My 5 Favorite NYC Margaritas

zmargempellon.jpg
The house margarita at Empellón Cocina


By legend, the margarita was invented around 1940 in an Italian restaurant in Ensenada, Mexico, to commemorate the visit of the daughter of the German ambassador, who happened to be named Margarita. Now, you can get a margarita -- often, a sweetish mixed drink featuring tequila and lime juice or citrus liqueur -- at nearly any bar in town. But which is the best?

Though they're available iced, neat, or frozen like an icee in a variety of fruit flavors, I prefer them simple, strong, and on the rocks, normally eschewing what comes cranked out of machines. I also prefer to drink them in Mexican restaurants, since the drink so perfectly marries with south-of-the-border food. Here are my five favorites, in order of increasing preference.


5. House Margarita at Empellón Cocina (above) -- In a squat glass with a rim coated in smoked salt, the house version of the famous cocktail is made with Pueblo Viejo Blanco, and can be goosed up with a tincture of serrano peppers, which adds a welcome but mild jolt, more flavor than heat. 105 First Avenue, 212-780-0999


zmargfelicia13.jpg
4. Flaming Margarita at Florencia 13 -- Lit by a blue flicker, the drink arrives dramatically at your table and makes the day feel like your birthday. Tall and strong, this margarita is one of several at this Cal-Mex hideout, offered at steep discounts during a daily 4-to-7 p.m. happy hour. 185 Sullivan Street, 212-677-6830


zmargrosa.jpg
3. Frozen Pomegranate Margarita at Rosa Mexicano -- You'll throw away your objections to frozen margaritas when you taste this subtle, fruity masterpiece, long the signature mixed drink of this upscale NYC (and Washington, D.C.) chain. 61 Columbus Avenue, 212-977-7700


zmargtortaria.jpg
2. Margarita de la Casa at Tortaria -- This fine specimen is also one of the cheapest in the city, priced at $5 all the time. Tortaria's version must be what the drink originally tasted like, before the blandishments of mixologists. 94 University Place, 212-776-1830


Location Info

Empellón Cocina

105 First Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Florencia 13

185 Sullivan St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Rosa Mexicano

61 Columbus Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Tortaria

94 University Place, New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Anejo Tequileria

668 10th Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Caryn Macron
Caryn Macron

that frozen pomegranate marg from rosa mexicano, with their guac and chips, is heavenly.

Jesse Edward Lucero
Jesse Edward Lucero

Margarita Ruedas Juan Carlos Anzaldo Mary Middleton Tomorrow is national Margarita day!

Rlwortman
Rlwortman

I agree. Anejo's signature margarita is the best I've ever had.

Charlie
Charlie

go to "hecho en dumbo" at bowery 354..ask for Charlie-Bartender.... best Margaritas ever!!

Godotnut
Godotnut

Sounds like you still haven't made it out to Chavella's, Robert. Ask Ann in Clinton Hill to take you. Please sample their tequila bar and get back to us with a revised list. The bartenders can recommend better than I can, as they are always inventing awesome new infused margaritas, and they have the best selection of tequilas in NYC.

hater1000
hater1000

mesa coyoacan makes great margaritas also. 

Loading...