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It’s not like Coloradans need an excuse to indulge in a cocktail, but today is National Tequila Day. Local restaurants and bars from Boulder to Denver to Parker are breaking out their best liquor—including half-priced margaritas and infused shooters—for the occasion, along with specials so agreeable you won’t be able to resist a quick swig.
This Capitol Hill cantina will give out free samples of blue nectar tequila from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. As if we weren’t already hooked, $4 margaritas—lime, mango, and strawberry, both on the rocks and frozen—will be available as well as $5 shots of Familia Camarena and el Jimador tequila. Talk about a holiday. 975 Lincoln St., 303-731-1100.
We recommended that you head to Adelitas Cocina y Cantina back in March, but now there’s even more of a reason to drink the eatery’s two-for-one house margaritas. The family-owned Mexican restaurant is also offering $15 Tequila Fortaleza flights. 1294 S. Broadway, 303-778-1294.
Billy’s Inn has operated since 1933 in various capacities. Now, you'll find it serving Baja-style cuisine—and, today, margaritas at happy hour prices ($4) all day. 4403 Lowell Blvd., 303-455-9733.
Another restaurant that’s been in the family for generations, Diego’s will serve Tequila Don Julio Blanco (silver) shots for $6 or in a margarita for an upcharge. Also on the special menu: a pineapple and jalapeño-infused margarita for $5, and floats of Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge for $2.50. 1600 Champa St. #3, 303-343-4671.
In the 15 years since Pete Turner decided to open up shop, Illegal Pete’s has become a local mainstay. In celebration of the “holiday,” Dulce Vida tequila shots are $5 at all six locations. One hundred percent organic and 100 proof means you’ll be sitting pretty after just one. 1530 16th St., 303-623-2169; 1744 E. Evans Ave., 720-974-2198; 5312 DTC Blvd. #400, Greenwood Village, 303-771-2277; 270 S. Broadway, 720-287-5233. 1320 College Ave., Boulder, 303-444-3055; 1447 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-440-3955.
With more than 350 tequilas, mezcal and agave options to choose from, La Biblioteca and Zengo are already prime cocktailing destinations. (The two spots also happen to share a door that allows you to pass from one to the other.) Add internationally renowned chef Richard Sandoval’s private stock of Herradura Reposado Tequila for $8, and you’ll never want to leave. 1610 Little Raven St. #200, 720-904-0965.
Both the Cherry Creek North and Union Station locations of this bustling cantina offer $3 off all margaritas in addition to other happy hour specials from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Note: This is standard fare at Machete; as one of their managers said, “Every day is National Tequila Day here.” 2817 E. Third Ave., 303-333-1567. 1730 Wynkoop St., 720-612-7698.
Though this casual Mexican bistro holds a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the staff is breaking out an all-day special for this occasion. House margaritas will still be $5 during that three-hour period. Also look for $4 shots of Tequila Proximus at all three locations. 1519 Wynkoop St., 303-534-6274. 200 Fillmore St., 303-321-6274. 500 E. 19th Ave., 303-832-6274.
This Tex-Mex restaurant always offers more than 100 varieties of tequila. But today, it’s singling out Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila, which will be served coin style (with citrus liqueur, fresh lime, and agave nectar, $5), in a margarita (with citrus liqueur and house-made sour, $5) and as a straight shot ($4). Plus, try the house Papa Diablo margarita with Don Julio Reposado tequila, for $8, which is a third off the normal price. 3496 W. 32nd Ave., 303-561-2855.
Officially called “Tacos, Tequila and Whiskey,” Pinche is focusing on the second word in its name today with a tasting of Casa Noble and Casamigos tequilas. Representatives from the two companies will split their time between the York Street and the Highland locations, spending about two hours at each after 5 p.m. The happy hour special ($4) will apply to margaritas all day, though, so come early. 1514 York St., 720-475-1337. 3300 W. 32nd Ave., 720-502-4608.
Though the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant has six Colorado locations, the downtown one is cooking up something big: a half quesadilla for $4, the famed house margarita (with a limit of three) for $4, and shots of Jose Cuervo tequila for $2. Get these deals from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. or stop by for regular happy hour specials from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 1525 Blake St., 303-623-5432.
This Boulder bistro will offer food such as tamales, tacos, and quesadillas for $3 or $4 cheaper than its normal prices, along with margaritas for $4 to $5.50 and tequila infusion shooters for $3.50. 1035 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-938-9600.
As another branch of chef Richard Sandoval’s influence, Tamayo will also feature Sandoval’s Herradura Reposado Tequila but in shot form for $7. (They’re normally double that.) 1400 Larimer St., 720-946-1433.
Down in Parker? Stop by this Mexican spot and get your tequila fix at a lower cost with a flight for $15. Since it's also "Thirsty Thursday," you'll be able to snag all Mexican bottles for $1.99. 11280 S. 20 Mile Road, Parker, 303-840-5637.
The Ballpark eatery will offer Sauza Blue Silver frozen margaritas and Patrón cocktails and drinks for $4. You might as well sample other menu items, too, like the roasted tomato hummus and pigs in a blanket (find those recipes here). FYI: ViewHouse is preparing to open a Centennial location in late August. 2015 Market St., 720-878-2015.
Former Broncos guard Jerry Sturm and his wife opened the South Restaurant in Englewood nearly 45 years ago. His latest venture, Zi South, is in Ballpark, is serving up Mexican-American cuisine ranging from house-made chilis to mini Mexican pizzas. As for tequila, you can pick your flavor: Zi South has watermelon, mint, and jalapeño-infused tequila shots for $3 today. 2229 Blake St., 303-799-4500.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer at @mc_fischer.