Best Margarita

The Oyamel at Oyamel
401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, (202) 628-1005

Before the mojito craze hit, the margarita was the go-to cocktail for anyone who wanted a strong, south-of-the-border belt of liquor. For years, bars have tried to jazz up the standard trio of tequila, triple sec, and lime with such indiscretions as pomegranate juice. (Don’t even get me started on the horrors of mixes.) While you can’t improve on the classic margarita, José Andrés has found a way to alter its presentation. His Mexican tapas restaurant offers the Oyamel, which is advertised as Andrés’ favorite. The cocktail is a mixture of Jose Cuervo, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice, served straight up. The kicker is that, instead of salting the rim, bartenders apply a layer of “salt air” on the liquid—think cappuccino foam but much lighter. The salt air—water, lime juice, soy lecithin, and salt frothed with an immersion blender—allows you to get a subtle taste of salt with each sip. The result is a wonderfully refreshing cocktail that doesn’t stint on the tequila, the citrus—or the salt.

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