Here are the town's ten best creative takes on the traditional margarita (in alphabetical order) from Denver's mixology magicians.
Watermelon Jalapeño MargaritaComida Cantina
2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
At $10 for a tall pour or $35 for a shareable jar, the watermelon jalapeño margarita at Comida seems like a steal. And unlike so many giant margaritas, this one is well balanced and boozy, rather than overpowered by tequila or too syrupy from premade mix. Each batch starts with house-infused jalapeño tequila to which fresh watermelon juice, agave nectar and lime are added. The spicy-sweet combo makes this margarita one to remember, especially if you're enjoying a platter of tacos with your drinks.
Margarita of the MonthDos Santos Taqueria
1475 East 17th Avenue
Every month, Dos Santos creates a new margarita with bright colors and innovative flavors. In February it was a romantic strawberry champagne marg; for the rest of April, the bar shook up a violet coconut-cream margarita. This unique tipple combined tequila blanco, violet liqueur, Cointreau, cream of coconut and lime juice for a tiki-meets-Mexico combo that's both thirst-quenching and satisfying — think tropical, festive and addictive. May will see a pomegranate mint margarita, a fruity, refreshing and tart cocktail perfect for Cinco de Mayo and beyond.
2601 Larimer Street
Life is rosy at Il Posto, thanks to barman Adam Gamboa's RosatoRita cocktail. This margarita bends all the rules, putting rosewater, lavender bitters and Montanaro grappa from Italy in the drink, and serving it with a honey, sea salt and pink peppercorn rim. There's tequila, too, of course, the lovely Codigo 1530 Blanco, which uses mature agave at least seven years old. The cocktail's Mexican origins are still apparent in the floral, pink concoction, even if there's a little Italy thrown in. And like the drink itself, our world takes on a pleasing rosy hue after a few sips.
Volcán DaisyKachina Cantina
1890 Wazee Street
Kachina's Volcán Daisy is just different enough from a standard margarita to attract thrill-seekers without turning off traditionalists. Made with Volcán de Mi Tierra tequila (grown in the volcanic soils of Jalisco), yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice and simple syrup, this anise-tinged cocktail proves a little sweet and a little cooling while packing a hefty punch of booze. Since Chartreuse is not to everyone's liking, Kachina also mixes a prickly pear margarita and serves bottomless house margs for brunch every weekend.
Fuego VerdeLola Coastal Mexican
1575 Boulder Street
If you're seeking a funky margarita with a smooth dose of heat, the Fuego Verde at Lola Coastal Mexican will satisfy most pepperheads. This bright-green drink mixes Corazón Blanco tequila, a whole jalapeño, a handful of fresh cilantro and lime juice, with a touch of agave nectar to sweeten it up. Saccharine it's not; instead, the refreshing, herbaceous cocktail balances sweet and sour with the spice of the liquor and capsicum. The presence of hot peppers may be a little intimidating at first, but this margarita goes down easy, particularly when accompanied by guacamole and chips.