Ah, Cinco de Mayo — the holiday of infinite mediocre margs. While a properly-made margarita is a great drink, too many restaurants take shortcuts. But some mixologists have gone beyond the margarita to create elegant, sophisticated tequila cocktails unlike anything out there. Here are some we’ve loved recently.
Measure, New York City: Lead bartender Sarah Karakaian’s “Sun’s Up,” pictured above, is a gorgeous, floral shake of Don Julio Blanco, amaro Cynar 70, lemon, agave, and orange blossom, garnished with marigolds.
Cindy’s, Chicago: The “Kick in the Daisy” from Nandini Khaund combines slightly aged Avion Reposado, spicy Ancho Reyes, Licor 43, fresh watermelon, lime, and Maldon sea salt.
Dirty Habit, San Francisco: The “Mayahuel’s Revenge” from Brian Means starts with blanco tequila from Chinaco and then ages it in a bourbon barrel, together with vermouth, Giffard Banana, and Jamaican bitters #2.
Faith & Flower, Los Angeles: Tequila takes on Asian flavors in Darwin Pornel and Ryan Wainwright’s “Shiso Easy,” with Contratto Bianco, shiso, cucumber, and lime.
[Photo: Erica Hochstedler]