amassed one of the largest collections of tequila and agave in Europe – some of which can be seen in the several cabinets, some of which can’t actually fit in the bar. And although El Camion might be more famous for its ties to beloved bar tender Dick Bradsell and his Espresso Martini, they also make a mean Margarita.
On International Margarita Day they’ll be serving up their Smoky Margaritas – made using Tequila Calle 23 Blanco, triple sec, freshly squeezed lime juice, with just a hint of Del Maguey Mezcal Vida for that unmistakable smoky taste. And what’s even better is that they’re just £5 all day! What could possibly go wrong?
Cafe Pacifico x tequila tasting evening
When you want Margaritas, go to the best – and many people agree that Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden have earned their stripes at being classed as one of the premier spots to grab this cocktail. After all, they’ve been serving them for over 35 years. But this doesn’t mean they’ve not moved with the times – in fact, when you want a party, these guys know how to do it.
Head along on the evening of 22nd February for complimentary tequila tastings with brands such as Jose Cuervo Tradicional, Gran Centenary, 1800, Ocho, Tapatio, Arette, Olmeca Altos, Casco Viejo, Don Agustin and many more, so you can pick a new favourite – all accompanied by fantastic Te-Killa Beats with DJ Limonciyo. There’ll also be a unique menu of award-winning Margaritas, including pomegranate and mint, passion fruit and vanilla, pineapple and lime, and their classic Pacifico Margarita. You also get complimentary quesadillas included – what more could you want?
Special menu of 4 Margaritas for only £25 |cafe-pacifico.com | @officialcafepacifico
Cantina Laredo x Jose Cuervo 1800
Sipping a trio of memorable Margaritas alongside a tasting menu of Mexican dishes, while also learning about the history of this momentous drink? Sounds like the perfect evening! In celebration of Margarita Day, Cantina Laredo are hosting a tequila tasting dinner and talk hosted by Jose Cuervo 1800 tequila, taking diners on a journey to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of the tipple.
The Margarita flight consists of three of Cantina Laredo’s most memorable margaritas, including One in a Melon (Jose Cuervo 1800 silver, Cointreau, fresh watermelon and lime), or the nicely spicy I’m Kinda Hot, (green habanero infused Jose Cuervo 1800 silver, Cointreau, guava and lime). To complement the drinks, there will be a specially created four-course menu that highlights the authentic tastes of Mexico, with dishes including Tacos Dorados (crispy chicken tacos served with Chile de Árbol Cream), and Churros de Canela y Azucar – cinnamon and sugar churros served with chile chocolate and strawberry cream.
Cartel x Tequila Fortaleza
The last year has seen the tequila-drinkers of Battersea pouring themselves into a new watering hole; Cartel on Battersea Park Road. This no-frills bar might model itself on a relaxed Mexican cantina, but there’s certainly a lot of precision and detail when it comes to the agave-inspired cocktail menu. And, to celebrate International Margarita Day, they’ve teamed up with Tequila Fortaleza to bring you a special £5 Margarita menu all evening. So if you’ve been looking for an excuse to head down Mexico way (via South West London), this is most certainly it.