Viva Agave: Happy National Tequila Day!

Tequila might te-kill-ya, but it is nonetheless an important staple in anyone's drinking repertoire. That is why today we celebrate National Tequila Day (Cinco de Mayo just isn't enough tequila!). In honor of this boozy holiday, we are providing you with a fantastic list of bars around the city offering up delicious tequila-based cocktails. And for those who can't make it out today, there's even a DIY cocktail recipe. Cheers!

A.G Kitchen, the new Upper West Side restaurant by lauded Executive Chef Alex Garcia, looks to Southeast Asia for inspiration when crafting the Thai Me Down, which stars tequila infused with pineapple and Thai basil. The drink also incorporates fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime and green chartreuse – an herbal liqueur made by monks.

Jbird Cocktails, the Upper East Side spot for serious spirits, pairs Anejo Tequila – a barrel-aged, mahogany-colored tequila – with smoky Reposado Mezcal to craft the Brush of the Bush ($14). Bartenders also add sage agave nectar, cherry bark and vanilla bitters for an earthy and floral affair – a new way to experience tequila.

Nearby GO Burger Bar & Grill makes the Dusk and Dawn ($12) by blending grapefruit juice and pomegranate syrup with Blanco Tequila for a clean, refreshing beverage. Blanco tequila is the blue agave plant at its purest -- clear and un-aged so that the natural intensity and sweetness of the tequila shines.

La Piscine, the rooftop bar of The Americano, offers the fragrant Hibiscus Margarita ($16) with hibiscus-infused tequila, Combier – the world’s first triple sec – agave and fresh lime. In the sleek downstairs dining room, guests can enjoy the restaurant’s signature Americano Margarita ($16) with Combier, fresh lime and bay leaf-infused tequila, making it more herbaceous than the typical margarita. Both The Americano and La Piscine also offer a full menu of tequilas by the bottle, including the coveted Casa Dragones ($60), which is hand-crafted in small batches.

In Astoria, MexiBBQ is also experimenting with the classic margarita. This Mexican-meets-Southern barbecue restaurant serves the Smoking Cowboy Margarita ($10), crafted with Reposado Tequila, fresh lime, organic agave nectar and guava chipotle sauce, poured in a glass rimmed with Executive Chef Jonathan VanSleet’s spice blend. MexiBBQ also makes the Passion Fruit Jalapeño Margarita ($10) with 100 percent agave tequila, fresh lime, organic agave nectar, passion fruit puree and jalapeno to bring the heat.
The Spicy Habanero Margarita ($11) served at Virgil’s Real Barbecue also packs major heat. Beverage Director Erin Ward infuses fresh habenero peppers in Sauza Tequila for a couple of days before mixing the blend with fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup. The glass is lined with a raw sugar, the finishing touch for this spicy, sweet and tart margarita. 

Spice Market introduces a new beer cocktail just in time for National Tequila Day. Created by Culinary Concepts beverage director Belinda Chang, the Cilantro Cooler packs a punch with Reposado tequila, fresh cilantro, lime juice, simple syrup, and lager beer. See below for the recipe!

Cilantro Cooler

8 sprigs Fresh Cilantro
2 ounces Reposado Tequila
1 ounce Lime Juice
¾ ounce Simple Syrup
1 bottle Lager Beer
Lime Wheel

In a mixing glass muddle 6 sprigs of cilantro. Add the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Lager Glass filled with ice. Top with Beer and garnish with remaining sprigs Cilantro and a Lime Wheel.