Red O features a wide variety of margaritas, including its signature, made with housemade limonada.

From classic and skinny to spicy and novelty, we’ve rounded up the top Orange County places to sip margaritas.

By Laura Okey

Red O
The sexiest Mexican restaurant in town offers a delicious selection of unique margaritas. Try the signature Red O margarita, made with Cabo Wabo Blanco tequila, 03 Orange Liqueur and housemade limonada, served over ice with a salted rim. For a little spice, try the Alacran margarita with Sauza Hornitos Reposado, Veev Acai Spirit, O3 Orange Liquer, limonada and serrano chile syrup. The drink is served over ice in a tajin-rimmed goblet. Beyond the classics and the skinny margarita options, for novelty, try the Grant margarita. Beginning with El Tesoro Anejo tequila, Mandarin Napolean, fresh lime and agave, the drink is served with red citrus salt, a gold dusted dried pineapple slice and a shot of El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Anejo tequila on the side. 143 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, 949.721.2000.


The Cardamom Cadillac margarita at Puesto

Puesto Los Olivos
Forget taco Tuesday, Puesto gives us a reason for taco everyday. The wide selection of delicious tacos and guacamole varieties pair perfectly with the list of delicious margaritas. The Cardamom Cadillac margarita features Casa Noble Crystal, fresh lime juice and cardamom-infused agave nectar served in a cardamom salt-rimmed glass. For a smoky twist, try the El Mezcalito featuring Los Javis Mezcal, guanabana, tamarindo soda, lime leaf and charred orange. With an extensive list of tequilas and mezcals, skip the citrus and salt and go for variety—Puesto offers three, 3/4 ounce pours in a flight of tequila or mezcal. 8577 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine.


Sol Cocina
The elegant Mexican restaurant Sol Cocina sits on the harbor canals of Newport Beach, offering the perfect ambiance to enjoy a plethora of fabulous margaritas. The house margarita is made with a housemade sour mix and freshly squeezed orange juice, Agavales Blanco and a splash of Patron Citronge. You can add fresh fruit or a Grand Marnier or Chambord float. Additionally, seasonal margaritas and the Farmer’s Market margarita offer an element of surprise. The Farmer’s Market margarita features Don Julio Blanco muddled with seasonally changing fruits, herbs and chiles. For something different, choose between the pineapple serrano, watermelon or blackberry ginger margaritas. 251 Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, 949.675.9800.


Solita Tacos & Margaritas
Sol Cocina’s little sister, Solita Tacos & Margaritas, offers a fun, more casual environment with an equally impressive list of margaritas. The watermelon margarita is simple and refreshing with Agavales Blanco tequila, crushed watermelon and fresh lime juice, or try the hand-picked margarita made with seasonal ingredients (changes monthly). If you’re feeling tropical, the guava margarita includes pink guava nectar shaken with Agavales Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and finished with a pinch of sea salt. Our personal favorite, the El Hombre margarita, is a smoky margarita made with Agavales Blanco infused in-house with chipotle peppers, served skinny style with fresh lime juice and lightly sweetened with agave nectar. 7631 Edinger Ave., Suite 1508, Huntington Beach, 714.894.2792.


Salted black peach margarita at Las Brisas
Black salted peach margarita at Las Brisas

Las Brisas
Sip your margarita seaside at Las Brisas, a staple to the Laguna Beach dining scene. With an extensive list of delicious margaritas to choose from, start with the don, Las Brisas’ classic house margarita made with Don Julio Reposado, Grand Marnier and organic agave nectar. For those looking for more of an unconventional twist, the black salted peach margarita features Maestro Dobel Diamond tequila, Agavero Orange, peach and a black salted rim. Other creative margaritas on the list include the spicy mango, cucumber jalapeno, and in honor of local artist Robert Wyland, Wyland’s Whale Tail margarita. 361 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.497.5434.


This upscale Mexican restaurant offers fine dining and margaritas widely recognized by locals. Javier’s classic margarita features a blend of Patron Reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, triple sec and sweet and sour. True to the recipe of a classic margarita, this one never fails your craving. The Guayaba margarita is a blend of DesMadre Reposado, lime juice, agave nectar and fresh guava. Another notable margarita on the menu is the Granada featuring a blend of silver tequila, pomegranate liquer, sweet and sour and a splash of orange juice. Crystal Cove Promenade, 7832 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.494.1239.

The Black Diamond margarita will be available for a limited time at Acapulco and El Torito locations across Orange County.

The Black Diamond Margarita
Beginning Feb. 22. Overindulge on the Black Diamond margarita at El Torito and Acapulco locations throughout Southern California. The National Margarita Day featured drink is made with a limited barrel tequila and cognac, hand-shaken at your table, then poured into a martini glass with a Hawaiian black lava salt rim. This drink will be served while supplies last. See website for all Orange County locations. Acapulco 1262 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, 714.754.6528. El Torito, 18512 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine, 949.833.8230.



Water Grill South Coast Plaza
Besides the restaurant being hailed as one of the best seafood restaurants in Southern California, another worthwhile reason to visit—the Margarita Verde. The cocktail features silver tequila, agave syrup, fresh lime, cucumber, basil and jalapeno, and is then served over ice with an ancho chile salted rim. 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 949.208.7060.

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