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Where to grab a margarita on National Margarita Day

February 20, 2019

Any day that gives us an excuse to duck into a restaurant for a colorful cocktail is a good day in our book. It’s even more special when the aforementioned cocktail is the humble margarita. Maybe you like to stick to the basics (a classic margarita on the rocks with salt is enough to get anyone’s party grooving). But maybe you want to crank the volume up a notch and try something that’s a little bit different from your previous boozy encounters with the drink—playful riffs on the tried-and-true recipe. In other words, whether you’re a traditionalist or an adventurous margarita imbiber, you’ll find exactly the right concoction that’ll tickle your fancy (and your taste buds) at these local institutions.

El Cholo

The food at El Cholo has been winning an audience since the joint opened its doors back in the 20’s. But the drinks menu is also noteworthy, particularly the margaritas on offer. Go for the El Cholo Margarita, aka the purest expression of the drink and a recipe the restaurant has been loyal to since 1967. The traditional version already evokes feelings of warm-weather days, but swing for the coconut margarita, and you’ll be in for a more tropical surprise. Rimmed with toasted coconut, this marriage between piña colada and a margarita is the kind of syrupy sweet drink that’ll make you want to *gasp* skip dessert.

SOL Mexican Cocina

In perusing the libations menu, it’s hard not to be taken aback by the sheer variety of margaritas at this Baja-style eatery. The fanciful creations include the Blackberry Ginger marg, a concoction whipped up with fresh blackberries, blanco tequila, a dash of fresh lime, agave nectar and of course, ginger, which lends the drink a bit of subtle kick. Want to spice things up even more? Don’t pass up SOL’s Pineapple Serrano margarita, a fruity sipper that borrows some much-needed heat from serrano peppers. What’s more, the folks at SOL tell us they’ll be slinging their house margarita—on the rocks or frozen—for just $1 on National Margarita Day (Limit is one per person). Oh, and did we mention there’s a breathtaking view of the harbor to take in while you get your buzz on?

Photo Credit: SOL Mexican Cocina

Javier’s

With its warm, refined ambiance, this upscale Mexican eatery serves up fare that’s equal parts high-style and comfort. One of the menu’s focal points, you’ll be excited to hear, is an expansive selection of margaritas. The libations run the gamut of fruit-blended concoctions to the raspberry-liqueur-based Aroma De Mujer to the sweet-and-sour Granada. Don’t leave without trying the Tamarindo, another twist on the classic. Because as it turns out, tequila and tamarind paste are a match made in cocktail heaven: the paste’s sweet, spicy notes deliciously melt into the tequila’s roasted-agave flavors. One sip, and you’ll be immediately hooked.

Photo Credit: Javier’s

Avila’s El Ranchito

Just a stone’s throw away from the marina, this local chain likes to keep things simple. With a menu that touts unfussy Mexican dishes, there’s never a long decision on what to order. Everything is bound to hit the spot. But the food—and of course, Taco Tuesdays—isn’t the only thing to love here. The libations at Avila’s El Ranchito are the perfect thirst quenchers, no matter what kind of day you’re having. Think: A tall glass of cucumber-infused margarita, or a fresh muddled watermelon margarita, or insert-fruit-here margarita, because chances are, they’ll have it if said fruit is in season. Even if you claim not to be a “margarita person,” you’re going to find it hard not to give this stuff a try.

Avila's

Photo Credit: Avila’s El Ranchito

Wild Taco

Whenever Taco Rosa crops up in a conversation about lunch options, your answer should always be an enthusiastic, high-pitched “yes.” With its laid-back vibe, this place has all the trappings of a go-to, beachy eatery that can cure all weather-related woes in the blink of an eye (or a sip of a margarita). Warm your soul right up with Wild Taco’s jalapeño margarita, a concoction whipped up with fresh chopped jalapeños and tequila blend and finished with lime juice. The booze at the heart of this perennial favorite drink is the Sabe Blanco, a mix of blanco tequila from Mexico and premium sake from Japan. What’s more, we’re told the eatery will be putting its margaritas on special, in honor of National Margarita Day. Cheers to that!

Red O 

Nestled in Fashion Island—aka one of Newport Beach’s most-sought-after shopping destinations—Red O is perhaps the perfect spot to hunker down after an afternoon of retail therapy. This Mexican-inspired concept boasts dishes made with local and sustainable ingredients and expertly executed cocktails. On the libations menu, there are 15 margaritas on offer—proof that this establishment takes its tequila seriously. Go for the Chillaxin, a cucumber-infused take on the classic, or the Berry Lavender, which packs quite a punch with its offbeat ingredients. Think: blueberries, mint, agave, elderflower liqueur, served on the rocks with lavender-salted rim and fresh lavender basil blossom and backed by Sauza Hornitos Reposado tequila. Trust us—you’re going to want to swing for a whole pitcher.

Red O

Photo Credit: Red O


Written By: Mariam Makatsaria

Written by Dine Newport Beach

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