On the rocks, frozen, salt, no salt, strawberry, skinny. No matter the variation, the beloved margarita inspires a certain sense of patriotism in us Texans and is a mainstay on menus across Texas.
February 22 is National Margarita Day, and in the spirit of honoring the unofficial cocktail of Texas, we decided to highlight three standouts in the state.
The Pastry War’s House Margarita
On the hunt for a tequila bar in Houston? Look no further than The Pastry War. The downtown cocktail bar serves what is arguable the best frozen margarita in the city.
Void of artificial mixes, high fructose corn syrup, and all those other additives and corner-cutters, The Pastry War’s margaritas come in four flavors: the traditional house margarita, habanero-serrano, strawberry-balsamic, and pedro ximenez sherry.
The drinks are created using a concoction of agave nectar, blanco tequila, Key limes, Persian limes, and a rim of citrus salt. “It does get a little difficult to get the flavor identical day-to-day, as we never know how tart or bitter the two different kinds of limes are going to be delivered. We have luckily learned to become rather adept at correcting it with a little salt tincture, sweetener or Combier triple sec,” Owner Bobby Heugel says.
Odd Duck’s Smokey Robinson
In creating the Smokey Robinson, The Odd Duck beverage team decided to combine an apple shrub and a frozen mescal. The result is a wondrous blend of smoky sweetness.
2 1/4 oz. of Xicaru Mezcal
1 oz. of Tequila Blanco
1/2 oz. of Triple Dec
1 1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Apple Shrub
1 1/4 oz Agave
Add 2 cups ice and blend. Swirl in a full bodied slightly sweet red wine for added complexity. Rim with salt and dehydrated apple powder. Or just salt.
Mexican Sugar’s La Sancha Margarita (pictured)
“When we created the La Sancha Margarita, we wanted to use ingredients with similar flavor profiles to the classic cocktail, but present them in a different way. The addition of spice and herbal flavors add to the depth of the traditional sweet and sour characteristics of a margarita, and the presentation as a martini adds to the romanticism of the cocktail,” Bonnie Wilson, director of independent bar concepts at Fork It Over Restaurants, says. “La Sancha means ‘woman on the side,’ and just like a mistress, this cocktail is everything familiar, yet exciting and different in a very attractive way.”
1 ½ oz Cazadores Reposado
½ oz Honey Syrup
½ oz Lemon Juice
2 dashes of Hellfire Habanero Shrub
Loose handful of cilantro
Shake with ice, then double strain into a skinny glass and serve up. Garnish with a cilantro leaf.