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Margaritas of Harrisonburg

Some of us came to JMU searching for the love of our lives, others hope to find their “people”, and some of us are just looking to “find ourselves.” I, on the other hand, have been on the quest for Harrisonburg’s best margarita.

This journey has been about a month in the making and I don’t think it’s quite over yet, but it is time to share my findings with the twenty-fun community of the ‘burg.


Jalapeños – Strawberry and Lime Frozen / On the rocks

Cost: $7

Jalapenos is a crowd favorite, so what I’m about to say is controversial. Everyone has different opinions and tastes, and this has been my personal experience with their margaritas. The margs come in both frozen and on the rocks. I’m partial to lime on the rocks because typically these are made stronger, while the frozen lime margaritas typically have more ice and tend to taste watered down. They also have more flavors than lime–I’ve also tried the strawberry. It’s much sweeter than the lime, but again it’s really not as strong frozen as on the rocks. I’ve also tried a lime margarita on the rocks and it was definitely stronger, but still very generic in taste. One might ask: “If you hate Jalapenos so much, why do you keep going back?” Well, there are two reasons why I go back: 1)You can get a sugar rim on a lime margarita (they make a great sugar rim) 2) it’s hard to beat their $5 margarita happy hour special.


Magnolia’s- Raspberry Margarita and Organic Lime  

Cost: $8

    Magnolia’s is Harrisonburg’s newest tequila bar. It features a variety of different tequila cocktails, and this holds true to their selection of margaritas. The size of the margaritas were a bit underwhelming. The first margarita I tried was raspberry, but what this one lacked in size, it made up for in taste. The raspberry margarita was a very smooth drink, and was topped off with fresh raspberries and a salt rim. The organic lime margarita was the second one I tried, and it was a bit of a let down. While I did find the drink to be a little more refreshing than the raspberry margarita, the tastes of tequila and organic lime really were at odds with one another. The strength of both of the margaritas were average and not too tequila heavy, but definitely not a light pour.


Sabor A Mexico

Cost: 6.70

    Sabor A Mexico is a traditional Mexican restaurant located downtown. It’s a really small venue with an even smaller bar, and they sell margaritas in sizes small and large. I got the small size of their lime margarita on the rocks, and it was very refreshing. There was a slight minty aftertaste that gave it a cool and refreshing effect; however, It was an extremely light pour, and the margarita itself was not very strong at all. It’s definitely not the place to get a margarita if you’re looking for something strong.



Cost: $7

Fun Fact! Ruby’s does margs! It’s not their signature drink, but it does get the job done. Their margarita tastes more like a tequila sunrise than a margarita: It’s extremely tangy and citrusy. If you’re a fan of orange juice, you would love Ruby’s margarita. It’s not an extremely strong beverage, but it is not weak either. If you’re ever at Ruby’s and craving a margarita, I’d suggest walking down the street to Magnolias. However, if you like orange juice and tangy drinks, this is the drink for you!


Food Bar Food – Apple Cider Margarita

Cost: $7

It’s an autumn take on your classic margarita. It still contains triple sec and tequila, but instead of your traditional margarita mix, it’s apple cider and is  topped off with a candied ginger rim. The best part of this drink is that it really maintains a balance of being both smooth and strong. The tastes of cider and tequila really isn’t the best pairing, but the candied ginger rim really bring the different tastes together in a seamless way. It’s a hearty beverage that will warm you right up during cold months.


El charro – Lime Margarita on the rocks (on the rocks/frozen)

Cost: $6.50-$11.50

    The most classic margarita in the ‘Burg. It comes in 4 different sizes – 16oz (buzzed) – 23oz (thoroughly buzzed) – 27oz (tipsy) – 33oz (where am I?). Once you decide how much you’d like to drink, you’re faced with the decision of frozen or on the rocks. As aforementioned, I prefer my margaritas on the rocks. But El Charro does make a decently strong frozen margarita (at least much stronger than Jalapenos). El Charro is the most reasonably priced restaurant of all of the places on my list. Whether it’s the food or the drinks, you get way more than what you paid for.


Union Station

Cost: $8.50

I saved the best for last. Union Station’s Blood Orange Poma Margarita is hands down the best margarita in the ‘burg. It’s perhaps the most smooth and refreshing alcoholic beverage I have ever tasted. Don’t let its smooth taste fool you, though: it’s a strong margarita. It’s the perfect balance of both sweet and sour, and although It’s the most expensive margarita on my list, it’s definitely worth every penny.


Happy drinking and drink Responsibly! 

Katie Rae Smith is a political science and media arts double major with a concentration in journalism and minor in political communication. She is a junior at James Madison University. Katie's dream job is to be a producer for a morning talk show or NBC's Meet The Press.
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