Thousands of America’s Finest citizens drank tens of thousands of margaritas during PACIFIC’s fourth annual Margarita Month competition and taste-fest, presented by Milagro Tequila. They sipped, snapped and hashtagged creative varieties of San Diego’s original craft cocktail at 35 of the city’s top bars and restaurants throughout the month of May.
On June 16, bartenders, restaurants and more than 1,200 patrons converged to taste and vote for their favorites at the Grand Tasting Event held at the Horton Grand Hotel, where more than more than 36,000 mini margaritas were consumed. Holy mierda, that’s alotta tequila.
When this many bartenders, mixologists and tequila lovers get together, everyone wins. Here’s how the margaritas fared.
People’s Choice Awards
(Results tallied from the 877 ballots patrons cast at the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event)
Grand Champion: Volcano Rabbit
Winning margarita: Passionfruit Margarita — Milagro Silver Tequila, passionfruit puree, Giffard passion fruit liqueur, lime juice, Monin ginger syrup.
Best Presentation: Curadero
Winning margarita: Butterfly Margarita — Milagro Silver Tequila, agave, lime juice, butterfly-pea-flower-infused Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur.
Best Name: Voltaire Beach House
Winning margarita: The Jalisco Flamingo — Habanero-infused Milagro Silver Tequila, house-made pomegranate-hibiscus-infused agave, fresh organic lime juice, fresh organic grapefruit juice, Giffard Orgeat; Tajín and sea salt rim.
(Results tallied from distinguished panel of judges’ ballots cast during the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event)
Grand Champion: Park & Rec
Winning margarita: Sangre del Sold — Blood-orange-infused Milagro Silver Tequila, house-made curaçao (blend of agave and Cointreau), fresh lime juice, blood-orange, salted rim.
Best Presentation: The Duck Dive
Winning margarita: Berry White — Milagro Silver Tequila, coconut/vanilla syrup, lime juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, fresh blackberries and agave.
Most Original Margarita: Oceana Coastal Kitchen
Winning margarita: Natural Red Head — Milagro Silver Tequila, Cointreau, house sour mix, red bell pepper syrup.
Best Use of Fresh Ingredients: Bootlegger
Winning margarita: Mi Familia — Milagro Silver Tequila, chili liqueur, lime juice, basil, cucumber, olive oil, agave and sea salt.
Best Garnish: Miguel’s Cocina
Winning margarita: Proceed with Caution — Milagro Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, fresh orange and lime juice; Chamoy-Lucas rim and edible Szechuan-button garnish. (WARNING: When consumed, this product may cause temporary tingling or a numbing sensation in your mouth. Eat in small amounts with caution.)
Best Name: The Deck at Moonshine Flats
Winning margarita: The Day Spa — Cucumber-infused Milagro Silver Tequila, lime juice, agave; topped with soda water; garnished with salt and cucumber wheel.
Uno, dos, tres cheers and thank yous to Margarita Month 2018’s participating venues:
Bub’s at the Beach
Cloak & Petal
Hello Betty Fish House
House of Blues
Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Cafe
O.B. Surf Lodge
Oceana Coastal Kitchen
Pacifica Del Mar
Park & Rec
PB Shore Club
Sea 180 Coastal Tavern
On the Border
The Blind Burro
The Deck at Moonshine Flats
The Duck Dive
Voltaire Beach House
Wonderland Ocean Pub
Social media superstar
In case sipping and hashtagging margaritas for an entire month weren’t enough, Amanda F. of Pacific Beach is hereby anointed la Santa Patrona of Margarita Month 2018... again! She won last year, too, as she was this year’s most prolific margarita taster, sampling/posting/hashtagging cocktails from more than 30 participating venues. Ms. Amanda F., your hazy memories just became déjà vu, as you just won a $50 gift certificate to each of the 2018’s 35 Margarita Month venues. No hay manera de que puedas tomarte todo eso tu sola. ¡Llámame!
Abrazos y besos to the music makers who brought magical melodies to the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event: DJ Who (sleepinggiantmusic.com) and Jason Whitmore (jasonwhitmore.com); Mariachi Real San Diego (mariachireal.com); Techno Titan DJ Misha (djmisha.com); and DJ KAOS of Party Naked and The Roster (djkaossd.com).
Get a Room!
Because Margarita Month 2019 is so far away, consider reliving a slice of the marg life in the interim at Horton Grand Hotel, the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event’s lovely and generous host venue since 2015.
Horton Grand Hotel, 311 Island Ave., Gaslamp, 619.544.1886, hortongrand.com
They’ll Be the Judge of That!
Thank you to the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event’s panel of esteemed judges: MasterChef Season 6 winner Claudia Sandoval (claudiascocina.com), Z-90 FM on-air personalities Edina and DJ D-Rock (Z90.com), “Eating and Drinking in San Diego” founder Edwin Real (facebook.com/groups/eatdrinksd) and Milagro Tequila associate portfolio manager Shannon King (milagrotequila.com).