Cheers, Margarita!

Raise a glass to National Margarita Day—it’s the perfect time to explore new cocktails from local mixologists and revisit classics
Margarita Traditional

Photo Masa & Agave

It’s National Margarita Day once again—celebrated annually on Feb. 22—so it’s the perfect time to explore new Margarita cocktails from the mixologists at Masa & Agave, in downtown Minneapolis’ Hotel Ivy; Starling restaurant, opening soon in Edina; and Tattersall Distilling.

Plus, the team at Casamigos Tequila is sharing their signature Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita and the Blood Orange Margarita, which they say has everything we are looking for in a Margarita: The balance of the refreshing blood orange juice paired with the spice of the tajin rim creates a fiesta in your mouth.

When you’re looking to go out for a cocktail, Masa & Agave also has a build-your-own Margarita called the Margarita Al Gusto. Select an agave spirit from their collection of over 200 bottles and the mixologist will craft your Margarita with organic agave nectar and hand-squeezed lime juice. The glass is rimmed with your choice of salt including traditional, black lava, tajin, citrus, sal de gusano, hibiscus lime, or guajillo.

With this roundup of recipes, which also includes drinks made with mezcal, tequila’s cousin, you will have plenty to help you celebrate National Margarita Day and well into the upcoming weekends. And, as the late, great Jimmy Buffett said, “When life hands you limes, make Margaritas!”

Margarita Traditional

Makes 1 | Recipe by Tony Edgerton, Beverage Director of Masa & Agave

2 ounces blanco tequila
¾ ounce lime juice
¾ ounce dry Curacao
¼ ounce agave syrup
Salt, for rim
1 lime wheel, for garnish

Combine ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake vigorously. Pour into a half salted rimmed 10-ounce rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Harissa Margarita

Photo Starling

Harissa Margarita 

Makes 1 | Recipe by Mike Liay, Beverage Director of Starling

1½ ounces Harissa-Infused Blanco Tequila (see Note below)
¾ ounce lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce orange liqueur
1 lime wedge, for garnish

Build in a shaker tin, shake, and then strain into a salt rimmed glass. Top with a lime.

Note: For the harissa infused tequila: Put a few tablespoons of harissa (available at most grocery stores) into a jar with your favorite tequila. Shake it up, and then let it sit for a few hours to infuse. Strain out the harissa and stash it in the fridge.

Como la Flor

Photo Tattersall Distilling

Como la Flor 

Makes 1 | Recipe by Dan Oskey, co-owner of Tattersall Distilling

2 ounces Mezcal Joven (La Luna)
¾ ounce Tattersall Crème de Fleur
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce agave syrup
2 cucumber slices, divided

In a shaker tin, add mezcal, Crème de Fleur, lime juice, agave syrup, and 1 cucumber slice. Add ice and shake vigorously to break up the cucumber. Strain into cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with cucumber slice.

Mezcal Margarita

Photo Tattersall Distilling

Mezcal Margarita

Makes 1 | Recipe by Dan Oskey, co-owner of Tattersall Distilling

1 ounce Mezcal Joven (La Luna)
2 ounces Tattersall Salty Dog Grapefruit Flavored Vodka
½ ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce agave syrup
Lime wedge, for garnish

In a shaker tin, add mezcal, Salty Dog, lime juice, and agave syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in a Margarita glass or lowball glass (salt rim optional). Garnish with a lime wedge.

Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Photo Casamigos Tequila

Spicy Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Makes 1 | Recipe courtesy Casamigos Tequila

1½ ounces Casamigos Blanco Tequila
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce simple syrup
2 cucumber slices
1 jalapeño slice
Cucumber wheel and jalapeño slice, for garnish

Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker. Muddle 2 cucumber slices and jalapeño. Add ice, shake vigorously, and fine strain into a small rocks glass. Add fresh ice and garnish with cucumber and jalapeño slice.

Note: For a smoky variation, swap out Casamigos Blanco Tequila for Casamigos Mezcal Joven.

Spicy Blood Orange Margarita

Photo Casamigos Tequila

Blood Orange Margarita

Makes 1 | Recipe courtesy Casamigos Tequila

1½ ounces Casamigos Blanco Tequila or Casamigos Reposado Tequila
¾ ounce fresh blood orange juice
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
½ rim equal parts sugar/salt/tajín mixture
Blood orange wheel, for garnish

Wet ½ rim of glass with lime wheel or wedge and dip into salt mixture. Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker and muddle serrano pepper, if using. Add ice, shake vigorously, and fine strain into a rimmed rocks glass. Add fresh ice and garnish with orange wheel.

Note: To make spicy variation, add 2 serrano slices or 2 dashes Firewater Bitters.

Passionfruit Margarita

Makes 1 | by Tony Edgerton, Beverage Director of Masa & Agave

1½ ounces reposado tequila
½ ounce mezcal
½ ounce Chinola passion fruit
½ ounce pineapple
½ ounce lime
½ ounce Mike’s Hot Honey
Smoked guajillo salt, for rim

Combine ingredients, add ice, shake vigorously, and strain into glass.

Toasted Coconut Aquavit Margarita 

Makes 1 | Recipe by Dan Oskey, co-owner of Tattersall Distilling

1½ ounces Tattersall Toasted Coconut Aquavit
¾ ounce Tattersall Orange Crema
½ ounce fresh lime
¼ ounce simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, shake vigorously until well chilled, strain into a fun glass, and live it up for a little bit.
Check out this video to see the drink-making in action

Thirsty for More?

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.