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Five Tequila Cocktails (That Aren't Margaritas) to Try on Cinco de Mayo

The Libra at Trick Dog. Photo: Virginia Miller/The Perfect Spot

Cinco de Mayo falls on a Monday this year, which may not bode well for a tequila bar crawl. But in case you're a Monday drinker, or if you're just looking for some agave-fueled options for your Sunday Funday, consider sipping these non-margarita spins on the classic margarita, and one that's just a straight up tequila martini. (Just keep in mind that the lime shortage is going to make this Cinco a no-win for most bars.) 

The Misdemeanor at Cantina

One of the city's only high-end cocktail bars to focus on Latin spirits like tequila, cachaca, and pisco, Cantina is a great and lively place to ring in Cinco de Drinko, with tamales served from a vendor outside, and plenty to choose from in terms of good cocktails. Assuming you've had your share of pitchers of their famed Five-Spice Margarita, check out this great and complex drink, the Misdemeanor, which combines Tres Agaves blanco with green chartreuese, fresh lime, agave nectar, crushed pineapple, and chilis. 580 Sutter Street

The Libra cocktail at Trick Dog

Over at the Mission's most haute boozery, the zodiac menu (which is due to expire around the end of June) has this clever, elevated margarita variation with Tequila Ocho Plato Blanco, tangerine, dill, lime, and egg white, served up with a sprinkling of matcha green tea powder. It definitely reminds you of a well mixed margarita, but with the added note of dill, and some texture from the egg white. 3010 20th Street

The Rosa Rita at Blackbird

Check out this spring refresher if you happen to be near the Castro. It's got blanco tequila, Cocchi Americano, grapefruit, and a house-made strawberry-rhubarb shrub. It's somewhere between a margarita and a daquiri, and more complex than either. 2124 Market Street

The El Diablo at Dirty Habit

The newest bar in town – at the former Fifth Floor – is actually a cocktail-driven restaurant concept with a new patio where that uninhabited courtyard used to be. They've got a whole section of the menu devoted to "agave times" where you'll find this tequila mule variation, with Casa Noble or Ocho Blanco tequila, ginger beer, cassis, and lime juice. 12 4th Street

The Workers' Comp at The Alembic

One of the newer "new school" concoctions on the menu at The Alembic is this stiff and spiritous drink, served up, with Arette Reposado tequila, Cynar, and hops syrup. It's a well rounded, deceptively complex cocktail that leans toward bitter without going overboard. And as the menu puts it, it "will help you put the hop back in your step." 1725 Haight Street