The invention of the margarita is shrouded in mystery. While the drink dates at least to the 1930s, there’s plenty of debate over the person or bar that first combined tequila, triple sec (or another orange liqueur) and lime juice in the 7:4:3 ratio recognized by the International Bartenders Association as a proper margarita.
We can credit Todd McCalla, however, with setting aside Feb. 22 as National Margarita Day — at least according to nationalmargaritaday.com. Here are a few places to grab a variation of this classic cocktail on Saturday.
Cabo Wabo Cantina
There’s almost certainly no rock star who has sold more margaritas than Sammy Hagar. His local Cabo Wabo Cantina alone has served more than 2.7 million of them since its opening 10 years ago. And on Saturday, margarita lovers can sample three varieties in a flight, for $16.22. Guests can choose from such options as Desert Pear Margarita (Xicaru Mezcal, cactus fruit and limes), the Cocorita (Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila, lime juice and crème of coconut) and the Blood Orange Margarita (Tattoo Blanco Tequila, blood orange puree, lime juice and blood orange liqueur). Miracle Mile Shops, 702-385-2226, cabowabocantina.com/vegas
Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
The margarita makers at Golden Nugget’s Mexican restaurant understand that with age, comes wisdom. They start the Barrel-Aged Hibiscus Margarita with Avion Anejo Tequila, which has been aged for 24 months. After combining that with Tres Agave Nectar, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters and Fruitlab Organic Hibiscus Liqueur, the resulting mixture is aged an additional 20 days in a five-liter American Charred Oak Barrel before it’s offered to patrons. Golden Nugget, 702-386-8169, goldennugget.com
Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant
In honor of the margarita day, all Pancho’s flavored margaritas will be $3 off from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday. Or, for purists who aren’t looking for a discount, check out the signature Cadillac “Naughty Maggie” Margarita. While many so-called “Cadillac” margaritas have reposados as their base spirit, this one starts with Jose Cuervo Especial Gold. But it does follow the Cadillac tradition of topping the cocktail with a bit of Grand Marnier. Downtown Summerlin, 702-982-0111, panchosrestaurant.com
Bobby Flay’s Caesars Palace flagship is known for its bold flavors and specialty margaritas. For the holiday, some signature margaritas will be $15. Try the Cactus Pear variety, made with Corazon Blanco tequila, cactus pear syrup and fresh lime juice. Caesars Palace, 702-731-7731, mesagrill.com
Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn’s resident mixologist Andrew Pollard has joined forces with Casamigos tequila to create a special Margarita Day cocktail crawl. For $90, guests can enjoy four different margaritas, each paired with small bites, at four of the resort’s bars: Jardin, Parasol, Tower Suite Bar and Lakeside. The crawl runs from 3 to 7 p.m., and will be followed by a Casamigos tasting at Lakeside. Tickets can be purchased by calling the concierge at 702-770-7070. wynnlasvegas.com
Vanderpump Cocktail Garden
It should come as no surprise to fans of reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump that she’s chosen to go pink for the margarita holiday. It is, after all, her signature color. Her take on the classic cocktail is known as the Vanderpink Margarita, and is made with tequila, fresh lime, hibiscus, white peach and orange liqueur. Caesars Palace, 702-731-7867, caesars.com
Is your drink changing colors, or have you just had one too many? If you order the Magic Margarita at Yard House, you’ll be able to make a solid argument that it’s the former. The cocktail, made with Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, starts out blue, but turns purple when guests pour in the sidecar of house-made Citrus Agave. Yard House’s menu also features four additional margaritas: Pomegranate Margarita, House Margarita, Salted Watermelon Margarita and Grand Patrón Margarita. Multiple locations, yardhouse.com