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, February 22 is National Margarita Day, which means you get a pass.
Of course, Floridians don't need a designated day as an excuse to relax and sip a cold one. Margaritas are year-round here. Every variation begins with a good tequila; then it's up to the bartender to add a touch of flair. Here are the ten best in Miami.
1220 16th St., Miami Beach
Try the Pico Picante ($13), 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.
The Bazaar by José Andrés
1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
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 ($14-$16). A classic cocktail is graced with a touch of salt "air" — a briny foam that makes it seem as if your cocktail was kissed by a mermaid.
Gianni's at the Villa
1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
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 and gold flakes.
1111 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood
Every day is a perfect day to enjoy a margarita. Multiple margaritas ($8 to $15) abound at Jimmy Buffett's 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.
1000 S. Miami Ave., Miami
Barman Leo Holtzman's Gardner's margarita ($11) at SoCal 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.
Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar
1313 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
How about a little spice with your margarita? Take Rocco's Tacos' jalapeño margarita ($10.75). The libation is made with jalapeño-infused tequila offset with an orange liqueur, Rocco’s house-made sour mix, and agave nectar. It's a pleasant balance of sweet with a kick.
Regent Cocktail Club
1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Regent Cocktail Club's version ($15) is a fresh take on the classic. After a generous pour of tequila, it calls for mint, lime, and bubbles. Add in the Regent's dark, classy setting, and you have a sexy, warm experience unlike any other.
TacoCraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar
5829 SW 73rd St., South Miami
Life is short: Eat tacos and drink tequila. Well, at least that's what you can do at TacoCraft, where you can choose from more than 150 tequilas and mezcals for your margarita (prices vary). Visit Monday for $5 margaritas.
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9700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
Makoto's grilled pineapple margarita ($13) is the perfect complement to the restaurant's Asian flavors. For its margarita, Makoto infuses tequila with grilled pineapple and tinges it with cilantro. A spicy-salty rim seals the deal.
Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican
501 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach
Cantina Laredo at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach offers the Cabo Flip. The concoction — made with fresh lime juice, Cabo Wabo reposado, and Grand Marnier — is served with a lime boat full of tequila ($12.75).