The seven best places to drink tequila in Denver on National Tequila Day
Cuidado Denver, you're getting a second Cinco de Mayo this summer: tomorrow is National Tequila Day. Americans drank a little over 13 million gallons of tequila last year -- and that number will be surpassed this year. There are a lot of great places in Denver to consume the spirit of the agave; we've distilled it down to a few must-drink locations for this festive occasion (although we don't need anyone to tell us that every day is a good day for tequila). Whether it's in a margarita, as slow sipper, or in a shot with lime and salt, tequila is the drink of the day, and this list (in no particular order) of local restaurants will help you find the tequila destination that's right for you.
See also: Richard Sandoval's La Biblioteca opens
7) La Biblioteca
Kevin Galaba La Biblioteca features 378 tequilas, including several house infusions.
1610 Little Raven Street
With 378 tequilas, La Biblioteca is the first place that comes to mind when thinking about enjoying the agave-based spirit. "Anything you call out, we can put together," says bartender Kevin McCorriston. "Sweet, sour, whatever you like." With that many tequilas to choose from, the possibilities are nearly endless. Our favorites are the house infusions, which include serrano, blueberry and lemon, green apple, grilled pineapple, cilantro, cranberry and orange, and cucumber. Those flavors are $8 per pour, or get a flight of three for $16.
Try a horizontal flight of any three tequilas from the same aging category (blanco, reposed or añejo), for $18 to $32. Or, get a flight of tequilas aged in used barrels (Bordeaux, Cognac or new French oak), which lends unique characteristics to the spirits as they age. If the smokiness of Mezcal is more your flavor, La Biblioteca has 56 to choose from.
National Tequila Day hours: 4:00 p.m. to midnight.
Happy Hour: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Kevin Galaba The bar at Tamayo, 14th and Larimer.
1400 Larimer Street
Owner Richard Sandoval loves tequila so much, that he purchases his own barrel of Herradura reposado every year, which is available at Tamayo half price on Thursday. Normally, this private reserve is $14, but will be offered at $7 for National Tequila Day.
The Pepino is the cocktail of choice at Tamayo. Featuring house-infused serrano tequila, cucumber and lime, it's one of the house best sellers. Our favorite, though, is the Smoked Pear Martini, made smoky with Dos Gusanos mezcal. It's shaken up with pear puree, burnt honey and lime.
During happy hour, five bucks will get you one of four house margaritas (the traditional is served frozen, or on the rocks), house red or white wines, or sangria. Beers are $4, and tapas plates from the kitchen are also $4, while tacos are $3.
National Tequila Day hours: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Happy hour: 2:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Kevin Galaba The bar at Lola, with the barrel of tequila hanging overhead.
1575 Boulder Street
The flavors of the coasts of Mexico come alive at Lola, where it's always a treat to have guacamole prepared tableside while you sip a cocktail and wait for your entrees. Lola's tequila list tops 220, with an additional 25 mezcals. The big seller is the Drug Mule, made with barrel-aged tequila, fresh lime, sage-infused agave nectar, and a spritz of ginger beer ($10). If you haven't had the Q Coin, Tequila Day is the perfect introduction: it starts with muddled cucumber, then adds agave nectar, fresh lime, El Tesoro platinum tequila, an orange squeeze, and a cucumber twist. ($10).
Lola ages Corralejo blanco tequila in a bourbon barrel from Breckenridge Distillery. The barrel hangs precariously (don't worry -- it's secured by chains) above the bar, and is used in the Corralejo Coin cocktail, where the tequila is added to freshly muddled limes and triple sec ($9).
During happy hour, you can get the Paloma, with El Charro tequila, Fresca and lemonade for $5 or a shot of El Charro silver tequila and a can of Tecate for $7.
National Tequila Day hours: 4:00 to 11:00 p.m.
Happy hour: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Keep reading for more great places to enjoy tequila in Denver...