It's time to pull out those sombreros, maracas, and ponchos next week -- or don't, that's called cultural appropriation, actually.
But you can still stock up on tequilas and Mexican brews in preparation.
America's favorite Mexican holiday is coming back around on Monday. And it's time to honor our southern neighbors for the day. That's right, it's about to be the fifth of May.
Although there are plenty of Cinco de Mayo festivities taking place, we figured it was about time to look into one of the most-beloved Mexican-spirit-infused drinks, margaritas.
We sipped and sampled our way through the drinking establishments and taco joints around South Florida to bring you a list of the ten best margaritas in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Remember: Drink responsibly.
10. Tequila Sunrise
One of the longest Mexican go-tos in Broward County, this Oakland Park eatery is nothing special from the outside. But once you step through those strip-mall doors, something magical happens. The comfortable spot offers homey fare and some of the best margaritas in the 954 -- one of which received our pick for as one of the best in 2007. Everything is available in supersized 46-ounce portions (and regular-sized) drinks. But our favorite is the Ultimate Golden Margarita, with 100 percent agave Exotico Reposado Tequila shaken with Gran Gala (a brandy-based orange liqueur) and house-made, fresh-squeezed margarita mix. It's crisp and will get you drunk in a jiffy.
9. Tap 42's Te-Kill-Ya
Although one would think anyone could mix together a decent margarita -- liquor store shelves are stocked with plenty of mixes, obviously -- everything is better when it's part of the craft movement. (Think of the beers you're drinking these days.) The preeminent cocktail hangout in Broward County, it's no surprise that this place would make a creative version of one of the world's most popular drinks. The Te-Kill-Ya mingles Maestro Dobel Diamond tequila with spiced agave, fresh lime, hand-squeezed orange juice, and just a dash of chipotle bitters for the ultimate craft margarita.
8. Dos Camino's Calle Fresca
Set in the historic Yankee Clipper hotel, this Day of the Dead-inspired spot serves a wide range of tequila and interesting Mexican cocktails. The menu runs the gamut from simple to chili-infused liquor selections mixed with tropical fruit. Though there's something for every tequila fan, we opt for the Calle Fresca ($12) every time. The cooling combo incorporates Cazadores Blanco, mango, and cucumber topped with a piquant ancho salt rim. It's so good, it'll make your palate tingle with excitement -- well, maybe that's the chili.
7. Cantina Laredo's Tres Amigos
We couldn't do a list on margaritas without including Snooki's tequila cocktail of choice. Although the Jersey Shore sweetheart (sort of) may have calmed down in her old age (sort of), we still know plenty of heavy drinkers looking to combine the sweet taste of Mexican lager with citrusy margarita and a shot of tequila on the side. No, it's not your traditional margarita, but it'll surely get you drunk in a hurry. Take it from Snooki.
6. T-Mex Cantina's Loco Rita
There's something called the 10,000 hours rule; it states that a trade or task could be mastered after practicing 10,000 hours. Whether that belief actually holds up across the board, we have no idea. But we do know that the margarita-slinging tenders of bar here surely know how to mix a perfect cocktail -- in this case, practice most certainly does make perfect. That's why the signature Loco Rita ($9) is so good. A simple mix of 1800 Reposado tequila, Combier triple sec, and premium sour mix, this margarita is straightforward and utterly smooth.
5. Steak 954's Diosa
One of the best places to find a fancy cocktail in all of Broward, this beachfront bar and restaurant offers a creative take on the Cinco de Mayo classic. Clear Corzo Blanco tequila is fused with a fragrant pineapple shrub and fresh lime in the Diosa ($14). The bracing drink is perfect for sipping on the patio, in the fresh ocean breeze. Although, you'll probably want to suck down more than a few.
4. Rocco's Taco's Cadillac Margarita
This local chain has one of the largest selections of tequila in South Florida (maybe even the state). So it should come as no surprise that it mixes up a damned good margarita. Although there is an entire list from which to choose, we prefer the spot's high-class spin on the classic. The Cadillac Margarita, available by the glass or pitcher ($12.50/$32), blends El Mayor Anejo tequila, Grand Marnier orange liqueur, and Rocco's House-made sour mix. It's simple yet oh-so-good.
3. Kapow! Noodle Bar's Spicy Lover
They say "Some like it hot." Here, that most certainly is the case. While this spot may be more of the Asian persuasion than a Mexican tequila joint, its talented bartenders definitely know how to throw down in the margarita department. The spicy lover ($10 -- $5 on Cinco de Mayo) mixes Partida reposado with cool cucumber, sour lime juice, distinctive green tabasco, invigorating cilantro, and sweet organic agave nectar. And the combo hits all the flavor nails on the head for the ideal merger of east meets west.
2. El Camino's Chile-Guava Margarita
New to the whole tequila bar scene, El Camino has an impressive selection of Mexican-inspired drinks. From mezcal mules ($10) to pomegranate palomas ($10) to tequila old-fashioneds ($12) to an entire list of margaritas, this place can tempt any tequila-loving palate. While you pretty much can't go wrong, we pick favorites -- and we're certainly not ashamed of it! The chili-guava margarita combines smooth "rested" reposado tequila with sweet and fragrant guava and a spicy chili tincture for a drink that is refreshing and hot at the same time.
1. Canyon Southwest Cafe's Prickly Pear Margarita
Just because the color is bright enough and pink enough to get your average sorority girl doing backflips does not mean this margarita shouldn't be taken seriously. It may be pinker than Elle Woods' entire wardrobe, but this prickly pear margarita isn't nearly as sickeningly sweet as it looks. Complemented by acidic lime, the flavor of the cacti is refreshing, more like watermelon than anything else. It may look girly, but it's one of the most potent and mind-blowing margaritas you'll find in all of Broward and Palm Beach. The drink is, in fact, so good that it's won New Times' Best Margarita on at least three occasions. And it's still just as pleasurable as ever.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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