This International Margarita Day (February 22), visit one of our favorite Edinburgh bars


The Roxburgh Cartel

If responsible amounts of tequila make you happy, then let us remind you that it’s nearly International Margarita Day (February 22), which falls on a non-party-ish Tuesday this year. It’s one of the oldest cocktails, so we’re not sure who invented this mixture of triple sec or Cointreau, lime juice, tequila and a salted rim, since there have been various origin claims since the Thirties onwards. As it’s a classic, most bars will be able to mix you one, though here are a few of our favorite margarita quaffing venues across the capital.

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It stands to reason that our favorite and the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the capital should also offer the best margaritas. Try whatever fruity and frozen variety, with chilli salt rims, that they have on the menu, along with their fish baja tacos and gringa quesadillas.

The Cocktail Mafia

Leith’s newest cocktail bar has created a cocktail for those who like something herbaceous and smoky, with their Hickory and Rosemary Margarita, which contains rosemary-infused Tapatio Blanco Tequila, lime juice, agave and hickory smoke.

hickory and rosemary daisy

Visit the new El Cartel Roxburgh or its Teviot branch for an ever changing selection of fruity frozen margaritas, from mango to blood orange, strawberry, passionfruit, or the classic lime number for purists.

The Daisy Poster

This bar does a cocktail called It’s Not a Margarita Suzan, which features Don Julio Blanco Tequila, agave, Suze (a bitter French aperitif made from gentian leaf), fresh grapefruit and lemon juice. For those who like sour flavours, this is extra mouth puckering.

The house margarita at this bar, which served vegan and vegetarian food by Lucky Pig, is the Tommy’s Margarita, which swaps out the triple sec for agave syrup, for a smoother drink. Their variation also features orange bitters, and is served with a chilli and lime salt rim.

This city center bar can whip you up a classic toreador, which is a take on a margarita, but with apricot brandy replacing the triple sec ingredient.

Edinburgh’s newest cocktail bar, with its neon horse’s head in the window, can do you a margarita, or you can try their take on the theme, with the scarily titled, I Oughta Choke You, £10.50. “Move over margarita, this straight up libation is here to take out the tequila competition,” they say on their menu, while describing this mixture of El Sueno Reposado, Cynar, yellow chartreuse, lime and agave.

Alongside a menu of Huevos Rancheros, Fajitas and Churros, this 20-odd-year-old downstairs bar offers El Classico margaritas, made with El Jimador Tequila. They also do a Tommy’s Margarita, or a smoky Mezcal Paloma, with Union Uno Mezcal, pamplemousse, grapefruit, lime and agave.

We’re intrigued by this secret downstairs bar’s margarita-ish Mexico meets Scotland cocktail, The Devil, which features Altos Plata Tequila, Bruxo X Mezcal, Buckfast, blackberries, lime juice, egg white, ginger syrup and black pepper.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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