At its heart, the margarita is a straightforward cocktail, just tequila with orange liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup and maybe a salt rim. That simple goodness has helped it become the most popular tequila-based drink in the United States. But mixologists aren’t to be limited; they’ve created countless variations on the classic with different fruits and garnishes, and are even experimenting with chemistry. With Friday being National Margarita Day, we’re highlighting a few, offered as specials or at special prices:
■ Both valley locations of Hussong’s — which claims to have created the margarita in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico — will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. At Boca Park, where a Pee-wee Herman impersonator will do the tequila dance from 5-7 p.m. and the Original Margarita will be BOGO for $9.95, other popular margaritas are the Romance, which serves two, $20.95; the Lychee, $10.95; and the El Pepino, with muddled jalapenos, cucumbers and cilantro, $11.95. At the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, where the faux Pee-wee will do the tequila dance from 7-9 p.m., the Original Margarita will be BOGO for $12; the Romance is $25; the El Pepino $13; and another popular drink is the Blackberry Splash, $13.
■ Yard House, which has locations in Town Square, Red Rock Resort and The Linq Promenade, has introduced the color-changing Magic Margarita. Made with Don Julio Blanco Tequila, filtered water and pea leaves, which are infused for 12 hours, it starts out blue. But pour in the sidecar of pale yellow house-made citrus agave and it suddenly turns purple. It’s $12.95 at all Yard House locations.
■ At Bahama Breeze Island Grille, 375 Hughes Center Drive, National Margarita Day is commemorated in the price — $2.22 — of the restaurant’s classic margarita both Thursday and Friday. The day also launches the annual Viva La ’Rita, when the chain will introduce its own color-changing drink, Mystic Margarita, and a coconut-pineapple version.
■ Smoked Burgers &BBQ at The Forum Shops at Caesars serves a smoked Casamigos Blanco margarita. It starts with applewood chips burned over a cedar plank to produce smoke, which is added to the tequila, the mixture then poured over ice with Triple Sec, lime juice and simple syrup. It’s $12.
■ Distill and Remedy’s locations are offering their house margaritas for $5 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and if you mention the secret code “on the rocks,” you’ll get free chips and salsa, too. Dine-in only, one order per table. Distill is at 10820 W. Charleston Blvd., 4830 W. Pyle Ave. and 6430 N. Durango Drive. Remedy’s is at 3265 St. Rose Parkway and 530 Conestoga Way, both in Henderson.
■ All locations of PT’s Taverns are offering a margarita for $6 all day Friday. It’s made with Sauza Blue Silver tequila, triple sec and sweet and sour mix and served with a salt rim.
■ Therapy, 518 Fremont St., has created a fishbowl margarita that will be available Friday only. Made with Gran Agave Reposado tequila, Gaetano triple sec, lime juice, simple syrup, organic strawberry puree, Tajin seasoning and muddled jalapenos, it’s garnished with lime wedges, strawberries and jalapenos, serves up to six, and is $20.