By Linda Cameron 

Tequila is often aged in wine and whiskey oak barrels. The ABV of tequila approximates the ABV of whiskey. But it’s the myths about tequila that perpetuate its reputation. One marketing ploy that has (thankfully) been dropped is the proverbial worm in the tequila bottle. Legitimate distillers, bottlers and distributors prohibit the production and sale of wormed tequila. (Keep this in mind when you drink your tequila neat or as a crafted cocktail.) The liquor, more like liqueur because it easily absorbs flavors, is superb in margaritas. However, there are other delicious and fascinating tequila-inspired craft drinks. Here are some interesting local spots for tequila cocktails with Cinco de Mayo twists.

Anejos Restaurant 
1733 Pine Cone Road
Sartell, MN 56377
(320) 252-1000

To bypass this charming South of The Border restaurant with classic Spanish décor would be remiss. Anejos can answer any question about tequila and its origins. For drinks, the restaurant’s specialty is a full margarita selection made with the best tequilas. The recipes are a family secret. The best that can be said is “No concentrates are used.” However, fresh citrus fruits figure prominently. The dining menu is designed to pair appetizers and main dishes with tequila. Consider burrito Anejos, an Anejos platter, an Anejos steak dinner or Anejos seafood. Goodness knows: Anejos is a premium tequila.

Nico’s Taco And Tequila Bar
2516 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 345-7688

If you want all tequila, the tequilas at this taco and tequila bar are 100-percent pure agave. Most are aged less than two months. For tequila lovers, this is a Twin Cities agave paradise. Every margarita is infused with organic agave nectar. For a margarita departure, try the El Diablo, Paloma or Tequila’s Last Word. Each has dashing splashes of tequila mixed with citrus fruits and fruity liqueurs. In strength and flavor, these drinks are worlds apart from the margarita.

Lone Spur Grill And Bar 
11032 Cedar Lake Road
Hopkins, MN 55305
(952) 540-0181

Pardner, one should never be a lone drinker. But whether you want solitude or prefer company, get your spurs on and hop down to the Lone Spur Grill and Bar. At this Hopkins hotspot, you’ll seldom feel alone. During happy hour, patrons strike gold with tequila golden margaritas. Another way to shake it up is to down a half carafe of iced Texas Tea, made with Cuervo Gold tequila, vodka, triple sec, rum, sweet and sour mix and cola. Now here’s a tequila drink for warm days and cool evenings.

Related: Best Bars For Frozen Margaritas In Minnesota

501 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 315-2964
Here’s a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo – at a Twin Cities table tennis club and bar. If colorful parades and the May 5th Kentucky Derby are uninspiring, pong your way around at Hop21, a concept sports club and bar. The drinks menu has a dashing selection of international mule cocktails. The classic is the Moscow mule. For Cinco de Mayo try the Mexican mule, in which blue agave tequila replaces vodka. The other mule ingredients are standard. Different liquors make each mule distinctive. All are served in a copper mug.
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St., Suite 2
St. Paul MN 55107
(651) 227-2192
Both a groceria and restaurant, El Burrito is one of the best places to grocery shop. The variety of Mexican and Latino groceries and products is stunning, not to mention a feast for any table and a great way to spice up mundane entrées. The restaurant is exceptional, too, with a reposado tequila made for a classic paloma cocktail. Although the restaurant doesn’t publish a drinks menu, the groceria does offer a downloadable recipe for a Mexican Holiday punch. Spike this one with tequila but first, place ingredients in a large stock pot.

Related: Ask A Minnesota Bartender: Your Best Tequila Cocktail

  1. Todd Toner says:

    Really….the best Marg worldwide is the “Trinity” at Barrio