Whether hankering for a sweet, smoky or spicy take on the classic marg, sip on any one of Luxury Attaché’s top picks for what is sure to be a perfect sip, from the salted rim to the very last drop.
1 El Toro Blanco
This spicy, kick-in-the-back-of-your-throat margarita, is one of Zagat’s top rated tipples, with good reason. Newly added to this season’s line-up comes the “Hasta Manana,” a robust flavor combination of bell pepper infused tequila, mint, lemon and agave, and a surprisingly welcome hot, habanero finish. This new favorite joins an all-star set of standout margaritas including the luxe, deep purple “Rosalita” with prickly pear and rosemary, killer smoky mezcal ‘tails and more. With fresh, seasonally-charged ingredients, a hyper-curated, ever-changing menu and rockstar slingers behind the bustling bar, what’s not to love?
257 Sixth Avenue, between Houston and Bleecker Streets
2 La Esquina
Subterranean splendor takes dining to a whole new level--it’s dark, it’s sultry, and it just so happens to be hidden behind a bodega-like storefront. La Esquina is still one of the most coveted tables in NYC and packs crowds in every night of the week with no signs of stopping, thanks to an outstanding menu of fresh Mexican plates and some serious margaritas. Every corner of the taste spectrum is covered with such unique offerings as the sweet-meets-spicy “Fresa Fuerte” with fresh strawberries, mint and jalepeno to the off-the-beaten-path “Margarita Tamarindo” with tamarind and triple sec. It doesn’t end there, however, as classic margs, a twist on the popular beer-garita, herbal infused samplers and even tequila flights ramp up the menu even more.
114 Kenmare Street at Centre Street
There’s absolutely no sign outside. Not one. Just a studded, wooden door and perhaps a bouncer or two outside holding a clipboard. Cool. Well, it is actually, but the heavy-handed margaritas here are as hot as they come. Step into this tiny, dimly lit spot, with rod-iron, deep mahogany and a notable, gothic-like charm and feast those eyes on a book of drink options divided into inventive subsets such as “Agave Fresco”, “Strange Stirrings”, “Punch-O-Villas”, and more. Mezcal lovers will rejoice with options in the double-digits, as will anyone with a hankering to try stunning reposados, spiked punches or sangrias fueled with tequila--yes, that’s correct. Order a glass of the “Red Ant River Swizzle” with Mezcal and Absinthe, or a pitcher of the “La Vida Rosa” with strawberry-infused tequila and rosé to share, or not.
304 East Sixth Street, between First and Second Avenues
4 The Wayland
With no shortage of watering holes in NYC, it’s not often that a truly unique house of spirits opens its doors. Enter: The Wayland. The homey vibe, reclaimed communal tables and refreshingly unpretentious air of this consistently packed house (it literally is a house) set the stage for fresh cocktails that can’t be beat. They’ve cornered the market on one-of-a-kind cocktails which range from infused bourbon deeply flavored sips to thai chili-infused vodka tipples and everything, yes everything, in between. No matter how drinkable these babies are, one stands high above the rest, and was a no-brainer to include in a top margarita selection; meet “The Garden Variety Margarita.” This everything-but-the-kitchen-sink drink is an amusing, yet outstanding blend of tequila, ginger, lime, kale and smoky sea salt. If “green juices” really could be loved by all, this would be the one. Don’t get fresh, or be fooled by the ingredients, it just plain works.
700 East Ninth Street, between Avenues C and D
5 Salvation Taco
April Bloomfield’s newest Mexican gem is a veritable playground, with ping pong and pool tables, retro board games slung about, and fun, casual vibe beckoning for a pinata or two. The drinks are just as crowd-pleasing with top notch margaritas that run from the well balanced original to the refreshing, far too easily guzzled “Puesta del Sol” with averna and blood orange soda, lime and orange. The best way to spend a summertime happy hour? Head up to the rooftop bar with a friend or two and take in views of the city skyline while sipping a freshly made marg from a very long straw--out of a whole hollowed-out baby watermelon that is. Souvenir, anyone?
Pod 39 Hotel | 145 East 39th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues