Experience the cities that inspired 2019’s Margarita of the Year contenders.
Mar. 26, 2019
From the Margarita of the Year SeriesSee more
Spring is here, and with warmer weather comes the need for a margarita... and a vacation. As luck would have it, this year’s Margarita of the Year contenders come from some pretty amazing places. Take a tour of the stunning and scenic hometowns that would serve as the perfect backdrop to sip into Spring.
Calgary’s cocktail scene has been warming up against the cold back drop of the Canadian Rocky Mountains over the past few years. And luckily – you won’t have to turn over a new leaf to find inspiration in a province riddled with natural wonders. Makina Labrecque created the Wild Rose Margarita to represent the tenacity of Canadians throughout their harsh, long winters as well as the resilience and determination of the Albertan Wild Rose and Juniper that return each spring. Makina believes food and flavors are a unifying force in the world seeks to connect people regardless of culture or background with her Margarita of the Year contender.
No matter what time of the year, Miami is a city that naturally makes you want to reach for a cocktail. And luckily you won’t have to reach very far to find a tasty beverage in a city that is practically peppered with craft cocktail hotspots fit for any occasion. Tyler Kitzman, creator of the Flamingo Park Margarita, sought to show that while many may think of Miami as this sexy, glitzy place, life – and drinking margaritas – isn’t supposed to be taken too seriously. Named as a tribute to Miami’s storied recreational area that dates back to 1950, his Margarita of the Year contender – like the park – has something that everyone can enjoy.
It’s not easy keeping up with the Jonses, especially when your neighbor is San Francisco. But the Bay Area has always been one to keep it real by staying close to its down-to-earth Northern California roots. Samuel Jimenez created the Pasifika Margaritas as a tribute to the union of cultures in the Bay Area of California, all brought together by the joining forces of the Pacific Ocean. His cocktail is full of flavor, inspired by his diverse upbringing in a Mexican/Samoan household. Laid back, light, yet flavor forward and packing a punch, Sam hopes his Margarita of the Year contender – like the Bay Area – represents a place of diversity, acceptance and hospitality.
Spending time at any bar in Chicago is an unmatched experience due to the city’s breadth of cocktail establishments. But since the city is a melting pot of culture and flavors, you will likely never repeat the same cocktail experience from bar to bar. As a proud Chicagoan – Jacyara de Oliveira, creator of the Paseo Margarita, is always looking for ways to infuse her Brazilian background with Midwest flavors. Influenced by time spent at her family’s home on the Paseo Boricua, her cocktail is an ode to the Brazilian Summertime. Inspired by her two hometowns, Jacyara infused that sense of comfort and belonging into her Margarita of the Year contender.
New York City has been at the forefront of the craft cocktail scene for years – often serving as an origin for trends that ripple throughout the rest of the country. And it’s easy to find creativity hiding behind every corner in such an iconic city. Natalie Jacob created the Golden Hour Margarita after inspiration struck in the form of the sun reflecting off the glass and mirrored buildings in the metro area. This almost-blinding, magical glow in the sky line around sunrise or sunset called, “The Golden Hour,” spoke to Natalie’s love of color that permeates all aspects of her life including clothing, décor, and now her Margarita of the Year contender.
The east-meets-west cliché is especially true in Hong Kong, as the city pushes the boundaries of typical cocktail culture. But, with the streets practically overflowing with avant-garde bars influenced strongly by European culture, some bartenders are seeking to pay homage to the city’s heritage. The Dynasty Margarita’s creator, Jay Khan, did just that by reintroducing traditional flavors found in Chinese culture after noticing a decline in the use of native ingredients in favor of the foreign. Jay’s Margarita of the Year contender incorporates the traditional Chinese ingredients to create a margarita that can be enjoyed not only in China but around the world.
Guadalajara has recently begun to share the lime light as a global hub of exploding flavors, with colorful cocktails and exciting places to eat found in every corner of the bustling city. Adrian Martinez, creator of the Margarita Caliente is equally proud of the tequila his country produces as he is its cuisine. He combines his passion for food, flavors and creativity – which led him to earn a degree in Gastronomy – to craft a truly authentic Mexican margarita. Adrian’s passion for crafting genuine Mexican cocktails means he has been able to capture the full spectrum of culture and flavor in every sip of his Margarita of the Year contender.
It’s no surprise that craft cocktails have been mostly an after thought in a country that is known for serving some of the world’s best coffee and wine. Fortunately for us, the eternal city has recently experienced a cocktail renaissance fueled by the desire to embrace the spirits of Italy and the artists of the past. It was this desire to honor Italian culture and history of creativity that inspired Cristian Bugiada to craft the Margarita Amore, which combines unexpected flavors to create harmony and balance within a glass. Cristian hopes to grow and evolve the cocktail culture in his hometown with his Margarita of the Year contender that represents his passion to create.