The Ten Best Margaritas in South Florida

The Ten Best Margaritas in South Florida
Courtesy of Margaritaville
When it comes to refreshing alcoholic beverages, few concoctions compete with the margarita. The mojito aside, it's practically the unofficial drink of South Florida.

Although downing margaritas all day is not generally good life advice, today is February 22 — National Margarita Day — so everyone in these parts will be enjoying them.

Of course, Floridians don't need an excuse to relax and sip a cold one. The proper margarita begins with a good tequila; then it's up to the bartender to add a touch of flair. Here are the ten best in South Florida:
click to enlarge COURTESY OF BODEGA
Courtesy of Bodega
1. Bodega
Try the Pico Picante, Bodega's version of a margarita. It's made with Maestro Dobel tequila, Ilegal Joven mezcal, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeño, lime, and orange bitters, and comes garnished with sliced cucumber.
2. The Bazaar by José Andrés and Bazaar Mar
Chef José Andrés loves to play with his food. He adds whimsical touches to his dishes to create memorable bites. It's no wonder, then, that the same care is taken with his restaurants' margarita. A classic cocktail is graced with a touch of salt "air" — a briny foam that makes it seem as if your cocktail were kissed by a mermaid.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF GIANNI'S
Courtesy of Gianni's
3. Gianni's at the VIlla
Go big with this restaurant's 24 Karat Golden Margarita ($24), prepared with gold-infused El Cartel tequila, Grand Marnier, and fresh orange and lime juices. It's poured over ice and finished with a salt rim.
Courtesy of Margaritaville
4. Margaritaville
Every day is a perfect day to enjoy a margarita. Even more perfect is that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the debut of Jimmy Buffett’s song "Margaritaville," which was released in 1977 on the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. Multiple margaritas abound at his Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, but try the classic Booze in the Blender, which comes in its own blender for you to keep if you're a die-hard Parrot Head.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF SOCAL
Courtesy of SoCal
5. SoCal
Barman Leo Holtzman's Gardner's margarita ($11) at SoCal (1000 S. Miami Ave., Miami) is a gorgeous rose-colored drink that gets its name (and freshness) from red bell peppers, cucumbers, and serrano chilies. Herradura tequila is used in this perfectly sweet and savory cocktail.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna