I have experienced many great margaritas on my travels through Texas. Juarez bartender for 21 years, Pancho Morales claimed to have invented the margarita in the summer of 1942 at Tommy’s Place on Juarez Avenue in Old Juarez – on the Mexican side of El Paso. The drink was mixed with tequila, Cointreau and lime and served in a salt-rimmed glass.
Today, the margarita is as creative as its name. Below, I’ve picked unique margaritas from unique Texas locations. Here are 13 of my favorites in no particular order.
1. Los Molcajetes
Not far from home, north of Fort Worth, Mexican restaurant Los Molcajetes has the best margarita around, served in a large schooner. I like the Beer-Rita, an ice-cold margarita with a Mexican beer — Dos Equis or Corona — spilled. The swirl is excellent with alternating layers of frozen margarita and frozen sangria.
Los Molcajetes is famous for its fajitas, and I love the chicken taco salad with salsa ranch dressing. My husband swears by their beef enchiladas; they taste the most like his mother.
Pro tip: Stay at the Drover Autograph Collection hotel in the Stockyards and explore Fort Worth margaritas.
2. Desert Gate Distillery
I order the River Rita — made with Desert Door Original Texas Sotol, lime juice, pomegranate, agave nectar, a lime wheel, and rimmed with coarse salt — when I visit Desert Door Sotol Distillery. . Handcrafted in Driftwood, 24 miles southwest of Austin, Desert Door Sotol comes from luscious wild desert sotol, much like a premium tequila, but milder. You’ll find the taste of orange zest, vanilla and green grass with a smooth custard-like finish. Enjoy live music on the weekends and delicious food from the on-site food truck.
Pro tip: Stay nearby at the Sage Hill Texas Hill Country Inn & Spa on 88 acres above Onion Creek.
3. Hotel Havana
The Havana Margarita – made with Pueblo Viejo tequila, lime juice, Naranja liqueur and agave – in Ocho at the Havana Hotel hits the spot after a hot afternoon stroll along from the river. Sip your margarita in the hotel’s canopy restaurant with bright turquoise chairs perched along the River Walk. The hotel offers a weekly happy hour, with margaritas and small bites, like a black bean quesadilla, fried fish tacos, or chorizo and cheese macaroni.
Pro tip: Stay at the historic Hotel Havana in one of the 27 iconic rooms at Museum Reach, a tranquil stretch of the River Walk amid calm Caribbean ambience and rich Spanish colonial history.
4. The Driskill Hotel
Samantha’s Ghost is legendary, Driskill’s version of a creative margarita made with mezcal, orange liqueur and lemon. Or, for more adventure, try the Durango Cowboy, made with sotol, orange liqueur, sweet and sour and crushed strawberries. Named the best bar in Texas by southern life, the Driskill Bar is all about Texas, with the big Texas Longhorn staring at you, along with rustic leather sofas, cowhide bar stools, and a custom cattle-branded rug. Not surprising USA today named it one of the 10 best hotel bars in America.
Pro tip: Stay at the historic Driskill Hotel on 6th Street and Brazos in downtown Austin. It’s in the middle of Texas history, like the State Capitol building, the LBJ Presidential Library, and the Blanton Museum of Art.
5. Candelilla Cafe At Lajitas Golf Resort
Indulge in the prickly pear margarita, made with tequila, triple sec, prickly pear juice, and fresh lime juice, or get frisky with the hot-blooded margarita, mixed with tequila, triple sec, jalapeño, blood orange and fresh lime juice. Make it “Cadillac style” with added Grand Marnier and your favorite premium tequila. Fly to Lajitas, a remote Brewster County destination west of Terlingua near Big Bend National Park.
Pro tip: Stay at Lajitas Golf Resort, a 27,000-acre Texas resort known as the best golf course in Texas, as well as sport clay shooting, cowboy action shooting, horseback riding, zipline, the agave spa, and its proximity to explore Big Bend National Park. Or park your RV at Maverick Ranch RV Park and enjoy all the amenities and activities under the big, bright Texas stars.
6. Ranch Perini Steakhouse
Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, just south of Abilene, is home to Mesquite-A-Rita, the ultimate margarita made with El Jimador Reposado tequila, Grand Marnier and fresh lime juice served over ice. This famous steakhouse, third best in Texas by Texas monthly, includes certified Angus beef and the finest bone-in 22 oz rib eye or bone-in 14 oz strip cooked to perfection. Don’t miss the jalapeño bites to start – jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and cooked until crispy.
Pro tip: Stay in the property’s Guest Quarters; the main house is a restored farmhouse sleeping five or the camp house sleeping three with all modern conveniences. Have breakfast at the Gap Café and shop at the Country Market for new cookware and gourmet foods.
7. Cibolo Creek Ranch
South of Marfa
Enjoy an exclusive Cibolo Creek Ranch margarita made from Texas Chihuahuan Desert Sotol, grown right on the ranch. Cibolo Creek Ranch is a 38-mile drive south of Marfa, West Texas, or 3 hours from El Paso and Midland International Airports, in the heart of Big Bend Country. This Texas heirloom since 1857 offers a disconnect from the world and a connection to nature on its 30,000 acre ranch offering hiking, fishing, bird watching, an outdoor pool and many personalized activities.
Pro tip: If you’re driving this far for a margarita, you’ll want to stay in one of Cibolo Creek Ranch’s stunning contemporary rooms or suites.
8. Jett’s Grill at Hotel Paisano
Considered the best margarita in town, Jett’s Grill at Hotel Paisano serves up a killer margarita. Make it a Cadillac with Grand Marnier and “whatever you call it” tequila. The historic Paisano Hotel was home to Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean and 150 cast members when they shot the film Giant in 1956. Movie memorabilia can be purchased at the hotel gift shop.
Pro tip: Stay at Hotel Paisano, where every room is unique, from the original historic Queen Rooms to the Rock Hudson Suite: a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom apartment.
9. Reata Restaurant
Savor the Reata Grand Margarita at the Reata restaurant in Alpine with Salsa Blue Reposado, Quatro, Grand Marnier, orange juice and sweet and sour tequila. The original Reata and Reata’s sister restaurant in Fort Worth offers legendary Texas cuisine.
Pro tip: Stay at the historic boutique Holland Hotel, just around the corner and within walking distance. The Alpine Amtrak station is just across the street. You might need earplugs if your room faces the train station.
10. Rough Creek Lodge & Resort
La margarita Rough Creek Lodge is upscale, as upscale as the accommodations, amenities and activities at this five-star stunner spread across 11,000 acres of vast Texas blue skies south of Glen Rose. Award-winning chef Gerard Thompson lives up to his philosophy: “Make the meal memorable”. It certainly does, with Jumbo Crab Cocktail over Roasted Red Pepper Salsa and Citrus, Glazed Red Chili Swordfish with Shrimp Quesadilla, and Warm Texas Pecan Pie with Clove Ice Cream. vanilla and molasses bourbon sauce. Unforgettable!
Pro tip: Stay at Rough Creek Lodge in the main lodge, cabins or house rentals with activities close at hand to keep all entertained.
11. The Gage Hotel
Sip the Prickly Pear Pura Vida Margarita at the White Buffalo Bar, made with Pura Vida Silver tequila, prickly pear juice, Texas Paula orange and lime juice. Or get spicy with the Spicy Cowgirl blended with Pura Vida Gold tequila, agave nectar, lime juice, jalapeño and spiced rum. Yum! 12 Gage Restaurant offers Campechana Shrimp, Rainbow Trout with Roasted Poblano, Potato, Sweet Pepper Romesco or the Iron Mountain Chicken Fried Steak. Don’t miss the Mexican chocolate brownie for dessert.
Pro tip: Stay at the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon, where they invite you to “get your boots off and stay awhile.”
12. Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort
Savor a Troubadour Margarita mixed with Codigo George Strait Rosa Reposado, orange liqueur, lime, sugar and salty rim at La Cascada Table & Bar at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort, 20 minutes from San Antonio .
Pro tip: Stay at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort, where owner George Strait says, “Come and have a good time. Stay long. » Play golf, indulge in the salt cave at Puresolsparelax by the pool, join fitness camps, and enjoy Margarita Mondays and weekend musical performances.
13. Starlight Theater
You can choose from nine different margaritas here at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua. The Santa Elena, with Herradura Anejo and Cointreau, is mild and not too sweet. The specialty is the Prickly Pear’ita mixed with Casa Noble Crystal and prickly pear nectar. Yum! Be sassy with the Scorpio – the Chihuahua Hacienda Sotol makes it smoky.
Pro tip: Stay at the Holiday Hotel in Terlingua for boisterous revelry or a romantic date, lovingly restored by the Bill Ivey family.