You don’t have to travel to Mexico for a quality margarita. Consider these five Connecticut bars and restaurants for a taste of the perfect margarita, whether frozen, on the rocks or a quirky take on the classic drink.
1660 Park Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Hours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
This family-owned Mexican restaurant features authentic Mexican comfort food, reasonable prices and traditional live music. The food is good, simple, plentiful and real – and so are the margaritas, which can be described as both fresh and inexpensive. They come in two basic flavors, lemon or strawberry, and are available frozen or on the rocks.
6 Forest St
New Canaan, CT 06840
Price: $8.50 for the Original
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The Original Margarita at Tequila Mockingbird is a truly well-crafted tequila cocktail. Here, bartenders stick to the classics and use a bright silver tequila. Pick among the 170 tequilas and mezcals on hand, and bartenders will make a margarita with the tequila of your choice for $2 above the price of a shot. These range in price from the humble Peasant Tequila Blanco for $7.50 to the king of their tequila anejos, the venerable Milagro Barrel Reserve. Ultra premium tequilas and mezcals are available up to $75 a shot, but to even ask to dilute such a treasure into a margarita might make your bartender weep.
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109 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Price: $8.50 to $12
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Any place good enough for Tony Award winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein to drink at regularly is good enough for a margarita aficionado. Always busy and boasting a solid regular clientele, the Southwest Café offers outstanding margaritas enjoyed by all. The Southwest Café still manages to whir up a delightful mix of Cuervo and Citronage with whatever juice (lime or otherwise) the customer orders. Skinny Margaritas are also available for customers watching their waistline.
100 Allyn St
Hartford, CT 06103
Prices: $7.50 to $25
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat to Sun – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Agave bills itself as “Something authentic. Something exotic. Something spicy. Something exciting. Something different.” A heady boast, but in the case of its margaritas especiales, one that is easily proven true. Pick among strawberry, mango, prickly pear and blackberry flavors when ordering the La Fruta Margarita, which can be made on the rocks or frozen. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Agave-rita, a 32-ouncer meant for two. Trendy versions of the house favorite including a Chili Passionfruit and a California Blackberry Margarita. However, the real margarita-lover will order the Patron Margarita or, if in a celebratory mood (and willing to up the ante to $25), the 1942 Margarita – a truly classic margarita made with Don Julio 1942 and Grand Mariner.
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15 West Avon Road
Avon, CT 06018
Price: $3 to $30
Hours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
At Puerto Vallarta in Avon, happy hour begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 6 p.m., during which house margarita will only cost you three dollars. You can also dive into the extra-special Patron Silver margarita. It’s $30, but so large that it holds five cups of liquid. Although recommended for sharing, according to staff there are several patrons who order the Patron Silver just for themselves. Whatever you order, keep in mind each drink’s potency. Puerto Vallarta’s regular margaritas have a three drink cap.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience, most notably but not exclusively in the fields of international relations and history specifically military history. His work can be found at Examiner.com.