Having dinner at a Mexican restaurant is exceptionally satisfying. It seems to hit all the senses in just the right way, which takes an eatery from good to great. From the moment you walk in the door, you are treated to the sound of spirited Mariachi music and the decor boasts the many beautiful colors of Mexico’s rich culture. You smell the intoxicating aromas of fried corn, roasting chiles, and sizzling meats coming from the kitchen; You taste the savory, spicy, nuanced flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine; And you feel the heat of those hot-of-the-griddle tortillas on your fingertips.
If you’ve ordered an icy margarita to go with all of this goodness, you’re certainly not alone. The tequila-based drink seems to have become the unofficial drink of choice to go alongside Mexican food, and if it’s done correctly, there’s nothing quite like it. Made fresh, a margarita is the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, and salty with a pleasant jolt of alcohol. However, the cocktail has become so in-demand, especially at Mexican restaurants, that shortcuts have inevitably affected its perfection.
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You may want to consider a different beverage to go with your next plate of tacos al pastor.
It Might Not Be Freshly Made
You may have a favorite Mexican restaurant that you’ve been patronizing for years and, as far as you’re concerned, they have the best margaritas on the planet. Who cares how they’re made? If this sounds like you, then you keep doing you and enjoy yourself. But, according to Insider, many Mexican restaurants use packs of pre-made margarita mix that are laden with sugar, filling you up before your tortilla soup arrives.
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If you have found a spot that makes their margaritas the authentic way using tequila, fresh lime juice, and orange liqueur blended or served over ice in a glass with a salted rim, this is ideal. Mexican cuisine master Rick Bayless specifies on his Frontera Grill menu that his margaritas are made and shaken tableside, so you know you’re in good hands.
A good alternative might be a freshly made Paloma, which combines tequila and grapefruit juice or soda, a Michelada which is like a Bloody Mary but made with beer, or (for an alcohol-free treat), a glass of cold Horchata, which is a creamy rice milk-based beverage spiced with cinnamon.