A few years ago, I wrote about some of the most expensive drinks gracing the cocktail menus at Houston restaurants.
Turns out I missed a big one.
Arnaldo Richards' Picos offers multiple elegant, top-shelf margaritas, including one particular grande dame of libation, La Billionaria. As its name suggests, this drink is designed for those with deep pockets and/or expensive tastes, for its price tag ($75) renders it the most expensive margarita in town.
What components make it so costly? (It’s not the lime juice, obviously, though I did consider asking the server if the particular citrus used had magical powers that warranted a hefty price tag.) The real answer: a base of Herradura Selección Supremo tequila, which easily retails for more than $300 a bottle in combination with some sultry sweetness from Grand Marnier Cuvé du Centenaire.
I was very fortunate to be able to try this margarita, as well as a sample of the Herradura tequila. To say the least, you get what you pay for. The Herradura, which is aged more than four years, is a deep amber color, leggy, and boasts a complex flavor profile that actually varies slightly depending on which seasonal natural yeasts are used to produce it. The agave spirit used in my La Billionaria had notes of cardamom, mint, and a wee bit of honey lurking in the background. When expertly mixed with the Grand Marnier, the alcoholic bite of the tequila became far more demur and the fresh-squeezed lime juice lost any trace astringency. The result was an impeccably smooth margarita that yes, costs $75, but makes you feel like a million bucks.
La Billionaria is served straight up or on the rocks; I suggest the former preparation to avoid diluting any of that precious liquid with plain old H2O.
National Tequila Day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to La Billionaria. If the drink is too rich for your blood, Pico’s will also have many specials, including but not limited to: $1 shots of Cuervo Tradicional (4 p.m.-6 p.m.); mixed tequila flights starting at just $10; and discounted palomas, top-shelf frozen margaritas, and Bloody Marias.