Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
It’s not like anyone needs a good reason to drink tequila, right? But if you do, July 24 is the holiday for you: It’s National Tequila Day!
The origins of this particular holiday are unclear. Did someone once do the most body shots in history? Drink the biggest margarita every mixed? Who knows. I’ve decided the best way to celebrate is to take advantage of the increasingly good tequilas—and their close cousin mezcal—at the places that specialize in them.
Here’s a generous handful of them. Now, go celebrate National Tequila Day.
The United States is currently divided into two parts: Those who care desperately about the World Cup and are devoting the next few weeks to watching all 62 games. And those who will steadfastly ignore any and all World Cup coverage.
Like most of the rest of the world, I am in the former group. (USA! USA!! USA!!! Also Spain, France and Brazil.) Here are 10 great places to catch as many games as possible, score some good food and find some other distractions, if you’re not glued to the screen at all times.
(Travel + Leisure) No detail is too trivial for New York’s Empellón Taqueria, which stocks more than five types of salt just for its margaritas. One specialty salt is spiked with chiles and ground-up maguey; another, infused with ginger, tops off the spiced pear margarita.
America’s best margaritas, recommended by tequila experts and some of the country’s top mixologists, range from spicy to sweet, shaken to frozen. We wanted to toast the classics as well as quirky variations on the standard recipe of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. What all these margaritas share with Empellón’s is a thoughtful commitment to quality—and complementary—ingredients.
The esteemed margarita at Tommy’s Mexican, a San Francisco institution, substitutes agave nectar (honey water) for triple sec with such success that it’s been replicated by bars across America.
Houston’s Pastry War supplies a bubble tea straw to suck up the whole pomegranate seeds in its frozen margaritas. In New Orleans, Tivoli & Lee draws on local inspiration, adding native hibiscus to its margarita. These versions don’t require limes, an advantage at a time when a lime shortage has been making headlines and raising prices nationwide.
Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo or just the end of the workweek, fill your glass with one of the finest margaritas north of the border.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at a bar when they announced last call. Service stopped. Twenty minutes later, two bartenders I know came rolling in. “Oh, man, the bar is closed,” I said. “Last call doesn’t apply to bartenders,” my friend replied. Sure enough, the guy behind the bar sprang into action for them.
Since then, I’ve become obsessed with getting bartender treatment. And I found the perfect team to help.
Meet some key ladies from Speed Rack. The raucous all-girls bartending competition, where women make drinks at lightning-fast speed and judges pick the winner, isn’t just an awesome party: It also raises money to fight breast cancer ($160,000 so far). Miss Speed Rack USA 2014 is Caitlin Laman of Trick Dog in San Francisco (big applause); Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix are the Speed Rack founders (more applause). I asked them for help.
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