Celebrate National Tequila Day, Margarita Day or Any Day With Inventive Tequila Cocktails in Orlando
Margaritas may be the most common tequila-based cocktail in the world but these Orlando restaurants take tequila to the next level with inventive and refreshing concoctions to make any day a celebration!
July 24th is National Tequila Day!
Tequila is the national drink of Mexico but did you know it is named after the small town of Tequila in a valley west of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico? By law, only the spirit produced in this region can be officially called tequila. The spirit was also known as mezcal wine about the time the conquistadors came to the continent.
Now that your’re armed with that bit of trivia, let’s explore these inventive tequila cocktails served in restaurants around The City Beautiful.
The Tex-Mex restaurant located off Park Avenue in Winter Park, as well as a new beachfront location in Daytona Beach, has an inventive Margaritas and tequila cocktails selection to choose from that go beyond your basic tequila, triple sec, lime and salt mix. Pair with fried avocado bites, Mexican roasted corn and Cocina trio of guacamole, queso and fire roasted salsa for a true experience.
The most fun concoction is the “Pop Rocks Margarita” made with Tierras Organic Tequila, Grand Marnier, agave, fresh lime, cranberry juice served in a pop rocks candy-rimmed glass for a surprising “pop pop pop” in your mouth as you sip.
For a frozen treat, try “The Diablo Swirl Margarita.” It may sound like a spice bomb but it was refreshing instead with their original 214 frozen Margarita swirled with sangria.
If you want to splurge, hand over $35 to the bartender and go for “THE 1942” made with Don Julio 1942, Grand Marnier, agave, and fresh lime!
Epcot Mexico Pavilion
When drinking around the world at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park, a stop at the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase is a must. Take a break from the heat and grab a seat at the cave-like La Cava del Tequila restaurant. With more than 100 tequilas on the menu, a tequila flight is a great way to explore Mexico’s national drink: Tequila Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo accompanied with the traditional sangrita, salt and lime.
If you want to spice up your life, and I mean “Spicy” with a capital S, order the “Jalapeño Margarita” made with Tequila Altos Reposado, muddled jalapeños and cucumbers, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar with a hibiscus salt rim. It’s hot hot hot!
Feeling wild and fruity? My favorite is the “Wild Passion Fruit” cocktail with Tequila Blanco, ginger liqueur, passion fruit & mango purée, and fresh lime juice topped with a fun mango foam and Tajín chili powder rim for the perfect sweet and spicy one-two punch.
If you prefer to keep strolling around the world, make a quick pit-stop at the Choza de Margarita kiosk located next to the pyramid for frozen and on the rocks varieties. Beat the Florida heat with a “Fiesta Margarita.” A party blend of all three frozen selections Wild Strawberry, Classic Lime and Passion Mango.
The Signature Margaritas are a bit more unique and interesting including the “Acan Grapefruit” with Tequila Casa Noble blanco, grapefruit liqueur, elderflower cordial, cardamom bitters and ginger beer. The “Guava Pink Peppercorn” is for non-smokey mezcal lovers made with Zignum Mezcal Reposado, guava nectar, grapefruit liqueur, lime juice, Peychaud’s Bitters, and pink peppercorns. A refreshing sweet drink with a touch of heat.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando
All it took was a tequila pairing dinner at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort to banish the last of the vestiges of cheap tequila parties of young. Have you ever sipped chilled tequila in a champagne flute? That’s how Casa Dragones, a small batch luxury sipping tequila, is meant to be enjoyed. The team at Four Seasons Orlando created an incredible menu to complement it. These cocktails were made especially for the dinner, however, if you ask the fantastic bartenders at any of their bars, especially the Lobby Bar, they may be able to recreate them or make you something even craftier.
“Jengibre Dragon” Cocktail was a lovely twist on a ginger margarita made with Casa Dragones Blanco, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, Genepy des Alpes, agave and lime juice.
“La Toronja Old Fashioned” was a simple yet elevated crowd pleaser with Casa Dragones and a twist of grapefruit.
Head up to Capa Steakhouse, the 17th floor Spanish steakhouse, for the “Buena Vista Margarita.” It literally means “the good view margarita” and they mean it. The view of the Walt Disney World Resort fireworks while sipping the spicy blend of Jalapeño Infused Barrel Select Patron Reposado Tequila, Citrus, Salt Air and Espelette is breathtaking.
Nomad’s Lounge – Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Planning a visit to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom? You may need some stress relief from the long lines and heat with a stop at Nomad’s Lounge. My favorite “hidden gem” bar is an oasis within the madness serving a fantastic cocktail and bites menu.
“The Hightower Rocks” Margarita made with Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila, fresh watermelon, sweet and sour and lime juice was as refreshing as it sounds. After trying Casa Dragones tequila at the Four Seasons, I order it everywhere I see it on the menu. Pair with the bread service and I guarantee stress will float away faster than a banshee on the Flight of Passage ride.
The Disney Springs restaurant aboard an old fashioned paddleboat is my favorite spot for cocktails at sunset. The “Not Everyone’s Margarita” name is a bit deceiving because it is so delicious everyone should order one! I can understand not everyone likes mezcal, however, this is not the smokey type most associate with the spirit. A blend of Nuestra Soledad Mezcal, Azteca Azul tequila, jalapeño, Creme de Mure, house sour, and rimmed with black salt may change your mind about mezcal. Pair it with Lobster Corn Dogs, sit back and chill.
The speakeasy hidden bar located behind unassuming “elevator” doors at Dr. Phillips’ Dellagio Town Center serves up some cool as a cat tipples in a fun atmosphere. Every tincture you find is hand-crafted and custom blended using fresh ingredients for their own bitters, tonics and sodas. The menu requires some guidance from your server or bartender. When we asked for a tequila based cocktail, the “Papa Oaxaca” was recommended and it was indeed surprising. Xicaru Mezcal, fresh grapefruit and lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and agave garnished with a ghost pepper chili lollipop stirrer. It had a nice spicy after taste that was surprisingly enjoyable.
On National Tequila Day, ask for mixologist Dominick’s “Secret Tequila Menu,” featuring four new specialty cocktails at $12 each. Who knows they may even be available afterwards! “Pancho & Lefty” – for those bandits on the run, made with Xicaru Mezcal, Rx Chipotle Tincture, Contrato Bitters, Triplum, Lime Juice, Basil and Egg White. “One Hell of a Night” – Don’t ask why but after this, anything is possible – a blend of Dobel Tequila, Sfumato and Tart & Sour. “Ranch Water” – Feeling some Austin, Texas summer vibes with Dobel Tequila, Topo-Chico and Lime Peel. and lastly a “Tequila Sunset” – Transporting you back to the 70s with sweet and spicy flavors of pineapple washed Jalapeño Infused Dobel Tequila, Luxardo Bitters and Sous Vide with Bone Marrow.
The North Quarter district of Orlando got a shot of life together with more than 100 kinds of tequila and mezcal served in shots, up, frozen or on the rocks when Reyes Mezcaleria opened in 2017. The menu of Mexican inspired dishes and fun cocktails is not to be missed.
“La Maceta” cocktail, a refreshing herbaceous and a touch smoky blend of Por Siempre Sotol mezcal, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh basil and cucumber was full of flavor.
“El Mundo” made with Montelobos mezcal, Leopold’s Maraschino, Green Chartreuse, Ancho Reyes Verde was a fun sipper. Pair with Tlayuda appetizer of tender braised short rib or the fried Yuca Llenados during Happy Hour and smiles are guaranteed.
“I went to a party and dinner broke out. Rocco’s is definitely a party place.” The hot spot on Sand Lake Road – Restaurant Row of Orlando – is a tequila paradise with more than 300 varieties on the menu. To give you a glimpse of their quality, the house tequila is Maestro Dobel – the “Diamante” is a blend of reposado and anejo triple distilled through diamonds! With 18 margaritas on the menu, several available by the pitcher, you can’t go wrong.
If you want to do good, while feeling good, try the “MS Miracle Margarita” made with Maestro Dobel Diamante, Cedilla Acai Liqueur, agave nectar, and fresh lime. All proceeds from this sweet tart Margarita go to the National MS Society. Owner Rocco Mangel, who is known for standing on the bar pouring complimentary tequila shots, announced he was living with Multiple Sclerosis in 2017 and since then has raised more than $500,000 for this worthy charity.
The “Black Diamond Rita” with Maestro Dobel Diamante, Black Cherry Purée, Simple Syrup, Fresh Lime Juice, is garnished with Black Sea Salt for an elevated taste. Pair with tableside guacamole and stuffed fried jalapeño poppers. Choose your bar – the main bar, the entrance bar, the hidden bar and the lakeside bar each offer a unique atmosphere.
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
Take a stroll inside the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando’s premier four star hotel by local hotelier Harris Rosen, and pull up a chair at Mi Casa Tequila. You’ll feel right at home at this Mexican eatery where fun comes in a giant, made for two “El Jefe” Margarita. Made with El Jimador Tequila, agave, fresh lime juice and “garnished” with a whole bottle of Corona tipped inside. Pair it with fresh made tableside guacamole, topped with jumbo lump crab and lobster and you’ll be saying “Arriba Arriba!”
Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort
The legendary Bull & Bear Restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort is known for serving masterfully crafted cocktails. Simply ask the bartender to create something special, sit back and watch the show. During a visit last year, mixologist Justin Newman prepared his new “Bull & Bear Spicy Margarita” made with Patron Barrel Select Anejo Tequila, Green Chartreuse, St. Germaine liqueur, organic agave, lime juice, Gracias A Dios Mezcal, avocado, and egg white for a creamy and flavorful concoction that left us all in awe. Every cocktail at Bull & Bear is a work of art. While it’s not on the menu, just ask for a tequila cocktail and you won’t be disappointed. Pair it with the Bull & Bear Frittes and have fun!
Wine Bar George
Orlando’s newest wine bar located in Disney Springs may be most known for having a wine list curated by owner Master Sommelier George Miliotes with over 130 wines by the glass. But the cocktails on the menu do not take second place and are equally as creatively surprising and superbly crafted. Each includes a grape based spirit to further tie into the wine theme.
Try the “Queens Margarita” made with Lunazul Blanco tequila, Ordóñez No 1 Muscat and Creme de Cassis for a refreshing take on the original. Pair it with a number of fantastic appetizers like Grilled Octopus and Spiced Olives. Read my full review here.
Where will you celebrate your love of tequila in Orlando? Celebrate National Tequila Day or any day with friends and #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time. Anywhere you choose, please do so responsibly.