Top 10 margaritas in the Twin Cities

Categories: Cocktails, Top 10

labellevie margarita.jpg
The margarita: fighting off scurvy for over 50 years
​ The margarita is a classic, no doubt about it. The earliest published recipe we can find is in Esquire magazine in 1953. The recipe called for tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime.

As everything else does, this drink evolved in various ways, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. In Mexico you will be hard pressed to find a margarita that doesn't have a splash of orange juice naturally sweetening the drink and rounding out the flavor profile. In America many presweetened products inferior to fresh juice and far more expensive have for some reason become common. These premade "margarita mixes" might make it easier for a person to throw a fiesta at home, but they have no place in a professional bar.

In many bars bartenders have experimented with tequila infusions, alternative natural sweeteners, and various liqueurs.

In our Twin Cities there is no shortage of delicious margaritas, both traditional and experimental. Here are the 10 best.

Cobra Verde at La Belle Vie
10. Cobra Verde at La Belle Vie ($9)
One of the most unique takes on the drink that still tastes like a margarita. For quite some time now LBV's Johnny Michaels has been putting left-field flavor combinations together that fit so perfectly you wonder how you never thought of it. This one uses a touch of absinthe, which is all you need to get the potent taste of anise onto the palate, and a bit of cherry liqueur. These flavors combined with the sour of the lime and the salt on the rim seem made for one another.

Conquistador at Bradstreet Craftshouse
9. Conquistador Margarita at Bradstreet Craftshouse ($9)
Bradstreet, tucked away in the street level of the Graves 601 Hotel, has been making incredible cocktails for years. Their use of homemade bitters and ninja-like cocktail techniques create a true experience for the guest. The Conquistador's use of "hell-fire" bitters paired with Liqor 43 (a Spanish liqueur with something of a vanilla-cake flavor) make this a nice balance of sweet, citrus, and just a touch of spice.

Godzillita! at Masu Sushi & Robota

8. Godzillita! at Masu Sushi & Robota ($9)
I know a sushi bar wouldn't be the first place one would think to have one of the Cities' finest margaritas, but this one really is. Another creation of Johnny Michaels, the Godzillita makes use of a plum tea syrup, ginger, and a hot pepper tincture. The glass is rimmed with a black and white salt mixture that adds a nice contrast against the deep green cocktail, a neat aesthetic.

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