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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