Eat & Drink

Margaritas Reinvented

One part lime, one part tequila, and two parts surprise.

August 2012

Frosty margaritas are to summer what peanuts are to baseball—the ultimate complement. Unfortunately, these sweet-tart cocktails are often too monotonous to be memorable. Instead of serving the same old uninspiring mix, the following spots shake margaritas that showcase unexpected flavors and unusual ingredients worthy of remembering. 

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ChoLon

Spicy chiles and tart, earthy tamarind are popular flavors in Mexico and Southeast Asia—and it’s a combo of these tastes that you’ll enjoy in this margarita. Rimmed in chile salt, infused with tamarind simple syrup, and finished with mezcal, this cocktail balances heat with the purity of lime and tequila. 1555 Blake St., 303-353-5223, cholon.com

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Margs Taco Bistro

This taco bar reminds you not to take your drinks too seriously. The margaritas, served on the rocks or frozen, come in a variety of fun flavors. Our go-to is the nuanced watermelon-mint, with sweet fruit undertones and a refreshing punch of mint. 1519 Wynkoop St., 303-534-6274; 200 Fillmore St., 303-321-6274, margstacobistro.com

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The Bitter Bar

The secret to the fruit-forward margarita at this Boulder lounge is in the berries. Before tequila or lime juice is added to the shaker, fresh strawberries and blueberries are dropped in. They’re muddled to release the oils and aroma. The finished cocktail sips like a strawberry lemonade. 835 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-442-3050, thebitterbar.com

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Tamayo

At this downtown mainstay, the margarita meets a favorite Mexican street drink: the hibiscus agua fresca. Deep floral notes ground Tamayo’s citrusy libation, and the honest heat of fresh serrano chases it. This spicy-meets-sweet cocktail goes down with a full dose of Latin culture. 1400 Larimer St., 720-946-1433, richardsandoval.com/tamayo