Who doesn't want to sip something a little festive on Cinco de Mayo? Whether you're a traditional señorita sticking to agave-lime margaritas at one of L.A.’s best tequila bars, or looking to impress your guests with a home-made mescal concoction, we've got you covered with the best tequila cocktails this side of the border. Olé!
El Carmen is an institution, and if you're planning on drinking tequila straight, this is the place to do it. But if plain hard liquor isn't your speed, try the blood orange or ginger cilantro margarita. Refreshing and delicious!
El Carmen, 8138 West 3rd Street (at Kilkea Avenue); 323-852-1552.
Yxta Cocina Mexicana:
Good luck pronouncing "Yxta" after a round of La Fresas (Camarena silver, muddled strawberry, and mint. Yum!). Modern and fun, it's the perfect spot for laid-back drinks and snacks.
Yxta Cocina Mexicana, 601 South Central Avenue (at East 6th Street); 213-596-5579.
As part of the 213 collective, you know this place has to be good--and not just because of their staggering array of tequilas, but something a little smokier: mezcal. The "Puro" is the perfect intro to tequila's sexier cousin, basically a mezcal old fashioned. Sip a few of their beautifully-crafted cocktails in a booth, or play a round of pool in the main bar, it's the perfect spot for festive drinks and a good time.
Las Perlas, 107 East 6th Street (at South Main Street); 213-988-8355.
Why mess with perfection? Tart, sweet, and a touch salty, this is the perfect classic cocktail with chips and salsa.
1 lime wedge and kosher salt
2 ounces white tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar or juice
Moisten the outer rim of a rocks glass with the lime wedge and coat lightly with salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice and agave nectar, shake well and strain into rocks glass.
El Guapo is indeed a handsome, handsome drink. The hot sauce prickles your throat on the finish, and the mix of lime and cucumber is just delicious.
3 oz tequila blanco
1 jigger (1.5 oz) lime juice
1 small persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Cholula, Tapatio or Tobasco)
Salt and Pepper
Muddle the lime juice and cucumbers in the bottom of your shaker. Fill half way up with ice, add the tequila, and shake like hell. Pour into a tumbler with some of the ice and cucumbers. Finish with hot sauce and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and garnish with red chili pepper is you like.
A smokey play off the classic cocktail, The Last Word, the mezcal is the perfect partner for the herbaceous chartreuse.
3/4 oz mescal
3/4 oz maraschino liquor
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz yellow chartreuse
Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled half way with ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds vigorously. Strain out into a chilled glass and enjoy.