Ever since Montezuma got some tequila and limes together, added sugar and salt and started flogging them to his mates, the Margarita has been the perfect cocktail for a scorching hot summer day.
It’s proper easy to add a little twist to the recipe too, which makes for some very exciting (and weird) bevs knocking about the city just waiting for you to try…
Cherry Cola Frozen Margarita at Crazy Pedro’s
The frozen Margarita is probably the best iteration of this classic cocktail because not only does it stay mega cold all the way to the end, but it gives you enough brain freeze to make the drunken-ness hit you just that little bit quicker. Crazy Pedro’s are pretty proud of their massive selection of tequila and mezcal, and so naturally their cocktails pretty much only contain one (or both) of these demon liquids. My personal favourite has to be the sweet-sweet Cherry Cola Frozen Margarita, but you’ll be well served by any of them to be fair. Perfect with a slice and a smile.
55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ
Short St, Manchester M1 1JG
White Peach & Jalapeño Tommy’s Margarita @ All Star Lanes
For a place that specialises in giving people the chance to throw a big fucking ball down a bit of wood, All Star Lanes have an excellent food and drink menu. Their drinks in particular are always full of imagination and some pretty impressive flavours, and this of course extends to their Margarita selection. Last time I was in here I went for this spicy number – the White Peach & Jalapeno Margarita and it was tremendous. It’s got a bit of a kick to it, but the contrast of the spice and the sweet works perfectly, and I found myself going back for more.
All Star Lanes, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Casa Margarita @ El Capo
If you’re looking for something classic and timeless, without any bells or whistles or fireworks piled onto the side of your glass, then El Capo offer a brilliant Casa Margarita which manages to tick all the boxes when you’re looking for some tequila-fuelled fun. The selection of mezcal and tequila within these walls is pretty much unparalleled within the city, so you know you’re getting the top-quality stuff, with staff that know what they’re going on about. There’s plenty of other tequila-based bevvies on the menu, but in all honesty – you can’t go wrong with the original.
El Capo, 12 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
Immortal Margarita @ Sandinista
The Immortal Margarita at Sandinista is so called because it provides its drinker with some rather impressive health benefits. Not only will the Olmeca Los Altos white tequila kill some redundant brain cells in your bonce, the aloe vera syrup can help clear up your spotty face or even get rid of that herpes you contracted a few weeks ago after a night out in Fifth Ave. The wonder ingredient in this bad boy though is undoubtedly the pomegranate, which adds a welcome burst of freshness to what is already a very refreshing cocktail. It’s like sucking a sheet of Bounce while frolicking through a spring meadow – but better than that in every way.
Sandinista, 2 Old Bank St, City Centre, Manchester M2 7PF
0161 832 9955
Blood Orange Margarita @ Revolution de Cuba
I was always amazed by blood oranges when I was a kid, unable to fathom that a fruit called an orange wasn’t actually orange, and in those days in the early 90’s they were notoriously difficult to get hold of unless you knew a Spanish farmer or had a particularly exotic green grocer. They are everywhere now though, and a nice tin of Blood Orange San Pellegrino is a great way to relinquish any thirst. Good news then that Revolution de Cuba also offer a Blood Orange Margarita that is truly a wonder to drink.
Revolution de Cuba, 11 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
10c Lemonade Margarita @ Black Dog Ballroom
Going full-on US of A with their margarita, Black Dog Ballroom offer what can be considered a refreshing twist on a classic with the addition of Limoncello, creating a drink that, unsurprisingly due to its name, – ends up tasting a lot like lemonade. This beauty is a bloody refreshing revelation, much like when you’re sweating your tits off on holiday in Tenerife and you finally get to jump in the pool. It’s also one of those drinks that doesn’t taste too alcoholic so will get you proper drunk as you keep going back for more.
Black Dog Ballroom, NQ, Basement Affleck’s Palace, Church Street, Manchester, M4 1PW
NWS, 11 – 13 New Wakefield St, Manchester, M1 5NP
Espresso Margarita @ Albatross & Arnold
A very sexy hybrid of the Espresso Martini and the Margarita, Albatross and Arnold have managed to create a cocktail that every coffee fan would love and although I personally despise them – I’ve been assured it’s excellent. It’s the coffee flavour that I don’t like – it’s just too bitter. And when I smell coffee it takes me back to being a kid in maths when Mr Webb would come close to help me with my long division and his overpowering morning coffee breath would make me want to vomit. For everyone else who likes coffee though – this cocktail is for you!
Albatross & Arnold, Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AN
Pear & Vanilla Margarita @ The Botanist
The Botanist have a list of booze longer than Mr Tickle’s arms and of course this means that there are a few margarita options flying around. My personal favourite is the pear and vanilla version, which comes loaded with El Jimador Blanco Tequila, pear, rosemary and vanilla syrup. It reminds me of a time when I would scoff Peach Melba yoghurts at dinner time in school, secretly wishing I could have some Monster Munch instead, or a 4 finger KitKat like Craig McCoy. The Peach and Vanilla work really well together here and with the addition of the tequila – you’re laughing.
The Botanist, 78 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2FW
1D School Ln, Didsbury M20 6SA
Extra Balanced Margarita @ Science & Industry
This rather odd creation has featured on my list of the city’s weirdest cocktails and with good reason. Just reading it makes you go a little bit bonkers – getting all confused because even though the words are all in English, they just don’t seem to belong with each other. So, they’ve made some parsley tequila, some black peppercorn stuff, added something called curacao which may or may not be alcoholic and then topped it all off with some smoked salt water, lime juice and vanilla tomato water. Sounds weird, tastes amazing.
Science & Industry, 49, 51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Imli Margarita @ Indian Tiffin Rooms
Having just recently come back from a lovely trip to Mexico City I’ve had a bit of a craving for tamarind which you will manage to find in every nook and cranny over there. They bloody love the stuff and try to shoehorn it into everything, from burgers to milk to booze. If it can go into your mouth – they’re shoving tamarind in it. It’s nice stuff though, which is why it’s a good idea to head on down to Indian Tiffin Rooms who do a Margarita with it in. It’s a revelation and provides a perfect Indian (or Mexican) twist to this already well-established classic. It just seems to go amazingly well with a scorching hot bit of curry too.
Indian Tiffin Rooms, 2 Isabella Banks Street, First Street, Manchester, M15 4RL