Food & Drink

Everyone Should Be Drinking Avocado Margaritas Right Now

It’s understandable if you’re skeptical of the Avocado Margarita. The creamy green cocktail isn’t what you typically expect to see emerge from a slushie machine. But you should look beyond the drink’s outer ugliness and sip on its inner beauty. One taste and you start to wonder how you lived your whole life ignoring the buttery, fruity, nutty possibilities of an avocado cocktail—especially one that brings out the sweet notes of your favorite reposado tequila or vegetal flavors of your go-to blanco.

If our assurance that the drink is redonkadonk good is not enough reason for you to sample one, here’s a look at what makes the drink so amazing—so you can finally get with the program and toast to the avocado.

It’s a Trendsetter, Not a Follower

The Avocado Margarita seems like a ridiculous drink made for the present, when it’s socially acceptable to throw together a few super-Instagrammable ingredients and call it a day. You might think it piggybacks off the avocado-everything epidemic, or that it fits into the increasingly acceptable Venn diagram center between healthy green smoothies and cocktails, or that it’s an offshoot product of avocado milk.

While all of these factors may contribute to the drink’s current popularity, the Avocado Marg actually predates all of them, including the juggernaut that is avocado toast. The Avocado Marg exists not because of a social media ploy or the healthy-ish movement. It exists because it’s darn delicious.

It Began as a Dare

As Jorge Garcia, owner of Curra’s Grill in Austin, tells it, it was 20 years ago that he tested the limits of the fruity Margarita. Curra’s menu featured a range of fruits from mango to papaya to guayaba, but Garcia’s brother dared him to make one from an avocado, pointing out that the uber popular green was actually a fruit. Garcia took the challenge and the results wowed him, his brother, and every other taster they could convince to try the thick green cocktail. And so the Avocado Margarita was born.

According to Garcia, it was only after a raunchy newspaper ad campaign in the late ‘90s that the drink blew up across Texas. Now Curra’s averages 2,500 of the verdant slushies a month. SXSW has brought even more attention to the Austin restaurant, attracting international attention from as far as Iceland and Australia, and making it a necessary tourist stop during the festival. On Curra’s biggest day of the year, Cinco de Mayo, the bar team can churn out 500 Margaritas in a single day.

It Has Spread Like Green Wildfire

Unfortunately for Curra’s (and fortunately for avocado lovers across the U.S.), Garcia was unable to patent his fruity creation (though he does take solace in the fact that the drink’s increased fame only redoubles Curra’s own renown as its birthplace). So the avocado rolled its way across the country.

Elsewhere in Texas, Sanchos Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio makes a notably popular Avocado Marg, which erupts from a plastic cup in a volcano of green slush.

At the Meso Maya chain across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Avocado Marg emerges not as a slushie, but liquidy in a lowball glass.

Then there’s the version Disney slings at Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. At La Cava del Tequila, one of our favorite places to drink at the Orlando theme park, the Avocado Margarita does its part to represent the entire nation of Mexico to the weary travelers making pilgrimage around the Epcot World Showcase.

Other variations abound, from the speckled version at the vegan, avocado-themed Avo in Nashville, to the coconut-milk spiked version at Sol in Willoughby, Ohio, to the yankee interpretation at Oficina Latina in New York garnished with a full red pepper, to the legit Mexican cocktail at the upscale Huset in Mexico City.

There’s One Simple Key to a Great Avocado Marg

At Curra’s, the bar team adds a pinch of cilantro to the blend to elevate the intense green flavor. Garcia also swears by reposado, which creates a sweeter, more flavorful Marg, blending seamlessly into the creamy avocado. The team batches tequila, lime, triple sec, simple syrup and water in advance, and freezes the mix. They then add it to a blender with fresh avocado and cilantro to order.
But Garcia explains that the true key to a great Avocado Margarita is the avocado itself. He insists on fresh Mexican avocado, ripened naturally, not with gas or heat. “We have pure, wonderful avocado that is naturally ripened, ready to release all the oils, essences and flavors. That’s what makes it really good,” he says.

How to Make the Original

The recipe the Curra’s Grill team uses is meant to serve a music festival’s worth of thirsty avocado lovers, but you can scale down the measurements to fit in your own blender.

Margarita Mix

(Makes 5 gallons)

Ingredients:
3 L Tequila
1 L Triple Sec
1 pt Fresh Lime Juice
.5 gal Simple Syrup
4 gal Water

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a large container, and store in the freezer for up to one day until ready to use. (Wait any longer and you risk a bad reaction from the lime juice.)

Curra’s Avocado Margarita

Ingredients:
10 oz Frozen Margarita Mix (see above)
Half an Avocado
1 Pinch Fresh Cilantro

Method:
Blend until you achieve the desired slushy consistency.

“Mmmmm, avocado heaven.” — Jorge Garcia