Where to drink
Texans love their tequila. Sales of the Mexican spirit in the Lone Star State are the second highest in the country right now behind only California (and likely only due to the difference in population size). The subject of many country songs, from John Anderson’s “Straight Tequila Night” to Joe Nichols’ “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” tequila can bring on a party or bring on a hangover — or both. It's no wonder the American Airlines Center is about to open an entire bar dedicated to tequila.
Margaritas reign as tequila’s most popular concoction, but the Ranch Water (made with lime juice and mineral water) and the Paloma (basically a Ranch Water with grapefruit juice) are big up-and-comers. Smoky mezcal, a cousin to tequila also made from the agave plant, is also gaining steam in popularity. Try tequila in its many forms, from blanco to extra anejo, at these five best places for tequila in Fort Worth — and perhaps learn why Miranda Lamberts serenades the spirit with the lyrics, “He don’t love me like tequila does…nobody can.”
Mi Dia From Scratch
Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary at its flagship location in Grapevine, the Mexico City-inspired restaurant and bar with modern Santa Fe vibes has its own tequila tower. The multilevel, glowing glass tower showcases more than 120 pure blue agave tequilas, resulting in a menu of 60-plus specialty cocktails, margaritas, and tequila flights. Where to begin? Start with October’s margarita of the month: a fresh fig-infused number playfully called Fig “N” Berry made with Espolon Reposada, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, blackberries, and cinnamon agave. Another standout is the Hell Freezes Over, a Hatch green chile cocktail made with silver tequila and dry ice for a smoky effect. Pair them with blue corn chicken and bacon quesadillas.
The expansive Latin American steakhouse and bar located on the lobby level of the Worthington Renaissance Hotel downtown takes tequila seriously — so seriously that there’s a locker program here dedicated to the spirit. Folks can purchase a specialty bottle to be stored in its own personal cubby in the restaurant’s tequila room, to be enjoyed in a cocktail or straight upon each visit. There are more than 100 tequilas to choose from here, including the Richard Sandoval Barrel Select, made by Patrón, named for the restaurant’s founding chef. Try the signature Mercado Margarita, a pink-hued passionfruit concoction made with jalapeño-infused El Jimador blanco tequila and topped with bright pink hibiscus-rosemary foam. Also don’t miss this month’s special Dia de los Muertos Margaritas, available now through November 2. Both made with Patrón (one silver and one reposado), the drinks are garnished with fresh marigolds and are picture perfect.
While tacos are the star of the show here, this taqueria’s tequila game is strong. Located on Bledsoe Steet in the West Seventh district, the order-at-the-counter restaurant and bar offers 21 different tequilas and mezcals. Pick your poison to be shaken in a margarita or stirred into a Ranch Water, the latter of which comes in a Topo Chico bottle, dressed with chile-salt and “corked” with a lime. The “Maestro” (which means “teacher” in Spanish) is Miguel Mendoza, a Monterrey, Mexico native, former butcher and contractor who makes everything from scratch. Flavored margaritas come with freshly pureed fruit, like strawberry or mango — no artificially-flavored syrups here. Start with the Perfect Margarita, a match for this month’s patio-perfect weather. It’s made with Patrón and is available on ice by the wide-rimmed glass or pitcher.
Los Jimadores Tex-Mex Tequila Factory
Living up to its “tequila factory” title, Los Jimadores offers more than two dozen tequilas at all three of its locations: River Oaks, North Richland Hills, and Bedford. The margarita list is long and the tequilas employed in each are wide-ranging, from Casa Nobles to Milagro and 1800 to Herradura. Grab a seat at the colorful bar and heat things up with the Spicy Margarita, made with El Jimador Reposado, lime juice, and fresh serrano peppers. Note that in festive fashion, live mariachi music is not uncommon here.
The multilevel South Main St. Mexican restaurant might fly under the radar as a destination for tequila and mezcal. There are about 30 types each here, plus a handful of sotoles, another Mexican spirit. Guests can explore an array of flights, including an ensemble of tequila and mezcal plus sotol and raicilla (which also comes from the agave plant). Try them in straight pours or in a cocktail. Selections are sophisticated, spanning beyond the typical flavored margarita. The High Plains Drifter offers aged sotol with vermouth, and the Flor Oaxaquena is made with mezcal, lemon, chamomile, and lavender. Don’t miss Tinie’s rooftop bar if the weather is nice. Also note that Tinie’s sister concept, Taco Heads, is now open in the Fort Worth Stockyards with massive, 24-ounce frozen margaritas available to-go.