The Most Extravagant Cocktails To Celebrate National Tequila Day

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A classic top shelf margarita
A classic top shelf margarita

Photo Credit: Novela

Tequila! Just reading the word for Mexico’s most popular agave spirit makes us excited. There is something about the potent liquor that’s celebratory, fun, and downright mischievous. After all, how many times have you enjoyed a crazy evening out compliments of a couple of margaritas or shots of Casamigos? The warm buzz and dizzy happiness you feel while sipping tequila is due to its unique makeup—tequila is the only type of alcohol that is a stimulant. A fine aged añejo, when sipped neat or on the rocks with a lime wedge, can even result in a hangover- free morning the next day. Yes, we’re speaking from experience. National Tequila Day is coming up—it’s Monday, July 24. In honor of the made-up holiday, we scoured the menus of our favorite Bay Area haunts for the hautest tequila concoctions around. Salud!

The Barcelona cocktail
The Barcelona cocktail

Photo Credit: Copita

Naturally a good place to start looking for a tequila concoction is at a Mexican restaurant. At Copita Tequileria y Comida, Joanne Weir’s Sausalito eatery, the team is serving three delicious new tequila bebidas specifically created for National Tequila Day. Lead bartender Jesse Bennett’s drinks include the Almond Brothers, a mixture of reposado, coconut liquor, Lillet Blanc, lime, orgeat, and Creole bitters, and a variation of the Paper Plane made with anejo, Aperol, amaro, and lemon. Also on offer? Capita’s most popular libation, the Barcelona, a refreshing mix of Doble Blanco, Hanger One vodka, St. Germain, Lillet Rouge, Campari, and grapefruit. Plus, the bar has 120 different types of tequilas, so feel free to sample a few.

Novela's marg
Novela’s marg

Photo Credit: Novela

You can’t go wrong with a perfectly made Margarita and the best spot to find one is at Novela. The popular downtown bar is a happy hour hot spot with an extravagant Marg on the menu. The Reserve Margarita is Tommy’s style (the type of Margarita invented by Tommy Bermejo at the iconic Tommy’s Mexican eatery in the Mission that omits orange liqueur) with Don Julio 1942 tequila, agave nectar, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. It’s served over a clear sphere of ice in a glass garnished with a Himalayan rock salt rim.

Tosca's tequila concoction
Tosca’s tequila concoction

At Tosca Cafe, one of our favorite North Beach restaurants, the bartender has created an innovative tequila beverage with chamomile-infused grappa. Mixologist Eric explains his elegantly-named Cleopatra like this: “I wanted to ground this very floral cordial with some earthy reposado tequila, and then layer aromatics on top of that. There’s also Santa Maria al Monte, which is an unusually dry amaro, for it’s bitterness and herbal qualities, and a touch of creme de menthe to freshen up the whole drink. It’s garnished with a fresh chamomile flower, which is grassy and tastes nothing like chamomile. The best chamomile in the world comes from the banks of the Nile, hence the name.”

Oaxacan Delight
Oaxacan Delight

Photo Credit: Dirty Habit

Dirty Habit, the fabulous fifth floor rooftop bar with SF’s sexiest outdoor patio, has introduced a drink called the Oaxacan Delight. It’s a smoky and spicy libation with layers of aromatic herbs and a tart finish thanks to the addition of tea. The drink is made with a special epazote liqueur, hibiscus tea, and dried habanero bitters. Prickly pear puree adds a touch of sweetness and vibrant color to the concoction.

The Jack Satan libation has an artistic rim
The Jack Satan libation has an artistic rim

Over in Berkeley at the beloved Mexican restaurant Comal, order a Jack Satan, the most luxurious tequila drink on the menu. Heat and florals collide in this unexpected tequila cocktail, which consists of Cimarron reposado, hibiscus, Inferno tincture, and lime—complete with an artfully salted rim. The result is a tart yet well-balanced drink.

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