Blood Orange Margarita at Benjy's

Blood Orange Margarita at Benjy's

Cheap cocktails can be hit or miss even at historically reliable happy hour spots. Heavy on the mixers, light on the (bottom-shelf) alcohol, these discount drinks often do nothing for my thirst or my buzz. "Did I really just have four glasses of sangria?" I found myself saying to a friend after visiting a rather disappointing tapas happy hour. "Because I'm pretty sure I could operate heavy machinery right now." You get what you pay for, I guess, so I shouldn't expect much from a $3- to $5-drink.

But the Blood Orange Margarita ($5) at Benjy's in Rice Village, is better than that. Made with El Jimador tequila, sour mix, Citronge liqueur, and pureed blood oranges, the drink was a wonderful balance of smooth liquor and tangy fruit. An extra squeeze of lime provided a hint of tartness that offset its very sweet citrus flavors.

This cocktail is, of course, a far cry from a traditional margarita. But look past the misleading name and think of it like I did, as cheap, alcoholic liquid sunshine.

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