Sip, savour: bars in Joburg that serve delicious margarita cocktails

Locating the best margarita cocktail in Joburg is not as easy as Googling “Best margarita in Joburg”. Pubs, clubs, restaurants and elusive pop-up eateries offer some of the finest combinations of tequila, triple sec and lime juice in the city of gold.

Dandelion Cocktail Bar – L’Corro Shopping Centre, Northcliff

Although perched high up on the hills of Northcliff, this is still a hidden gem, located in an unassuming nook of the shopping centre. The upmarket bar is well lit and even goes the extra mile of serving cocktails in swanky glasses.

From your first sip, it is clear that the bartenders have perfected their margaritas, as they are perfectly balanced in terms of tartness and sweetness. They conjure fiery frozen margaritas that linger on the palate or subtler takes that simply disappear as quickly as they were dreamed. The best thing you can do, however, is to allow the mixologists to take you on a meandering journey as they slightly tweak a few ingredients, making you taste how a hint of lemon instead of lime elevates, or how various brands of tequila make the most noticeable difference.

Sin+Tax Bar – Corner of Bolton and Jan Smuts Roads, Rosebank

There is no way the entire panel of judges for the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards were wrong about Sin+Tax, thrice. Their frozen margarita is as fruity as it is refreshing, leaving you begging for one more. Their mint and/or cucumber offerings fly off the bar especially during Joburg’s summer months, but to warm up in sub-zero temperatures, the traditional recipe margarita – with a pinch of salt – will warm you from inside out.

The low-lit space is always geared for Instagram-ready shots of the colourful cocktails, perfectly complementing the blue-tiled bar. Once you settle into the low-slung couches, it is advisable to remain there, as that is as comfortable as leather gets, with drink in hand.


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The Social Club – 300 Commissioner Street, Jeppestown

Offering a limited number of margaritas, The Social Club’s mantra has to be ‘quality over quantity’. From their old-school version laced with black sea salt and a variety of citrus fruits, to their over-the-top basil, mango, coconut and strawberry slurp-worthy options, this is where purists gather for the most unadulterated margaritas in Joburg central.

The ambience is curated by local DJs and music enthusiasts who prepare playlists that ensure each sip of your margarita is better than the last. Here, the point is not to sweat, as the drinks come quickly and the nights go by slowly, just the way you like it.

The Ivy Champagne Garden – HQ Building, Block A, 3rd Floor, 2 Arbroath Road, Bedfordview

The East of Joburg is not revered for its bustling gastronomy and drinks scene, something this trendy social space and dinner bar in Bedfordview is correcting. The rooftop venue’s backdrop is the Joburg skyline, beckoning patriots to savour their comprehensive margarita menu.

The crowd favourite is the Tequila Passion 1800, an intriguing medley of tequila, lime juice, passionfruit and surprisingly zesty lemongrass syrup. If you fancy something less complicated, but with punchy notes, the Melon Negroni – a frozen margarita topped with a SOL beer – is for your tastebuds.


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Konka – Modjaji Street, Pimville Zone 7, Soweto

Konka has cultivated cult-like status in a short period, thanks to A-list celebrities making it their regular watering hole, A-grade DJs who attract international crowds and, for those with deep pockets, highly priced drinks.

If you are looking for the most premium, 100% blue agave tequila that probably flew in on a first-class flight for your margarita, this is your spot. If your credit card is ready to be maxed out, then you can enjoy their take of the classic margarita, made to be more novel by adding imported guava, black plum and cinnamon. And of course, the carafes they come in cost as much as the luxury cars parked outside.


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