Holiday Boozing

Drink of the Week: Margarita—a Uniter, Not a Divider

Cinco de Mayo approaches, and the margarita is just the cocktail we need.

April 27, 2010

Photo: Jessica Voelker

Generally, I try to keep politics at the bar where they belong. But holay molay Arizona, what is going on with you? This Cinco de Mayo more than any before, we have to do our diplomatic duty and celebrate our longstanding relationship with our neighbors to the south.

Because whatever your position on immigration, you can’t deny that Mexico is, er, not so happy with this recent legislation. How does this relate to drinking?

So glad you asked.

I recently reported a story about the margaritas at La Casa Azul, the North Seattle Oaxacan restaurant where I first tasted an avocado margarita. (I hear you can get avocado margs at Laredos Grill on Queen Anne, though I’ve never been.)

After poking around the margarita’s history a bit, I started to see this drink as a sort of alcoholic ambassador for Mexican-American relations. Because a well-made margarita is composed like a sidecar, which is a very North American cocktail, to my mind. Okay, so the sidecar may have been invented in Paris, but it was invented in Paris at a time when there were a lot of Americans in Paris. It was invented in Hemingway Paris, you know what I mean?

I’m really digressing here. What I mean is, the margarita’s composition is like that of classic American cocktails. But its base is of course tequila, that most Mexican of boozes. Think of the margarita as fusion mixology. Delicious fusion mixology.

Since Cinco de Mayo is approaching, let’s talk about margaritas in Seattle. I like those at The Saint, where the house rita is $5.50 during happy hour. La aforementioned Casa Azul makes a tasty marg, and they ship their mole sauces directly from Oaxaca every three days—the enchiladas are just…man, go try them. So good. Ocho’s $10 margarita is the stuff of legend, though the word on Ocho is always “depends who is bartending.” Down the street at La Carta de Oaxaca, they’re making foolproof house margs with enough of a tequila bang to remind you what you’re slurping through that straw.

And I just confirmed this morning that well-loved Huarachitos Mexican Taquería in Columbia City has added a house margarita to the menu, too. So that one is next on my list. Who am I missing?

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