The round-up: celebrate margarita month in style by knocking back some of Brisbane’s best
The margarita – the cocktail so nice there’s a whole month dedicated to it. Margarita Month is officially underway, and with it being the last month of summer, what better time to make sure you’ve ticked Brisbane’s best margarita spots off your must-try list. We’ve rounded-up a selection of Brisbane tin shakers that make a mean marg – from the salt-rimmed wonders to tongue-tingling Tommy’s and beyond …
Baja, Brisbane City: At Baja, picking just one margarita from its cocktail menu is a tough ask. If you’ve got time for more than one, great. If you press us for a single recommendation, we’d opt for the Coco Loco. Putting a tropical spin on the traditional margarita, this winner blends Tromba Blanco with coconut, jalapeno syrup and citrus. Sweet, with a bit of a kick – the perfect mix, if you ask us.
Cartel Del Taco, Hawthorne: While most folks flock to Cartel Del Taco to devour plate after plate of tip-top tacos, the taqueria’s bar is no slouch on the margarita front. While there’s no wrong choice here, our pick would be the La Chula, a refreshing mix that sees 818 Tequila shaken up with watermelon, cointreau, chilli, lime, Peychaud’s Bitters and a zingy chamoy rim.
El Planta, South Brisbane: We’re a sucker for a seasonal special. Right now, El Planta has an absolute beauty that we’re allured by. El Planta’s rhubarb margarita is made using a house mix of ecoSPIRITS tequila, mezcal and house-made rhubarb syrup resulting in a sip that’s citrusy, tangy, sweet and a little bit smoky.
LOS, Fortitude Valley: sAme sAme’s upstairs cocktail bar, LOS, is a trove of top-shelf tequila, with more than 100 bottles filling the back-bar shelves. It stands to reason, then, that the bar makes a mean margarita. Our assumptions are correct – the Thai Thai Tommy’s, made with Plata tequila, pineapple, green chilli, makrut lime and agave, is a punchy option that’ll tantalise lips and tastebuds.
Rita’s, Teneriffe: What’s the specialty at Rita’s? Well, it’s all in the name. Taking pride in concocting nothing but absolute bangers, Rita’s boundary-pushing margarita menu sees out-of-the-box ingredients like house-made jams and even Australian gins and whiskies infused into the mix. Lucky for curious cocktail seekers, Rita’s has just updated its cocktail menu. It’s hard to pick a stand-out from the range, but we’re drawn to the Lavender Marg, which is slightly dry and sweet on the palate, courtesy of Cazadores Blanco tequila, Autonomy triple sec, fresh lime, pineapple and house-made lavender syrup.
MAYA Mexican, Fortitude Valley: At MAYA, The Valley’s sky-high party spot, variety is the spice of life. The bar has six signature margarita options on its menu to choose from, but between February 21–25, the bar will be giving folks the chance to customise their own marg from a mix of bases, ages, rims and flavours. Start by picking from the likes of Casamigos, Fortaleza and Tromba tequila or Ilegal and Senorio mezcal, then pick between blanco, reposado and anejo varieties. Then, you’ve got a choice of rim (sea salt, chilli sali, tajin, Cyrpus black salt, matcha or cinnamon) and then make it spicy, add a touch of hazelnut, punch it up with yuzu or sweeten it with strawberry and mandarin.
Stranded, Fortitude Valley: At this rough-and-tumble boozer, liberal amounts of mezcal can be found across its cocktail menu. If it’s your first time ascending up the red-neon-lit stairs, opt for the Casa Margarita. Though a simple recipe based on the fixtures of agave and lime, the smoky notes of Nuestra Soledad mezcal will certainly give the tastebuds of tipple seekers an unexpected (but enjoyable) kick.
Mama Taco, West End: The team at Mama Taco aren’t shy about putting some Mexican-inspired riffs on classic cocktails (its Mezcal Negroni and Agave Old Fashioned are must-try tipples), but when it comes to margaritas, it’s classic all the way. The Mama Taco Margarita boasts a blend of Tequila Ocho, Cointreau, lime and salt, while the Tommy’s Marg mixes Tequila Arette with agave and lime. Simple yes, but sometimes you can’t beat an OG.
Gerard’s Bar, Fortitude Valley: At Gerard’s Bar, most of its cocktails boast a bit of a Middle Eastern spin. So, if you’re seeking a margarita that’s a little bit different from the norm, pop in for the Baharat Margarita. Milagro silver tequila is mixed with mezcal, apricot brandy, lime, baharat-spiced falernum and salt to delicious results.
Carmen Tequileria, Fortitude Valley: When a venue has tequila in its name, it’s almost a given that the margs are a specialty. As is the case at Carmen Tequileria on James Street. This oasis-inspired nosh spot has some sensational sipping options on the menu, but we’ve been told the Hibiscus Margarita is a top pick. A mix of Herradura Blanco, Cointreau, lime juice, hibiscus concentrate and a splash of sugar syrup is served on ice in a rocks glass, which has been lightly dusted with a tajin rim and some hibiscus salt as a garnish.
Viva La Cali, Fortitude Valley: With a name like Viva La Cali, you just know the margs are on point. The team goes to great lengths to ensure that its cocktail list not only looks amazing, but tastes even better, using tinctures, fat washes, infusions and house made syrups to create some marvellous margaritas. Take the Bugs Bunny Margarita, for example. The team has infused reposado tequila with sour carrot, agave and salt to create something trule unique – a lip-smacking savoury number you’ll come back again for.
Pepe’s, various locations: A long-time fan favourite amongst Mexican food connoisseurs, Pepe’s not only takes pride in its fare, but also its cocktails. All of its locations are amply stocked with tequila and mezcal, so you could feasibly have the team concoct your dream margarita. If you’re happy to take a recommendation, it’s hard to go past the premium El Chapo Margarita, boasting top-shelf 100-percent agave Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Famila Platino tequila, Grand Marnier, lime and a rock-salt rim.
Mama De Luna, Wilston: Those in the know point to Mama De Luna in Wilston Village as one of the best spots for an authentic Mexican feed. They’ll also tell you that the margaritas are similarly on point, with tequila- and mezcal-infused options available. For a refreshing choice, the watermelon marg goes down a treat, but the spice heads amongst you will no doubt froth Mama De Luna’s jalapeno marg.
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