Celebrating National Margarita Day

There’s something special about drinking a margarita. The tangy lime juice that hits your tongue along with a burst of earthy, robust tequila is simply decadent. Maybe it’s the sweet and tart combo that captures us, or the fact that tequila gives us the “warm and fuzzies.” Either way, we look forward to a margarita when we’re celebrating and National Margarita Day on February 22.

In honor of National Margarita Day, several members of the extended TABLE family recall their favorite margaritas.

Keith Recker, Editor-in-Chief

The most unforgettable margarita I ever tasted came out of a slushy machine at Caramba!, a 1980s psuedo-Mexican restaurant on Broadway just south of Astor Place in Manhattan. Because it was adjacent to the then-motherlode of record stores, Tower Records, I passed by the place many times. Tricked out in neon and Miami Vice colors, it was the height of punk-pop boom-boom 80s chic. Because “zero-based budgeting” was my rule in those days, meaning my budget was zero, I did not enter.

The Legendary Caramba! Margarita

In 1986, however, a work colleague who had a map of NYC bars encoded in her hypothalamus said that Caramba! had the best margaritas and the best happy hour crowd. Proof of this, she told our little group at the office, was the fact that halfway through a second round, her best friend stood up, emptied her glass into a stranger’s shopping bag filled with brand new cashmere sweaters, and left. While I suspected that this tale was more of a reason to stay away than to go, I was young. I had not reached the required quota of stupid mistakes. We went.

The first margarita was tart, very, very cold, and obviously heavy with booze. So heavy that I think some serious science went into its making. Oppenheimer must have engineered it right after he worked on the atomic bomb. Am I making it sound anything less than delicious? Then I am leading you astray. It was fantastic. So fantastic that a second one seemed like the best idea anyone had ever had. I remember the second round arriving… six huge icy cups, a couple of them overflowing onto the bar. Six neon colored straws. Six tiny wedges of fresh lime.

The Legendary After-effects of a Caramba! Margarita

I do not remember drinking mine. However, I recall waking up at 1:45 a.m., alone in Brooklyn on the F train, 16 stops farther than I needed to go. I found my way to the other side of the station to catch a train heading in the other direction. I arrived home two hours later. Caramba! and I never saw each other again. Not long after, the Universe removed all temptation to try again because Caramba! closed its doors. 

Alex Hanna, Editor at Large

I love margaritas. I’ll drink them just about anywhere. From the big old bowls of overly sweet party concoctions you might find in the Midwest, to the smaller shot-glass-sized, extremely tart ones you find throughout Mexico. But for my money, the best margaritas in the world are right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And no one does it better than the tourist mecca of The Shed and its more local, friendly-sister restaurant La Choza. I get their Silver Coin version on the rocks with salt. It has the exact balance of tart and sweet as well as the “smooth and boozy” combo that I like. Pair with their perfect guacamole for lunch and plan on cancelling the rest of your afternoon. 

Jim McPartlin, Team Building Enneagram Consultant

I recall a perfect margarita imbibed under the perfect circumstances at the One and Only Palmilla in Mexico. I was seated at Breeze, their outdoor bar/cafe right on the Pacific shore. Perfect sunset. Delicious margarita. Wonderful, warming memory to hold on in the mind on February 22. (Is it ok to ask why National Margarita Day is in February?)

Julia Platt Leonard, Regional Editor

My first proper margarita (I won’t count the all-you-can-drink frozen margarita brunch I had in NYC in the late 80s…) was at historic El Farol in Santa Fe. The memory is slightly blurry, shall we say, but I remember the tang of lime, the lick of salt, and warm hug of tequila. That and a live band, some questionable dancing, and an alarm that went off far too early the next morning. 

Cat Zaney, Senior Advertising Representative

In Wilmington, North Carolina I visited a restaurant called RumCow and imbibed their Spicy Peach Margarita. Best ever. Deliciously spicy and sweet all at once…much like myself after emptying my glass, if I may say!

Stephanie Cravotta, Director of Digital Advertising

The ultimate margarita lies in the delectable balance of tartness and a perfectly salted rim, making every sip an absolute delight. You can find me at Round Corner Cantina (now Esquilina Cantina) in Pittsburgh enjoying a girls night out or mixing up margarita recipes at home for the family.

Looking to celebrate National Margarita Day yourself? Mix up one (or all) of our signature margarita recipes and sip the night away.

Marigold Margarita

A reposado cocktail that pleases the palate and the eye. Photo by Tira Howard

 

Aged tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and elderflower liqueur make up the delicious golden liquid of our Marigold Margarita. It’s a little earthy, a little tangy, and packs a punch thanks to the 1414 ArteNOM Reposado Tequila. 

Prickly Pear Margarita

A dark-pinkish red prickly pear margarita sits in a salt-rimmed glass in front of a green background.

A blast of refreshment and a little bit of tartness hit you in every sip of our Prickly Pear Margarita. We recommend using unaged agave or Blanco tequilas for their clear and crisp finish. 

Campo Lavender Margarita

Fresh from Los Poblanos, a refreshing cocktail made from their signature crop.

Albuquerque restaurant Campo shares their perfect recipe for a margarita with citrus and floral notes that complement each other well. In the Campo Lavender Margarita, orange liqueur, lemon, and lime juice cut through the lavender simple syrup while still letting the tequila take the spotlight.

Pineapple Habanero Margarita

a glass of Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita

Cool down with this tropical take on a margarita. The Pineapple Habanero Margarita uses Cimarron Reposado, pineapple juice, lime juice, and a homemade habanero simple syrup that you can use in other recipes besides this one.

Margarita, A Cocktail for Cancer

A margarita cocktail for cancer in a small blue glass with a lime garnish and salt rim. Selenite sits near by on the black table.

For our zodiac cocktail series, the margarita had to be the perfect match for compassionate Cancer thanks to its ability to bring people together. This Margarita recipe is a classic, simple one that’s a staple to have in your cocktail recipe wheelhouse. 

Spicy Orange NA-rgarita

A white man's arm and hand holds a Spicy Orange NA-rgarita (a Margarita Mocktail) on a black filled with mocktail mixing supplies.

Here’s a non-alcoholic version for all those wishing to enjoy the flavors of a margarita without the headache afterwards. Fresh orange and spicy agave syrup combine with an alcohol-free tequila in this delicious and lively Spicy Orange NA-rgarita.

Story by Kylie Thomas

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