February 22, 2015

The 10 Best Margaritas in Bastrop

In honor of National Margarita Day on Feb. 22nd, 2015, we began a quest to discover the best margaritas in Bastrop, Texas. (It's a tough job, but someone had to do it!) We took nominations for your favorite margaritas on the 365 Things to Do in Bastrop, Texas Facebook page. Then, we recruited 7 judges and visited 9 restaurants over 2 days, tasting a total of 27 margaritas. Each judge ranked the margarita on a scale of 1-10, and we averaged all of the scores to come up with the top 10 margaritas in Bastrop. Here are the results...

10. Tie--Frozen Strawberry Margarita at Ramos #2 and the House Frozen Margarita at Guadalajara.

We tried the house frozen margarita, the frozen strawberry margarita, the frozen mango margarita, and the frozen sangria margaritas at Ramos #2 and the house frozen margarita at Guadalajara. They were all pretty good, but the frozen strawberry margarita and the house frozen margarita at Guadalajara were favorites.

9. Tie--House Frozen Margarita at La Hacienda and the Texas Two Step Margarita (1/2 frozen strawberry, 1/2 house frozen) at Los Cabos.

At La Hacienda, our waiter was amazing, and when we told him what we were doing, he said, "For margaritas here in Bastrop, this is the place!" We tasted four different margaritas at La Hacienda, and we're apt to agree. They've got some great margaritas, and the house frozen margarita was one of them.

The Texas Two Step margarita at Los Cabos (formerly Nancy's Steakhouse) is a swirl of 1/2 house frozen margarita and 1/2 frozen strawberry margarita. It was a great combination! Plus, we love the name.

8. Jubielosa Margarita at Viejo's Tacos y Tequila.

This was one of my personal favorites of the night, and most of the judges agreed. The Jubielosa margarita at Viejo's Tacos y Tequila is made from El Gran Jubileo Tequila, Fleur Elderflower Liquer, fresh lime juice, cucumber, and jalapeno, muddled in agave nectar. It has a sweet and gentle flavor, followed by a spicy bite. One judge called it "spicy and seductive," which is a perfect description.

7. House Margarita on the Rocks at Piney Creek Chophouse.

The house margarita at Piney Creek Chophouse was the strongest margarita we tasted, so if you're looking for a margarita with a kick, this is the one for you. As an added bonus, the bartender at Piney Creek Chophouse is an older, distinguished gentleman that one judge described as "a debonair Sean Connery type." The atmosphere is classy and subdued, which makes it a perfect destination for an intimate evening sipping a glass of wine or their delicious (and powerful) margarita on the rocks.

6. El Nino Margarita at Chili's.

We tried several margaritas at Chili's, including the Tropical Sunrise margarita (made with Sauza Gold Tequila, midori melon liqueur, pineapple juice, and a splash of grenadine) and their new Mango Patron margarita, which has real, fresh pieces of mango in it. But our favorite was the El Nino margarita. It's made with Sauza Gold Tequila, Cointreau, and fresh orange juice. Delicious!

5. Moonshine Margarita at Hyatt Lost Pines.

The atmosphere at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa makes you feel like you're on vacation a thousand miles away. Their Moonshine Margarita just adds to that relaxed, on vacation feeling. This super star concoction features a blend of Grand Marnier, fresh-squeezed lemon and lime, agave nectar, and Fitch's Goat Moonshine, a from-scratch corn whiskey distilled in nearby Smithville, Texas. Bonus points for keeping it local!

4. House Margarita on the Rocks at La Hacienda.

We had a lot of fun at La Hacienda, partly because of the tasty margaritas and partly because of the fun mariachi band. Mariachi music aside, La Hacienda has some fantastic margaritas, and the house margarita on the rocks was one of them!

3. Mexican Martini at Viejo's Tacos y Tequila.

While some would argue whether a Mexican Martini is a margarita or not, we don't care as long as it tastes good... and the Mexican Martini at Viejo's Tacos y Tequila was fabulous. Made with Cazadores Reposado Tequila, triple sec, olive juice, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar with a chili salt rim, it was the perfect blend of flavors, not too sour and not too sweet. Bonus points for the chili salt rim, which I'm not ashamed to admit, I licked off the glass.

2. Frozen Mango Margarita at La Hacienda.

The frozen mango margarita at La Hacienda was beyond delicious. Several judges commented "Wow!" and one judge tried to give it a 20 on our scale of 1-10. I think that says it all. This is definitely a margarita you need to try.

1. El Mariachi Loco Margarita at Viejo's Tacos y Tequila.

Drumroll, please! After tasting 27 different margaritas at 9 different restaurants all over Bastrop, we've decided that the best margarita in Bastrop is the El Mariachi Loco margarita at Viejo's Tacos y Tequila. Made with Sauza Conmemorativo Anejo Tequila, Tres Generaciones Silver Tequila, muddled avocado, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar, this margarita is delicoso! Heck, I don't even like avocados, and I loved this margarita. I guess with "tequila" in the name of the restaurant, it comes as no surprise that they've got some of the best margaritas in town.

Not only were the margaritas fantastic, but Viejo's gets bonus points for having live music on the patio, and it just happened to be one of my favorite local bands, Princeton Runaway! It was such a fun atmosphere, that none of the judges wanted to leave. Great job, guys!

Honorable Mentions

Live Music - Viejo's Tacos y Tequila, Hyatt Lost Pines, La Hacienda, and El Nuevo Mexico all get a thumbs up from us for having live music on Friday and/or Saturday night.

Strongest Margarita - Piney Creek Chophouse gets this award, because they definitely had the strongest margarita we tasted. I think just two of those bad boys would keep me from driving home.

Best Salsa - OK, I know we were tasting margaritas, but we also had chips & salsa at most of the restaurants we visited. And the salsa at El Nuevo Mexico was delicious!

We sure had a lot of fun making this list! There was nothing particularly scientific about our method; it was just a group of 7 people tasting margaritas and deciding which ones they liked the best. We would love to hear from you, too.  Which is YOUR favorite margarita in Bastrop?

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