Need an excuse to celebrate? National Tequila Day is Thursday, July 24 (not to be confused with National Margarita Day on Feb. 22, but who's counting.) Here are a few places to imbibe, whether you like yours straight up or in a glass rimmed with salt.
Agave Grill, Hartford: Choose from 65 different blanco, anejo, reposado or suprema tequilas, available in one- or two-ounce tasting pours. Or sample one of the bar's signature margaritas and cocktails with the honored spirit, like the chili passionfruit marg with Serrano-infused silver tequila or a Cucumber Kiwi Cooler with Avion silver and kiwi simple syrup.
Agave and its sister restaurants, Wood-n-Tap and TD Homer's, sweeten the deal Thursday with $4 house-recipe margaritas at all locations (add 75 cents for a flavor.) Loyalty Insider members get double points on margaritas all day. www.agavect.com; woodntap.com; tdhomers.com.
Besito, West Hartford: In addition to its extensive tequila menu, Besito is also serving some new special summer cocktails, among them a Market Margarita with pineapple, cilantro and jalapeno and the Margarita de Fresas with fresh strawberries and Veev acai spirit. The restaurant is running an online contest to determine which of its locations has the "most tequila lovers" - participants will be entered to win a $100 gift card. besitomexican.com.
Bartaco, West Hartford/Stamford/Westport: Chances are you'll see the lime for your margarita squeezed right in front of your eyes. Bartaco's house marg features fresh juice Maestro Dobel Reposado, Combier orange liqueur and agave. bartaco.com.
Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, New Haven and Fairfield: The massive tequila lineup here is a connoisseur's dream, and the margaritas are made with creative flavors: strawberry cucumber, spicy blood orange and pomegranate liqueur with chocolate bitters. geronimobarandgrill.com.
SolToro Tequila Grill, Mohegan Sun: The casino eatery and bar boasts 255 "exotic tequilas from around Mexico," according to its website, along with a handful of pre-arranged tasting flights. Margaritas range from the signature, with fresh-squeezed lime and orange juices, to the swank, with Don Julio Real, Grand Marnier Cinquantenaire, lime, sea salt and agave nectar for $75. soltorotequilagrill.com.
Scorpion Bar, Foxwoods: Tequila reigns at this casino cantina, with hearty selections of blanco, anejo and reposado along with specialty "craft reserve" options. If you win big on the gaming floor, there's a $100 "top shelf" margarita with Patron Gran Burdeos and Grand Marnier. thescorpionbar.com.