As Mexico’s immediate neighbor, you can imagine the ubiquity of Mexican restaurants in El Paso. Mexican food usually equals Margaritas or Mexican beer or both. Margaritas are a highly contentious subject in El Paso. Carlos & Mickey’s is usually voted the best by locals, followed by Julio’s Cafe Corona, and Forti’s. Carlos & Mickey’s is known for its gigantic Margaritas, in which a one-per-person limit is now enforced. Peppe’s Restaurant & Cantina in Canutillo claims to be the “home of the Juan and only Margarita.” I’ve never tried it, but ya gotta love the catchphrase even if it’s not good.
I won’t say who has the best Margarita in El Paso for two reasons: I’ve never liked them, and the ones that I did like, were from chains. I also HATE to admit that I have enjoyed the Skinnygirl Margarita (you can find it cheapest at The Side Door Liquor Store next to The State Line and Spec’s). I love citrus, but I can’t stand cloying drinks, and that’s what most Margaritas are to me. I think most bad Margaritas suffer from using pre-made sweet and sour mix, rather than utilizing fresh ingredients. In my defense, the Margaritas that I most enjoyed at chains are probably temporary items capitalizing on the agave nectar craze. My favorites are the Organic Agave Margarita from P.F. Chang’s, and the Platinum Presidente Margarita from Chili’s (pictured above. Let me know if you can’t see the recipe on the shaker). I’ve always wanted to try a Dosarita, which is a Margarita with a mini upside down Dos Equis submerged in it. I heard that
Bikini Joe’s Cabo Joe’s offers a Margarita with an upside down Coronita submerged in it, so I naturally had to try it even if their food is subpar and limited in veg offerings. At first, the taste was odd and a bit tart, but as more Corona poured into the drink it got better, giving it a light effervescence.
Update: It’s 2015, and pretty much every place in town offers some sort of dosarita. These days all sorts of things are being thrown in margs, like paletas, bolis, popsicles, chamoy sitcks, mini liquor bottles, gummy worms, and other candies. All I can say is yuck.
All bias aside, I honestly think that my partner makes the best Margaritas, but she won’t let me divulge her secret recipe. Instead, I’ll share this recipe that I got from a show on The Cooking Channel. I add a secret ingredient, which you can see hidden in the picture above. Can you guess what it is?
Margarita, courtesy of Drink Up
2 ounces or 1/4 cup blanco tequila
1 ounce or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar* (I use less, but it’s up to you)