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International Margarita Day 2022: 9 of the best bars in Edinburgh for a margarita

Celebrate this classic cocktail

Published: February 15, 2022
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If responsible amounts of tequila make you happy, then let us remind you that it’s nearly International Margarita Day (February 22), which falls on a non party-ish Tuesday this year.

It’s one of the oldest cocktails, so we’re not sure who invented this mixture of triple sec or Cointreau, lime juice, tequila and a salted rim, since there have been various origin claims since the Thirties onwards.

As it’s a classic, most bars will be able to mix you one, though here are a few of our favourite margarita quaffing venues across the capital.

TACO LIBRE

It stands to reason that our favourite and the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the capital should also offer the best margaritas. Try whatever fruity and frozen variety, with chilli salt rims, that they have on the menu, along with their fish baja tacos and gringa quesadillas.

3 Shandwick Place, www.tacolibre.co.uk

Three Marys cocktail

THREE MARYS

Leith’s newest cocktail bar has created a cocktail for those who like something herbaceous and smoky, with their Hickory and Rosemary Margarita, which contains rosemary-infused Tapatio Blanco Tequila, lime juice, agave and hickory smoke. 

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63-65 Henderson Street, www.threemarysbar.co.uk

El Cartel frozen margarita

EL CARTEL

Visit the new El Cartel Roxburgh or its Teviot branch for an ever changing selection of fruity frozen margaritas, from mango to blood orange, strawberry, passionfruit, or the classic lime number for purists.

1 Roxburgh’s Court, 323 High Street, www.elcartelmexicana.co.uk

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TONIC

This bar does a cocktail called It’s Not a Margarita Suzan, which features Don Julio Blanco Tequila, agave, Suze (a bitter French aperitif made from gentian leaf), fresh grapefruit and lemon juice. For those who like sour flavours, this is extra mouth puckering.

34a North Castle Street, www.bar-tonic.co.uk

PARADISE PALMS

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The house margarita at this bar, which served vegan and vegetarian food by Lucky Pig, is the Tommy’s Margarita, which swaps out the triple sec for agave syrup, for a smoother drink. Their variation also features orange bitters, and is served with a chilli and lime salt rim.

41 Lothian Road, www.theparadisepalms.com

LADY LIBERTINE

This city centre bar can whip you up a classic toreador, which is a take on a margarita, but with apricot brandy replacing the triple sec ingredient.

24 West Register Street, www.ladylibertine.co.uk

THE COCKTAIL MAFIA

Edinburgh’s newest cocktail bar, with its neon horse’s head in the window, can do you a margarita, or you can try their take on the theme, with the scarily titled, I Oughta Choke You, £10.50. “Move over margarita, this straight up libation is here to take out the tequila competition,” they say on their menu, while describing this mixture of El Sueno Reposado, Cynar, yellow chartreuse, lime and agave.

15 Charlotte Lane, www.thecocktailmafia.co.uk

THE BASEMENT

Alongside a menu of huevos rancheros, fajitas and churros, this 20-odd-year-old downstairs bar offers El Classico margaritas, made with El Jimador Tequila. They also do a Tommy’s Margarita, or a smoky Mezcal Paloma, with Union Uno Mezcal, pamplemousse, grapefruit, lime and agave.

104 Broughton Street, www.basement-bar-edinburgh.co.uk

HOOT THE REDEEMER

We’re intrigued by this secret downstairs bar’s margarita-ish Mexico meets Scotland cocktail, The Devil, which features Altos Plata Tequila, Bruxo X Mezcal, Buckfast, blackberries, lime juice, egg white, ginger syrup and black pepper.

7 Hanover Street, www.hoottheredeemer.com

The Cocktail Mafia

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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