Winning Shot(s)

Margarita photography by Sara Norris

Thousands of San Diegans drank more than 10,000 margaritas during PacificSD's first annual Margarita Month competition and taste-fest. They sipped, snapped and hashtagged varieties of San Diego's original craft cocktail at 28 of the city's top bars and restaurants throughout the month of May, and then converged to vote for their favorites at the Grand Tasting Event, held May 31 at the Horton Grand Hotel.

When this many bartenders, mixologists and tequila lovers get together, everyone wins (especially Uber). Here's how the margaritas fared.

People's Choice Awards
These social media superstars garnered the most Instagram hashtags and online votes throughout the month of May

1st Place - The Duck Dive
2nd Place - The Local Pacific Beach
3rd Place - The Prado at Balboa Park, Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill (tie)

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Grand Tasting Event Winner
Results derived from the more than 700 consumer votes cast at the Grand Tasting Event

1st Place - Florent Restaurant & Lounge
2nd Place - Oceana Coastal Kitchen
3rd Place - Casa de Bandini
Honorable Mention - The Local Pacific Beach

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They'll Be the Judge of That
Margarita Month's distinguished panel of judges (listed below) ranked all the margaritas at the Grand Tasting Event

Ron Donoho, Editor-in-Chief - San Diego CityBeat
Geena the Latina, Morning Show Host - Channel 93.3 FM
Sonic, Afternoon Drive Host - Energy 103.7 FM
Henry Lewis, Founder - Sandiegoville.com
Joshua MF Carlos, Mixologist - Table No. 10
Greg Baldyga, Food & Beverage Director - Horton Grand Hotel

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Best Overall Taste
1st Place -Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill
2nd Place - Casa Sol y Mar
3rd Place - Indigo Grill
Honorable Mention - The Local Pacific Beach, Tavern at the Beach (tie)

Best Presentation
1st Place - Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill
2nd Place - Indigo Grill, Tavern at the Beach (tie)
Honorable Mention - Wonderland Ocean Pub, Casa Sol y Mar (tie)

Best Traditional Margarita
1st Place - The Prado at Balboa Park
2nd Place - Casa de Bandini, Casa Sol y Mar (tie)

Originality
1st Place - Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill
2nd Place - Wonderland Ocean Pub
3rd Place - Indigo Grill, Oceana Coastal Kitchen (tie)
Honorable Mention - Tavern at the Beach

Best Garnish
1st Place - Wonderland Ocean Pub
2nd Place - Casa Sol y Mar
3rd Place - Indigo Grill
Honorable Mention - Florent Restaurant & Lounge, The Prado at Balboa Park (tie)

Best Use of Fresh Ingredients
1st Place - Casa Sol y Mar
2nd Place - Florent Restaurant & Lounge, Tavern at the Beach (tie)
Honorable Mention - The Rabbit Hole

Best Use of Nontraditional Ingredients
1st Place - Oceana Coastal Kitchen
2nd Place - Wonderland Ocean Pub
3rd Place - Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill
Honorable Mention - Indigo Grill

Best Name
1st Place - Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill
2nd Place - Tavern at the Beach
3rd Place - Fat Fish Cantinagrill
Honorable Mention - Florent Restaurant & Lounge

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Participating Venues
Bootlegger
Casa de Bandini
Casa Guadalajara
Casa Sol y Mar
Ciro's Pizzeria & Beerhouse
Don Chido
El Callejon
Fat Fish Cantinagrill
Florent Restaurant & Lounge
Funky Garcia's Mexican Eatery & Bar
Indigo Grill
Johnny V
Lumberyard Tavern
Oceana Coastal Kitchen (at Catamaran Resort)
Pacific Beach Shore Club
Pop's Liquor Cabinet
Puesto
Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill
Tavern at the Beach
The Blind Burro
The Deck at Moonshine Flats
The Duck Dive
The Local PB
The Prado at Balboa Park
The Rabbit Hole
The Reef Bar
True North Tavern
Wonderland Ocean Pub

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Maquillage International Make-Up Academy hosted a body-painting contest at the Margarita Month Grand Tasting Event, challenging three artists to create designs reflecting the image of the Milagro Tequila brand. Artists Mirelle Hernandez, Christina Ann Marie Smith and Gisella Pons competed, spending about five hours each to paint their human masterpieces. Maquillage director of education and sponsor Camera Ready Cosmetics were among the judges, who chose Smith - a lead makeup artist for Besame Cosmetics in Los Angeles - as the contest winner.

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