Top 5 tequila cocktails for National Tequila Day

W Hotel's Truth or Consequences.

W Hotel's Truth or Consequences.

When the 24th of July rolls around, it's once again time to put on your party hat and celebrate National Tequila Day. While an old-school margarita made with that weird sweet-n-sour mix is fine and dandy (in fact perfect when you're feeling lazy), here are a few ways that local barkeeps are using the spirit in fresh ways.

5. Masa's El Vampiro
Like a hybrid of a margarita and a bloody Mary, El Vampiro takes a colorful palate of flavors created with habanero infused tequila, tomato, orange, and lime juice, spices it up, and serves it with a smoked chili rim. While these flavors may not be everyone's thing, this cocktail is a pretty swell update on the breakfast cocktail. (1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612.338..6272. website)


4. Mill Valley Kitchen's Kombucha Margarita
Flecked with bits of fresh blueberry and laced with Licor 43 and lime, the El Tesoro Anejo margarita from Mill Valley offers a fruity twist on the traditional. To combat the tequila's hammering effect, the cocktail is blended with a bit of the hippie health beverage kombucha. You'll barely taste the tart, fermented tea, but it'll probably help you feel better tomorrow. (3906 Excelsior Blvd., Minneapolis, 952.358.2000. website)

3. Cafe Maude's La Aviacion
The Aviation is one of those perfect pre-Prohibition cocktails: The balance of the herbal notes of gin blended with lemon, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette is velvety smooth. Cafe Maude puts its own spin on this classic by substituting tequila for gin. Citrus and tequila are naturals together, with the unique nutty flavor of the maraschino creating a bit of smoke. (5411 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.822.5411. website)

2. Barrio's Macho Camacho
It's impossible to talk tequila in the Twin Cities without mentioning Barrio, which serves more than 100 varieties. We especially dig this cocktail, a blood orange margarita with muddled black pepper and a splash of cava creating a nice fizz. Sweet, spicy, and delicious, this margarita is a super fine update on the classic. (925 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612.333.9953. website)

1. Prohibition and the Living Room's Truth or Consequences
One of our favorite drinks, ever, this cocktail is made with chile-infused tequila muddled with pineapple and cilantro, plus Grand Marnier, agave nectar, and lime juice. The flavors are lovely together, layered, simultaneously floral, herbal, fruity, savory, spicy, and salty. All this served with a mini-Corona beer creates a heavenly combo. (W Hotel, 821 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis, 612.332.0385)