Salt or Sugar?: Memorable Margaritas in Long Beach
February 22 marks not only the birthday of the Father of Our Country, but the national day designated to honor the Queen of Cocktails, the mighty margarita! The sweet, sour and sometimes spicy concoction is so popular, so ubiquitous, chances are you think of it as a necessary part of every lounge and restaurant, like napkins ??? In Long Beach, the margarita comes in all sizes and interpretations, here’s some of the most interesting, innovative, distinct and delicious. Happy Margarita Day … oh, and Happy 291st, George!
SOLITA TACOS & MARGARITAS
Located at the busy downtown corner of Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue (just a short walk from the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center) Solita (1 Pine Ave.) specializes in margaritas, focusing on a carefully curated collection of more than 60 of Mexico’s finest small-batch tequilas and mezcals, including cristalino and signature single-barrel varieties. Using only fresh squeezed juices and hand-muddled ingredients in their signature cocktails which are shaken table-side to order. For National Margarita Day, Solita is partnering with Guide Dogs of America: for every purchase of Solita’s El Hombre margarita, $1 will be donated to Guide Dogs of America.
AGAVES KITCHEN & TEQUILA
When your restaurant is named after the very plant that gives birth to tequila–which, of course, gives birth to margaritas–and then throws tequila into the restaurant’s name just to drive the point home, well, that’s commitment. Agaves Kitchen & Tequila (200 Pine Ave.) is also committed to creating margarita combinations not often seen. The Cucumber 15 has citrus, watermelon and cucumber, the Matador comes with pineapple, mint and jalapeno, while the Agaves Rita has strawberry, mango and jamaica.
OLA MEXICAN KITCHEN
Located upstairs on the Marina side of the retail center, 2ND & PCH (6400 E. Pacific Coast Hwy), Ola Mexican Kitchen not only offers some of the most creative and delicious Mexican cuisine in the city – and absolutely addictive chips and salsa – pairing it with handcrafted margaritas ranging from such popular options as The Cadillac and the Abreojos, made with cucumber juice and agave nectar. All that and seriously beautiful views of the Long Beach Marina has made Ola an absolute go-to location for great drinks at sunset.
LOLA’S MEXICAN CUISINE
The margarita menu at one of Long Beach’s most loved restaurants is voluminous – nine distinct margaritas, at last count – and in constant evolution. Some are sweet, some spicy. Sure, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine’s (2030 Fourth St./4140 Atlantic Ave.) standard house version is popular, but so is the Spicy Watermelon, finished with jalapeňo watermelon puree. There are Blood Orange, Chile Mango and Pink Guava Margaritas along with the Tamarind Mezcal Margarita that comes complete with Tamarind and Angostura Bitters.