Hip Sips Cocktail of the Month: Cilantro's Top-Shelf Margarita

Forget what you learned in college and try it now

Poor tequila. Versatile as vodka, flavorful as Scotch, and yet it’s rarely treated with respect.

“People have the wrong notion of what to do with tequila,” says Armando Cristobal, owner of Cilantro. “All they know is what they experienced in college.”

Banish all memories of cactus-shaped shot glasses: Cilantro serves tequila in snifters, from clear blancos to smoky reposados to buttery, amber-colored añejos. There are thirty-three varieties in all, and each comes with the traditional chaser of sangrita, a spicy-sweet mix of tomato, orange juice, citrus and chile. The menu even includes drinking instructions, gently entreating patrons to sniff, swirl, and sip the tequila, just as they would wine.

If Margaritaville is more your thing, Cilantro has that covered, too. Their deliciously smooth Top-Shelf Margarita—made with Spanish orange liqueur, limeade and your choice of tequila, and served up—is a far cry from any frozen concoction you’ve tried. (Just don’t try ordering a raspberry-peach-pomegranate-what-have-you. Anything but lime would be sacrilege.)

RECIPE: Top-Shelf Margarita

4 oz. limeade
1/2 oz. Gran Torres orange liqueur
1 1/2 oz. Hornitos Plata or other premium tequila

Rub lime wedge around rim of cocktail glass; dip rim in coarse salt. Combine ingredients in shaker with ice; strain into glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

Recipe courtesy of Cilantro, 7005 Tree Lane, 203-8073, cilantrobarandgrill.com.

Read more Hip Sips recipes here

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