The Best Margaritas In London
What’s better than spending your whole evening going toe to toe with a lime juicer? These expert cocktails.
Here’s how making a margarita at home goes. The idea strikes you like a tennis ball being thrown in the unsuspecting face of some innocent TikTok labradoodle. Why yes, you think. Why shouldn’t I make margaritas? I still have that bottle of tequila from New Year’s 2011. Forty-eight minutes later you will have salt in your eye, approximately 12 millilitres of lime juice militantly teased from 18 of those little green bastards, and you’ll treat your guests to a performance of a one-person show entitled If I Wanted A Workout, I’d Actually Use That Pure Gym Membership. Making margaritas is a certified faff. Drinking margaritas at these bars is certified fabulous. Salt rims at the ready, here comes the tequila.
You’ll never forget your first mirror margarita at Dalston’s Hacha. Ours involved witnessing Senior Staff Writer, Jake Missing, pretend to be in a George Clooney Nescafé advert with a t-shirt pulled over his head, and the iconic line ‘I’m already pished’. See, the magic of the mirror margarita is potent. This exceptional margarita has won a whole bunch of best booze awards and it masquerades as water. Entirely transparent with a base of Patron Silver tequila, the grapefruit zest, cane syrup, and ‘Hacha sour mix’ (secrets make us feel special), all give it an unforgettable flavour. It has no business being this good and being a casual £9.95, but we’re very glad it is.
FYI there is another Hacha agaveria in Brixton and you can also order the mirror margarita to enjoy at home.
Decimo makes us feel all the sexy feelings. Sue us. We’re simple creatures who respond the way humans are meant to respond to red circular booths, panoramic skyline views, and a margarita menu that reads like the invite list to a bottle of Tapatio Blanco’s birthday party. You’ve got six elite margaritas to choose from at this upmarket Mexican-inspired restaurant inside The Standard hotel. And because life in London is a feral ferris wheel of deciding between corporate sadness and freelance fatigue, we’ll just go ahead and tell you that the mezcal one is the best of the bunch. It’s packed full of Cointreau, Mexican key lime, Mezcal Amores espadin, and—whisper it—agave nectar. It’s also 19 Great British pounds, but if you’re truly committed to the margarita cause and concur that foliage thirst trap bars on the 10th floor of a hotel are deeply sensual, it’s worth it.
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Soma is an exceptional bar that breaks our hearts. Until Adele writes a hit about a suave Soho bar changing its menu seasonally and therefore throwing our tender booze memories in the bin, we will not feel truly seen by popular culture. Alas, Soma’s take on the margarita survived its latest menu remix and for that we are truly thankful. This basement bar is from the people behind cool and casual Indian mini-chain Kricket, and the Chaat cocktail is a smoky mezcal verde and Tapatio Blanco tequila margarita creation, complete with a kumquat zing and chaat masala spices. Tequila traditionalists don’t fear, it’s an expert margarita by way of Mumbai.
We care about your margarita feelings. Head to Soma’s website for the current menu to check the Chaat is still present.
We didn’t even know that drinking a £14 margarita in the sole company of a clay armadillo salt pot is a type of self-care until Kol entered our lives. This upmarket terracotta fantasy in Marylebone serves a fever dream tasting menu of creative Mexican dishes and getting a reservation will turn into Your Life’s Work. However, they also have a mezcaleria downstairs that usually has same-day availability and if you ask very nicely, they’ll make the restaurant’s house margarita for you. Pick between Volcán de Mi Tierra tequila or Montelobos Espadin mezcal verjus—our preference is the latter. Then instead of low-key lime juice, the sour kick comes from yuzu sake and Muyu Chinotto, a seriously zesty citrus liqueur that we want on our bar carts at home.
photo credit: Steven Joyce
The Sun Tavern
The Sun Tavern is one of those places that feels like the lovechild of your rowdiest local and your favourite great little bar. Ergo, we love it. On Bethnal Green Road, it prides itself on having a huge selection of Irish whisky which, sure, probably doesn’t get the old margarita senses tingling but that’s where ‘Bonnie’s Margarita’ comes into play. We don’t know who Bonnie is but she’s probably a right laugh and owns 10 disco balls. Good for Bonnie. Be like Bonnie. Drink like Bonnie. You’ve got Ocho Blanco tequila, pisco, a sizzling scotch bonnet ferment, and some white vermouth that gives it a dry little kick. It’s nine quid and has never ever failed us. Kudos to Bonnie.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Beyoncé unfairly romanticised being drunk in love and that was wrong of her. The reality of being drunk in love is arguing over who is going to be really, really brave and get the Dioralyte from the bathroom cabinet, second shelf babe, without turning the bedroom light on. We know this because we once went to Breddos Tacos with a significant other and drank enough frozen margaritas to be considered walking ice sculptures. The congelada—frozen margarita—at this casual Mexican spot in Clerkenwell is lethally sippable and slushie-adjacent. It is strong, it is best friends with the salt and spice rim, and it will make you feel like your tongue has been hijacked by a charismatic lime. So yes, it’s perfect.