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South Walton Margaritas ¡Ay Caramba!

May 21, 2013 by Jill Tanner

Ahhhh… the margarita – one of life’s lovely treasures. Indulging in a cold, tart margarita on a hot summer day is one of our most refreshing beach traditions. And like a shark that never stops swimming, we're constantly on the hunt for a great margarita. Here's our latest SoWal List with some great local margaritas that have quenched our thirst over the years.

 
Bud and Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant  
The Tarpon Club rooftop bar at Bud and Alley’s in Seaside is known for the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico, and so many flock there for the margaritas. Long-time local and bartender extraordinaire Mo Mosely has a following of fans that come to relax and sip a “Mo-garita.” Order one of his or order the new Skinny Margarita with fresh juices and Agave Nectar. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
 
Bud and Alley’s Taco Bar  
Seaside is such a busy place in the season, but getting a quick drink is easier than ever at Taco Bar. The most popular is probably the Top Shelf Margarita, but the other fun and fruity margaritas include, strawberry, mango, raspberry and electric blue. Taco Bar carries 38 different brands of tequila from which to choose. And if you really want to splurge, try the Margarita Suprema with Superior Extra-Anejo tequila and 100-year anniversary Grand Marnier. This extra special beverage comes in a custom logo glass for $100. You will cherish every sip.

 
The Red Bar  
Almost everyone that visits South Walton makes a stop at Red Bar in Grayton Beach. Ask for the fresh-squeezed Margarita made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, lemon juice, a little orange juice, a whole lot of tequila of your choice, a dash of Grand Marnier, Cointreau, a few dashes of agave nectar, and then they give it a little shake-shake to make it just right. A lot of love goes into this drink, so ask nicely and be patient while some of the best bartenders in town mix it up right for you.
 
Great Southern Café  
The porch at Great Southern in Seaside is the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing margarita. The bartenders are all too familiar with mixing this libation. Frozen or on the rocks, strawberry or traditional, you will find what you need to cool off. Don’t forget to join Great Southern for happy hour every day from 4 – 6 p.m. for half price cocktails.
 
Cantina Laredo  
Grand Boulevard has quickly become a shopping and dining destination in South Walton. Stop by Cantina Laredo for a margarita and you will leave one happy camper. Cantina Laredo offers about 60 types of tequila and you can use almost any of them in your margarita. Twice a day the bartenders make a fresh batch of homemade sour mix with limes, lemons, Cointreau and triple sec. The selection of margaritas ranges from the house margarita to the top-shelf and everywhere in between, including flavored margaritas like peach, strawberry, raspberry, and one with muddled blackberries and blueberries. The bar wizards can even whip you up a Sangria Margarita. A skinny margarita is also on the menu and comes in at just 120 calories! Stop in for happy hour, which is everyday from 4-7, for $5 house margaritas.

 
La Cocina Mexican Grill and Bar  
La Cocina in Seacrest offers some truly unique margaritas. Try the always-delicious La CoRita – a frozen margarita with a swirl of sangria or the Cadillac Margarita with Sauza golden tequila, Patron Citronge, fresh lime juice, sour mix and Grand Marnier. The one that really stands out is the Diablo Margarita with gold tequila, cranberry, peach, agave nectar, triple sec and lime. There are so many fun cocktails at the bar and the service is fantastic.
 
Stinky’s When people think of Stinky’s Fish Camp, they think fresh fish, creative dishes, and a great atmosphere. Did you also know they make a killer house margarita? It’s made with 2 ounces of Patron Citronge, ¾ of an ounce of Cointreau, fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar, and a splash of house made sour mix. Order it top shelf for a Grand Marnier floater.
 
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Make your own and hit the beach!
 

The Dargarita – by Jenny Dargavell This recipe started at a party in SoWal many years ago. A friend of Jenny’s brought over Tuaca and they incorporated it into the margarita and it turned out amazing!

So without further ado, here is the recipe: Four parts of really good margarita mix (color is important- highlighter green is NOT a good thing), two parts good tequila of your choice (preferably gold tequila), one part Gran Marnier, and a generous floater of Tuaca, which takes the sour out of the margarita mix and makes your margarita super smooth. Add slices of limes, lemons, and oranges to the final batch for added color and flavor! Poor over ice and get your drink on!

The Jillarita – by Jill Tanner The Jillarita started at my first annual Slip and Slide party in 2007. I took my knowledge of bartending and created what I think is the best margarita you can make in a big batch. Then, two years later I did the unbelievable - I added watermelon juice.

So here it is for the first time ever in print for public consumption:
Use a citrus juicer and juice about 20 limes, 20 lemons, and 10 oranges. Make about a quart of simple syrup (I fill the jar ¾ full of sugar and add water to the top and stir until clear). Mix the simple syrup and juice and shake or stir well. Add a bottle of gold tequila, a quarter of a bottle of Grand Marnier, half a bottle of triple sec, and cup of amaretto.

If you have a real juicer, juice one watermelon and add, but leave out amaretto. Watermelons create a ton of juice, so you will probably need to add more liquor to taste.  I usually make this recipe to taste and don’t really measure, so I hope you can experiment and make it wonderful. It’s hard to go wrong with fresh ingredients.

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There you have it - our SoWal List for refreshing Margaritas! Visit the SoWal Dining Guide to see all South Walton restaurants with ratings and comments, and join the conversation in the SoWal Dining Forum. We want to know where you go to sip a good margarita in SoWal. Comment below so the whole world will know!

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Jill Tanner

Jill is a long-time SoWal local transplanted from Georgia. Jill enjoys writing movie scripts in her bit of spare time.

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