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Make it a Margarita

Where to celebrate the classic cocktail on February 22


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Fairweather's classic Margarita

Every cocktail has its day. January 1 is, appropriately, Bloody Mary Day. June 19 is Martini Day. The Negroni gets a whole week and Repeal Day celebrates ’em all.

Margarita Day is coming up on Monday, February 22 — and if San Diegans should celebrate any cocktail in particular, this one’s it.

“The first margarita in the U.S. was actually in La Jolla,” says Mark Broadfoot, beverage director at Galaxy Taco. “A guy named Albert Hernandez went to Baja and brought back the recipe in the late ’30s.”

If you prefer to sit at home and sip, Broadfoot recommends this basic recipe:

2 oz. tequila
1 1/4 oz. fresh lime juice (fresh is key — skip the Rose’s)
1 oz. of a 50/50 blend of agave nectar and water — or, Broadfoot suggests, play with sweeteners like pomegranate molasses

On February 22, you’ll also find plenty of spots around town highlighting their best take on a margarita with offerings ranging from classic to mouth-tingling:

Ironside's Tourista 

Cantina Mayahuel: This is my go-to restaurant for a nice, basic margarita (Fortaleza is their house tequila). Their mezcal margarita, made with El Silencio, is only $5 during happy hour, which runs all day Monday.

Fairweather: If the warm weather holds up, this outdoor bar near Petco Park is an ideal place to sip Anthony Schmidt’s classic margarita (blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, agave syrup, house-made orange liqueur).

Galaxy Taco: Classic margaritas are $6 all day. Broadfoot has the rare day off, but feel free to chat up bar staff about tequila and mezcal — there’s a stellar selection here.

Ironside Fish & Oyster: Love a margarita with some bite? Ironside’s Tourista combines mezcal, tequila, house-made tamarind and orgeat syrups and Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub.

Puesto: At $16, it ain’t cheap, but Puesto’s Mercado Margarita is made with top-shelf ingredients: Casa Noble Crystal organic tequila, Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao, Point Loma Farms organic lime, grapefruit and clementine juices and a hint of agave.

Blind Burro: Order the house margarita (Sauza Blue Silver tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, agave nectar) and you can add muddled jalapeño or candied jalapeño syrup. And while “Bottomless Margaritas” often signals cheap ingredients, here, for $17, you’ll get a quality base: your choice of Espolon blanco tequila or El Silencio mezcal.

Café 21: At Cafe 21’s Gaslamp location, order a Jalapeño Pear Margarita (organic jalapeño-infused tequila, muddled pear, lime juice, agave syrup) and get the second one at half price.

Noble Experiment: Try Adele Stratton’s visionary twist on a margarita called The Flycatcher, made with mezcal, Campari, watermelon and lime juices, orgeat and a pinch of salt.

Ocean Bar @ Pacifica Del Mar: All cocktails will be on special ($8), including the Miracle Margarita (Milagro tequila, hibiscus liqueur, fresh lime juice, agave syrup) and the Pineapple-Chipotle Margarita (Herradura tequila, pineapple juice, chipotle-infused agave syrup, fresh lime juice).

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