Drinking your lunch got easier at Chipotle yesterday, when the homegrown Colorado chain introduced premium Patrón margaritas in all 900 of its U.S. restaurants (out of 1,450 Chipotle locations total). Although margaritas were on the menu before this, they were made with a standard mix, and Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle, felt they were not "as delicious as they could be."
And margaritas should indeed be delicious.
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The premium Patrón margaritas are hand-made to order with Patrón Silver tequila, triple sec, a blend of fresh lime and lemon juices, and organic agave nectar, and served on the rocks with the expected salt and lime wedge. There's still a lower-priced house margarita option made with Sauza, but it's now made with the same fresh ingredients as the premium version.
"Quite simply, we wanted to make a better-tasting margarita," says Chipotle spokeswoman Danielle Winslow. "Our house margaritas were previously made in batches using margarita mix and a standard Sauza tequila. While they were good, we didn't feel that they were as delicious as they could be. Our new margarita recipe eliminates the mix in favor of a few simple ingredients, and we think it tastes much better and brings our signature cocktail more in line with our food."
Many of the Chipotle locations also offer beer, including craft varieties.
I asked Winslow if there are plans to introduce other top-shelf cocktails, since a Bloody Mary with actual chipotle peppers could be particularly good. Although Chipotle is focusing on the margs right now, she says she "can't eliminate the possibility."
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And if that possibility ever becomes reality, I'll be the first one to order a Chipotle Bloody Mary at my local location -- and the last one to leave.