(July 25, 2017 – Tampa, Fla.) – Creative Loafing’s Margarita Wars is back for its fourth year with more than 20 local mixologists competing to win the title of ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Margarita.’ The event takes place on Friday, July 28th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre (4121 N. 50th St. in Tampa).
Everyone’s favorite tequila battle, Margarita Wars, gives attendees a unique opportunity to sample their way around margaritas created with Hornitos® Tequila by more than 20 local mixologists representing high-profile restaurants and bars in the Tampa Bay area. Each attendee will be able to vote on-site for the competitor they believe created the best version of the classic cocktail.
The bar or restaurant receiving the most votes will received the 2017 Popularity Pick for ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Margarita.’ A judges component has been added to this year’s event, giving local bars and restaurants even more opportunities to walk away with a title. The Judges Pick for ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Margarita’ will be selected by local judges Chris Fasick, CL Cocktail Columnist: On the Sauce, Carlos Hernandez, Food & Drink Blogger: Carlos Eats, and more to be announced.
FEATURING HORNITOS® TEQUILA MARGARITAS BY:
Acropolis Greek Taverna | Andrea Simonelli
“Acropolis Summer Rita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, juicy, fresh watermelon, shaken with cool cucumber, & a jalapeño kick
Beach Bar & Restaurant | Jenny Niato
“Beach Margarita” – Traditional-style margarita with Hornitos® Plata Tequila, fresh lime juice, housemade simple syrup, & triple sec – but what makes this margarita unique is the finishing touch: a jello shot
Besito Mexican | Julia Sowa
“Not Your Average Margarita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, Besito’s house blend of nine tropical fruit juices, fresh lime juice, & a super secret ingredient added to a sugar rim… get ready to pucker up for a “besito” (little kiss)
Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber | Matthew Moscato
“The Vineyard Margarita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, Triple sec, fresh sour fusion, & agave nectar, topped with Oregon Pinot Noir & garnished with a rosemary sprig
Brewlands Bar and Billiards | Danielle Kirkland
“Beachin’ Rita” – Florida twist on a classic with Hornitos® Plata Tequila, St. Petersburg Distillery Tippler’s Orange Liqueur, & a mix of strawberry & watermelon flavors
Cassis American Brasserie | Rachel Rinehart
“The Smoking Gun” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, hardwood-smoked citrus, triple sec, chili, cilantro, agave nectar, & a coriander salt rim
Datz | Michael Hughes
“Mother of Dragons” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, charred habanero, red pepper simple syrup, & muddled filthy black cherries
District Tavern | Ryan Fitzgerald
“That’ll Do, Pig” – Bacon fat-washed Hornitos® Plata Tequila, Thai chili, orange brandy, blue agave nectar, & charred lime
First Chance Last Chance | Jackie King
“Sweet Heat” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila pineapple margarita with habanero-infused agave
Flanagan’s Irish Pub | Jade Seibert
“Yuzu Habanero Margarita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, yuzu purée, mango habanero sugar, fresh lemon juice, & a dash of cinnamon
Iberian Rooster | Whitney Smith
“The Machete” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, ghost pepper tincture, cucumber syrup, fresh lime, aquafaba, & ancho chile liqueur
O Coinca Modern Mexican | Sean O’Donnell
“Indecent Exposure” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, Lillet Blanc, housemade cucumber shrub, housemade cactus pear puree, lime, & hibiscus water topped with Avocado & Grand Marnier foam
Park & Rec | Terrance Walz
“Pickle Berry Consuela” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, housemade pickled berries, agave nectar, fresh squeezed lime juice, & a lime sugar salt rim
Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro | Stephen Bessette
“Zakuromu (Pomegranate Moon)” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, pomegranate & kiwi pulp, Yuzu citrus sour mix, sesame oil, togarashi, & a black sea salt rim garnished with candied shishito peppers
Sea Salt St. Pete | Paulie Favara
“Spiced Watermelon Margarita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, fresh lime juice, watermelon-jalapeño simple syrup, Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb, & a Salish® Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt rim
Suegra Tequila Cantina | Richard Thomsen
“Tommy’s Flip Flop” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, roasted corn syrup, lime, & corn & tequila foam garnished with a margarita gelatin lime wheel
Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge | Scott Wenger
“Toes in the Water, Ass in the Sand” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila & carbonated Tamarind margarita soda topped with a secret garnish
The Avenue Eat + Drink | Madison Colmorgen
“The Angry Mermaid” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, agave, lemon juice, coconut water, Sriracha, & muddled strawberry
The Bricks | Kyle Nalls
“Mez-Khalifa” – More of a traditional-style margarita with sugar, lime, & Hornitos® Plata Tequila, but with a local coffee element & topped with a lemon egg white Mezcal foam for aroma & garnish
The Bungalow Restaurant and Bar | Tony Wilt
“The Melon-Rita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, fresh watermelon, & lime
The Ox | David M. Carney
“Taco Tuesday” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, lime, salt, dry vermouth, simple syrup, & a cumin & salt rim
World of Beer | Emily Barth
“Fresca Margarita” – Hornitos® Plata Tequila, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, & strawberries garnished with cucumber & a pink himalayan salt rim
PLUS FOOD SAMPLING BY:
Besito | Chips & guac
Little Donut House | Mini donuts
Portillo’s | Lemon cake
The Ox | Jackfruit Tacos, Alabama Pork Tacos, & Seared Strip Steak
General Admission to Margarita Wars is $50 Advance (Now – July 27th) and $60 Door (July 28th). GA includes margarita samples from each bar/restaurant, Mexican-inspired bites, & voting in the ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Margarita’ contest.
VIP Admission to Margarita Wars is $75 Advance (Now – July 27th) and $85 Door (July 28th). VIP Admission includes early entry for an extra hour of sampling from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. without the crowds, margarita samples from each bar/restaurant, Mexican-inspired bites, one commemorative swag item, one draft beer, voting in the ‘Tampa Bay’s Best Margarita’ contest, & more VIP-only perks.
As voted on by Margarita Wars attendees, 2016’s winner was “Kelly Kapowski,” featuring edible flowers, prickly pear, & Tidal Boar Ginger Beer made by Datz mixologist Morgan Zuch. 2015’s winner was Kat McKenna’s “The Foster Child: a Bananas Foster Experience,” an intricate mix of banana, vanilla, sugar, and spices. 2014’s winner was was “Rosy the Pig,” a strawberry smoked rose margarita by Datz’s Morgan Zuch.
Special thanks to our sponsors and partners Hornitos® Tequila, Watch Your BAC, Bud Light Lime, Ameriprise Financial, & Lyft.
For more information on Margarita Wars and to purchase tickets, visit: cltampa.com/margaritawars
For social Margarita Wars social media graphics, visit: bit.ly/mwpromo2017
Please use the following hashtag for all digital promotions and mentions: #CLMargaritaWars
About Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing is an award-winning alternative, weekly newspaper and website committed to providing Tampa Bay with an independent perspective, up-to-the-minute local news, and a comprehensive listing of local happenings. Creative Loafing offers readers’ unique monthly events and CL Deals, a locally focused platform featuring dining and event experiences at half-off their regular price. For more information about Creative Loafing, visit cltampa.com and cldeals.com.
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