From classic to newfangled, here’s where to drink the Mexican staple

Chicago sports one of the country’s largest Mexican communities, and with that comes a strong contingent of Mexican restaurants and cocktail lounges. That means there’s certainly no shortage of classic and atypical margaritas built with quality ingredients. From tequila to mezcal, cup to pitcher, here’s a selection of excellent patio pounders, whether it’s patio weather or not.

Oyster Bah

Christina Smith over at shellfish server Oyster Bah is mixing a spin on the margarita. Her take, “STARB’RD” ($13), is like a margarita meets Paloma, made from a mix of Exotico tequila blanco, grapefruit rosé, Lillet, grapefruit, and ginger.

Summer House Santa Monica

Breezy California eatery Summer House Santa Monica in Lincoln Park is remixing the margarita via the “Rico Suave” ($13.95), a blend of watermelon juice, Banhez mezcal, lime juice, and salt. But the secret ingredient: a few drops of hellfire bitters.


Bartender Liz Pearce over at Israeli/Middle Eastern-inspired Aba in Fulton Market has mixed together a margarita riff called “Aloe? It’s Me” ($13). Her curious elixir involves Banhez mezcal, aloe, green juice, lime, and jalapeño.