MR’s Guide to the Best Margarita

Because there’s never a bad time to try the tequila diet!

05.18.15
Original image via Glamour UK

We Man Repellers are a helpful bunch by nature. We enjoy giving directions (best public bathrooms, right this way). We like to help you get dressed. If we love a particular smoothie, we want you to try it. We don’t want our favorite oatmeal to be a secret — we want to shout about it from rooftops. We want to share hot chocolate like life is a John Cusack movie, and if we are ride or die about a specific iced coffee, we want you to ride beside us, and live.

To carry on our tradition of friends helping friends, we figured there’s no better way to begin the weekend than on the Tequila Diet. Because rosé gets old quickly.

And because it’s almost summer.

Picante de la Casa, Soho House NY

Leandra’s favorite margarita includes lime juice, jalapeño, and salt. This is tied with La Palapa’s mango margarita, which she describes as, “disgusting, frankly, with its mango puree and Triple Sec, but goes down so easy and accomplishes the dessert element of any respectable meal.”

Mi Casa, Tijuana Picnic

Esther likes her margaritas like everything else: “with a lot of tequila, smoke and mirrors.” She says that Tijuana Picnic’s Mi Casa strikes the perfect balance between bold — think mezcal, smoked salt lining the rim — and fresh: agave and fresh lime top off this chica.

Classic Margarita, Bar Sardine

Amelia likes this margarita first and foremost for the ice cubes. They are satisfyingly large and clink-y. Served in squat tumbler glasses, the margarita at this West Village bar is not too sweet and goes great with their burrata, their oysters, and their french fries. Pro tip: be patient and wait for a window seat. It’s worth it.

Spicy Cucumber, Empellón Taqueria

Esther embarrassingly but not incorrectly describes this drink as “spa water with a punch.” It’s perfect for those warm summer nights when you need a little refresh, a lot of booze, and can’t bear the thought of another glass of rosé.

Spicy Margarita, Wilfie & Nell

Kate and Amelia both vet for this West Village staple-margarita made with habanero agave, lime and grapefruit juice. Be prepared to fight your way to the bar, and wear comfortable shoes: you will be standing.

Tommy’s Margarita, Barrio Chino

As their menu says, “no shitty tequila.” There’s no sour mix, either. It’s made with El Jimador Reposado, hand squeezed lime and organic agave. Elizabeth likes it without the salt, asks for extra lime and if you get it spicy, then, damn. You’ll barely notice after three.

Guava Margarita, La Superior

Krista votes hard and high for the guava marg at this Williamsburg spot, but says the real pull is “the most realistic Mexican food I’ve found this north of the border, besides the street trucks in Harlem.”

Jargarita, Sweet & Vicious

If it’s not food you’re after, our eBay queen says go to Sweet & Vicious for the frozen margarita served in a jar (hence, jargarita); stay for the back patio and warm-weather people watching.

The Smoky Jalapeño, Ofrenda

Cristina (who first asked us to explain the difference between mom jeans and dad jeans) is sucker for jalapeño-flavored anything but says this margarita is the best. It’s spicy, but the jalapeño isn’t overpowering. It’s refreshing, delicious and has just the right amount of “Whoa, Nelly.”

But I Don’t Live in New York!

Kate doesn’t either. She also doesn’t really like tequila, but she makes an exception for her friend’s Wally Pops recipe: a specialty marg named after her friend’s dad.

You’ll need:
– 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
Do NOT make these with bottled lime juice. It will be gross. Fresh limes only. Enjoy the process. Except don’t actually hand squeeze them. That’s crazy. Get one of these. Or this.

– 1 part tequila
I like Milagro for margaritas. It’s still 100% agave, but the cost is reasonable.

– 1 part Triple Sec
Grand Marnier works, too.

Directions:
Squeeze the limes, add equal parts lime juice, tequila and triple sec. Shake/blend. Rub lime around edge of glass, dip rim in kosher salt (table salt’s way too salty). Pour over mini ice cubes and enjoy. Why mini ice cubes? Because you’re an adult, and it’s your right to replace all your standard ice trays with these.

*

And now it’s your turn, fellow comment-club margarita lovers. Which tequila tango has your vote for Best Of? Share recipes, stories of too many margs, and photos of your dog.

Looking for a sober treat for this hot summer days, too? Check out our picks for Iced Coffee and smoothies in this town. Check out our summer wine guide, too, and don’t forget to check out the fridge behind the girls of Yes Way Rosé

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  • Aydan

    Spicy margaritas are seriously the best! Topped with red pepper on the rim…Yummy!!

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  • Okay that Guava margarita sounds beyond amazing! The spicy margarita is right up my alley too! Need to learn how to make them

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

  • I’m more of a vodka girl. In fact, about 85% of my birthday cards last week mentioned something about vodka. Cute, right? I do enjoy a good marg from time to time and my favorites are coconut margaritas and spicy margaritas, the kind that really clear the sinuses. My favorite coconut margarita comes from a new place near my place, and according to the menu it is made with maestro dobel diamante, house triple sec, fresh lime, and coconut. I hate a salted rim, but love me a coco-ed rim.

  • Esther girl, I like your style. I am all about getting #burntup with some sweet smokey mezcal. My favorite drink I’ve had recently was the Saladito at The Varnish (which calls itself a speakeasy rather than a bar, to give you an idea of how seriously they take their vintageness) in LA – honey, fresh lime, mezcal and salt. Almost as delicious as the very Mumfordian waiter who kept bringing them to me. Somebody get me his telegraph information stat 😉

    • Esther Levy

      hmmm that sounds delicious. I will henceforth refer to all of my Brooklyn neighbors as “Mumfordian” thank you.

  • Allie Fasanella

    my sista and are moving to nyc june 1st. i know what were doing every night that week for happy hour. thanks buuuuds

  • Rhia B.

    I’ve switched from margaritas to palomas, with grapefruit soda instead of fresh lime (easier on the ol’ stomach lining). For the simplest version, pour a shot of tequila over ice, and add grapefruit soda (like Squirt). Then a squeeze of fresh lime and a dash of sea salt (right in the drink, not on the rim). For a paloma to go, drink a little out of a glass bottle of grapefruit Jarritos, and refill with tequila. That’s my perfect summer walking around drink.

    • parkzark

      that sounds delicious.

    • Elizabeth

      Seriously love a girl with a clever recipe!

    • Amelia Diamond

      my friend gabby drinks these!

    • Melissa

      That’s awesome. I have an ulcer so margaritas aren’t really for me anymore even though I love ’em. Might have to try this.

  • Sarah McCarron

    Gran Torres instead of Grand Marnier/Triple Sec. You’ll never go back.

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  • Denise
  • Aires Nuevos

    In love with margaritas !!
    come on ,summer !!!
    http://www.normcoregirl.com
    @normcoregirl

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  • cat

    so i used to manage a cocktail bar + vegetarian restaurant in cardiff called milgi [http://www.milgilounge.com] [trust me, you’ll love it] and there are only 2 margaritas worth having >>>

    * the first, on the sweet side, a melon margarita:
    – 35ml tequila, 15ml melon liqueur [not the green crap, try edmond briottet liqueur de melon], 15ml fresh lime juice, 10ml gomme. shaken, strained + served with a brown sugar rim

    * the second, on the stronger side, a blood orange + thyme smoked margarita:
    – muddle 3 sprigs of thyme in the shaker, add 50ml tequila, 15ml fresh lime juice, 15ml fresh blood orange juice, 15ml gomme. shaken, strained + served in a martini glass sprayed with laphroaig whiskey

    perfect

    • Amelia Diamond

      oh my god.

  • Kelsey Moody

    Barefoot Contessa’s Pink Grapefruit Marg is heaven, and begs the question, how easy was that??

    • Krista Anna Lewis

      Barefoot Contessa is my summer food spirit guide, or at least I want her to be.

  • Melissa

    I am very surprised to see something with Mezcal on this list. When I was younger (insert granny voice here) and lived nearer to the border I picked some up for grins and giggles. In my early twenties I thought I could drink anything but Mezcal proved me wrong. No matter what you paired it with, to me it always tasted like diesel fuel. Never did get to the worm in the bottom of the bottle.

  • Talia

    I went on a tour through the USA earlier this year and about half way through we discovered how good margaritas are (and by good I mean cheap- special mention to the $1 margaritas we has in vegas). I think I’ve only had maybe 3 here in Perth, but they became my drink of choice for the 4 weeks I was over there

  • I don’t want another ever after cinco de mayo 😛

    xx Daphne

    http://tostylewithlove.com

  • Jessica Peterson

    I just ate Mexican food and did not have a margarita because I love regrets.

  • Catalina

    chipotle margaritas…..