The Horseshoe Margarita isn’t complicated: Tequila Herradura Silver, fresh-squeezed lime juice and agave nectar. Those three ingredients are a perfect combination, proving that the most lasting recipes are often the most simple.
But like any classic cocktail, it also works as a template for bartenders to express their creativity and personality. That idea inspired Tequila Herradura to invite bartenders from all over the U.S. to share their own very personal spin on the Horseshoe Margarita. When it was announced that the winners would earn a trip to Mexico to visit Casa Herradura, the last true tequila-producing hacienda in the world, the recipes started rolling in.
The Horseshoe Margaritas were flowing at the New York City regional.
The judges for Tequila Herradura Legends went through every Horseshoe Margarita, looking for style and innovation, and selected the top 10 bartenders from 19 different regions. But who would reach the hacienda couldn’t be decided on paper.
These regional finalists were invited to compete at an event in one of the following regions: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Metro New York, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle and Virginia.
One of many delicious Horseshoe Margaritas at the San Diego regional.
In total, 190 bartenders reached this stage of the competition. Only 38 would advance to Mexico.
Each regional final was broken down into two rounds. First, each bartender had to prepare their Horseshoe Margarita for the judges while telling the story behind the recipe. This was a chance to bring their submission to life.
An Atlanta finalist puts the finishing touches on a breathtaking cocktail.
The second challenge pushed the bartenders further, tasking them with putting their own spin on a different classic cocktail. They could choose the Penicillin, Negroni or French 75 as the classic. The only other rules were using Tequila Herradura and adding personality to their chosen cocktail.
All the bartenders gave compelling performances and created delicious drinks, but it took a legendary cocktail to claim a ticket to Mexico. The 2018 Tequila Herradura Legends did exactly that. And you can discover each one’s story for yourself.