Drink up: Best spots for margaritas and mint juleps
Saturday, May 5, will be a perfect storm of revelry, with Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby falling on the same day.
We're hoping the toughest decision you have to make this weekend is whether to go for a cocktail made from tequila (margarita-style) or bourbon (mixed to perfection in a mint julep). Here are three great spots for each.
1460 Second Ave., btwn 76th and 77th sts., 212-249-1001; 645 Ninth Ave., at 45th St., 212-265-1000
This BBQ-themed restaurant and bar uses just about any excuse to throw a party, and on the fifth, it'll show the race on TV and offer $3 Abita drafts and $3 frozen mint juleps. There will also be fried chicken specials, and guests are encouraged to don hats in traditional Derby Day form.
225 Park Avenue S., 212-533-2500
Mint juleps are an off-the-menu item all year round, but on Derby Day, they take center stage - not surprising, since Wildwood carries about 40 bourbons and another 24 American whiskeys. On Saturday, the race will be shown on 11 TVs, and mint juleps - made with Makers Mark - will be discounted to $7. The chef will whip up traditional benedictine dip (cucumber dip with celery, cucumber and radish), Southern fried chicken and Derby pie (a bourbon chocolate pecan pie with vanilla ice cream).
Death & Co.
433 E. Sixth St., 212-388-0882
This speakeasy-style bar is known for its expertly mixed cocktails, and offers three types of juleps all year long in addition to the traditional mint julep. Indulge in the Double Barrel Julep, made with bourbon and rum; the Zihautanejo Julep, made with tequila and mint - and combining the day's two festivities; and the Racketeer's Julep, made with a gin-like spirit, rum, mint and vanilla notes.
109 Ludlow St., 212-228-8383
This Lower East Side spot offers more than 150 types of tequila and reposados. Interesting margarita options include the Cadillac Margarita, made with tequila and grand marnier, a strawberry-ginger margarita with housed-infused strawbery tequila, and a Jalapeno Margarita.
304 E. Sixth St., 212-253-5888
The dark, sexy interior of this East Village spot offers plenty of cozy spaces to drink tequila-based cocktails (and munch on Oaxacan-style sharable plates). The only margarita at Mayahuel is traditional - with Tequila blanco, Cointreau and fresh lime juice, and there are also nearly 50 classically oriented (and lesser known) cocktails also available, made with tequila and mezcal.
multiple locations, rosamexicano.com
This upscale Mexican mini-chain offers six types of margaritas every day - ranging from traditional to frozen pomegranate. There are also plenty of other tequila- and non-tequila-based Mexican cocktails, and several types of micheledas - traditional beer cocktails. New for Cinco de Mayo is the Coco de Mayo: a fusion of a margarita and a piña colada made with Herradura Silver tequila, coconut."