She loves margaritas, but only straight up. On the rocks. With salt. One of her best guy friends loves strawberry margaritas. Together, they decided to help out readers by tracking down the very best example of this Houston staple.
He said: This is one of my favorite strawberry 'ritas in town and the only 100-percent strawberry one on the list. All the fundamentals are here, the right margarita mix base, the right ratio between base and the strawberry flavor coupled with the fact that their strawberry flavor actually tastes like strawberries. I always order mine with a salted rim and always drink from the glass, as the salt is important to balance the sweetness.
She said: So, I’ve been hearing about 100% Taquito’s strawberry margarita for quite some time now and embarrassingly, in all my years in Houston, have never even been to this place. I did not have my first taste from the salted rim (I was way too busy salivating over my brisket tacos when this was being explained to me) so on first sip, it was way too sweet for me. I went back in for a second taste from the glass, and the salt did make a difference, and while still on the sweeter side, I could taste the appeal.
He said: La Tapatia’s strawberry margarita is a "swirl action" 'rita, meaning it's not completely strawberry like 100% Taquito’s. You have it mix in the strawberry so it's equally distributed throughout the drink. I really like the way it tastes, though. Again, it's key that the frozen margarita base is good on its own and that they don’t overdo it with the strawberry mix/swirl/purée.
This is another one that I drink from the glass, not from the straw. I've never had a bad margarita here and I get the strawberry margarita with salt every time, so that must mean something. Warning: These ritas are boozy. One will have the booze knocking at your door, two inside the house, and three, well, it was nice knowing you.
She said: Having been to La Tapatia more times than I would like to remember (let’s blame that on the aforementioned boozy factor, shall we?), I had never actually had any flavored or frozen 'ritas there, as I always went for the classic on the rocks with salt. To be honest, this one did actually taste different than the completely strawberry one, even after we mixed it all. And after the brain freeze subsided, I admit I liked this. Fortunately, I only had one so, I could remember well enough to report these findings.
He said: Even though I would never have thought to order a strawberry margarita at Punk’s, our waiter on the first visit here clued me in about their frozen margarita, and how their mix combines three distinct tequilas blended with grapefruit and other citrus flavors mixed into the original base to give it subtly different flavor undertones than your basic frozen margarita. Add that to the fact that they muddle in so many fresh strawberries that it looks like it’s a 100 percent strawberry margarita, and this has quickly become one of my faves.
She said: I love Punk's. I could eat their hush puppies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I was really psyched that he wanted to include this on the list. This was so good, perhaps because of the citrus undertones and freshly muddled berries, that I would almost call this the gateway frozen strawberry 'rita.
But not all strawberry margaritas are one-note and frozen. The next stop involved a non-frozen strawberry-basil version at Under the Volcano.
He said: I was hesitant about this one. As a true lover of the strawberry margarita, I like them frozen—it’s part of the appeal for me. But, I decided to give this one a shot any way. Since this is more of a cocktail than a straight-up margarita, I did not get a salted glass. This was a refreshing drink and had a good strawberry flavor, and the basil was not to overwhelming. That said, while I enjoyed it, it was not a choice that would satisfy my strawberry 'rita cravings.
She said: So, what can I say? My rocks girl instincts kicked in, so I drank both his and mine.
Conclusion? Even for those original margarita-on-the-rocks drinkers, should you ever venture into the Strawberry Fields, remember the basics: Start with a good mix, decide whether you want a swirl or full-on strawberry and always ask for a salted rim.