Tequila, lime juice, sweet and sour, and a little salt on the rim. This simple Mexican classic is commonly believed to have originated in a 1941 at Hussong’s Cantina in Esenada, Mexico, as a bartender’s attempt to impress a visiting German ambassador’s daughter, Margarita Henkel. But the margarita has come a long way since the ‘40s, and countless flavors and variations now dominate bars and cantinas across North America.
You can find few of these delicious renditions around Baton Rouge if you know where to look. Fortunately, DIG does, and we’re sharing our best suggestions just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant
This grande frozen margarita comes in two variations: strawberry swirl with an Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager upside down in the glass, or raspberry swirl with Abita Purple Haze. The saltiness of the Abita cuts the sweetness of the fruity margaritas to make this one deliciously balanced beverage.
Zippy’s Burritos, Tacos, & More
Nothing like a styrofoam cup the size of your head at 2 a.m. The biggest margarita in town weighs in at a whopping 44 ounces and comes in both house ($12) and top shelf ($13.50) varieties. If you’re taking on this challenge, make sure you get a good seat on the patio and bring a designated driver.
THE VELVET HEAT
The Velvet Cactus
Can you handle it? This drink combines Sauza Blue Reposado tequila, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and habanero infused simple syrup. A little salty, a little tangy, and spicy enough to give you a little something to remember it by. If you’re an adventurous drinker, this one’s for you.
THE 99-CENT MARG
So maybe this 99-cent margarita isn’t the biggest—it comes in an eight-ounce glass—but it packs a surprising punch to make up for its small stature. Five bucks should be more than enough for you to get your fill of these bargain-priced beauties.
BLUBERRY BASIL MARGARITA
Imagine the summertime vibe of a margarita with the depth and personality of a mojito, and you’re getting close to La Carreta’s Blueberry Basil Margarita. Infused with muddled blueberries and basil leaves, this drink brings some darker and more complex flavors to the margarita’s traditionally bright and playful lime notes.
THE TOP SHELF
If you’ve been to Superior Grill, you know they have the strongest margaritas in town. So what’s the strongest of the strong? Their Top Shelf Margarita starts with Milagro tequila boasting a 40 to 45 percent alcohol volume and replaces the typical triple sec with GranGala, a powerful (also 40 triple orange liqueur made from Italian brandy infused with the essence of fresh oranges. Hold on to your barstool for this one.
THE MAGIC MARGARITA
Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant
You’ve definitely never had a margarita like this before. Order the Magic Margarita and you’ll be presented with a glass of shaved ice topped with a cloud of cotton candy. The magic happens when your server pours a shaker of tequila and lime juice to dissolve the cotton candy into the drink and meld it all into one wonderfully weird margarita.
El Paso Mexican Grill
There’s a time and place for all kinds of fantastical imaginings of this tequila cocktail, but sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned margarita. If you’re looking for one of the purest embodiments of the classic, head to El Paso for a carefully crafted glass of sunshine.
Olive or Twist
Part of Olive or Twist’s extensive Sunday brunch craft mimosa menu, the MimosaRita brings together tequila, lime, agave nectar, and champagne for a delightfully fizzy take on the marg.