Saturday Is National Margarita Day! Celebrate With Two Nontraditional Versions
Look, I don't know who comes up with these national food and drink holidays. I don't know why. I don't know how many years any of them have been celebrated. And I swear, there are at least four National Pie days every year.
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg Make your own margarita at home or check out one of my favorite spots.
What I'm saying is I'm kind of a scrooge when it comes to food holidays. All except for one: National Margarita Day.
National Margarita Day actually seems to be one of the few arbitrary food holidays that has a single, agreed upon date. Every year we celebrate that magical combination of lime and tequila on February 22, which, (praise Dionysus) happens to be a Saturday this year.
There are plenty of places in town hosting specials for the holiday. But I propose that instead of joining everyone else in Houston at your favorite Tex-Mex bar/restaurant, you go a different route.
I'm talking Kata Robata.
Try Kata Robata's Conquistador for an interesting take on a margarita.
"An Asian restaurant?!" you say. "Blasphemy."
It's true, though. Not only does Kata Robata stock high-quality tequila, fresh lime juice and agave nectar (none of that simple syrup crap), the cocktail menu also includes a drink called the Conquistador, which is a sort of Manhattan/Margarita hybrid.
Unlike the traditional marg, which contains tequila, the Conquistador uses smoky mezcal with lime juice and agave nectar. Then, to add a bit of the Manhattan in there, it's also got sweet vermouth and angostura bitters.
It's not yellowish like a classic margarita (Note: If it's green, you're doing it wrong). Rather, it's a golden color, thanks to the mezcal and the dash of angostura. All of the ingredients are combined in a cocktail shaker with ice and shaken until chilled and blended.
The result is sweet, smoky and rich, but still highly palatable. The citrus and sweet vermouth star. It's a great starter drink for people who may not be ready for more intense mezcal cocktails or mezcal neat.
The bartenders at Kata Robata are also capable of making a great traditional margarita, though livelier cocktails and sake are really their thing.
Of course, my favorite margarita in town comes out of my own kitchen.
The story continues on the next page.