National Tequila Day – the perfect excuse to drink everyone’s favorite Mexican spirit on a Sunday. In celebration of this very important holiday, I set out to find DC’s best tequila and mezcal cocktails.
I had to include at least one margarita on the list, it would be wrong not to. Mission’s Strawberry Basil Margarita is the best mix of sweet and earthy. It’s as if a daiquiri met a margarita on Tinder and swiped right.
You really can’t go wrong with any of Mission’s margaritas. If you’re not a strawberry fan, I’d go for the Pineapple Jalapeño or the classic Dupont Margarita.
I went off the menu at El Centro D.F.’s Georgetown location. I was inspired by Diego, mixologist extraordinaire and tequila wizard. You’ll certainly heat up National Tequila Day with his personal concoction of Espolón Tequila Blanco, lime juice, house-made chili ginger syrup, and infused jalapeño chili salt on the rim.
On the menu, I recommend the Red & Smokey. Sweet hibiscus, smokey mezcal and chili ginger, it’s a serious trip for your taste buds. I’d show you a picture but this cocktail was that good.
Definitely my favorite stop on the DC tequila train.
The Limonquila wins for best presentation and it’s drinkability. With house-infused lemon tequila, King’s Ginger Liqueur, lavender, lemon bitters and Q-Tonic, it’s perfectly balanced.
The Sagardo Corazon I found to be the most unique cocktail on my tequila pilgrimage. Translated, it means “bleeding heart” and the drink lives up to the name. Chinaco Blanco, cilantro and toasted coriander are cooled down with a large hibiscus ice cube that slowly bleeds as you drink, infusing a bold sweetness while turning your cocktail a deep crimson. The toasted coriander gives it the perfect touch.
An honorable mention is Oyamel’s Agave Mule. It’s super smooth and layered in complex flavor. 123 Organic Tequila ‘1,’ Leopold Bros. Maraschino Liqueur, grapefruit, lime, ginger and mint over an absinthe mint – seriously, how could you go wrong?
Last but not least. Espita Mezcaleria offers a unique variety of mezcal cocktails that are inspired by the traditional bar favorites.
For something light and summery, I recommend the Ginger & Cucumber Highball on tap. Served tall with a cucumber ribbon, this mezcal cocktail is heavy on the cucumber and light on ginger. A cucumber aficionado, I was a big fan, but be weary if you aren’t a cucumber lover like myself.
If you want something a little heavier but still refreshing, I recommend their newest cocktail that is yet to be named but hitting the menu this week. A similar taste to Fernet, fans of the Italian spirit will love this mix of orange bitters, Cocchi Rosa Americano, Cappelletti Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro and El Buho Mezcal.
All of these cocktails would be an excellent choice for National Tequila Day or really any day of the week. After trying these delicious concoctions, in my book, everyday is tequila day.