9th Annual World Margarita Championship Saturday October 18

Agave lovers unite! Indulge in your favorite margaritas – frozen or on the rocks – as The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and Tucson Originals Restaurants team up to showcase world-class margaritas at the 9th Annual World Margarita Championship, Saturday, October 18, 6 p.m., at the Plaza Colonial Courtyard.

Top chefs from Tucson Originals Restaurants will pour re-imagined margarita recipes on a live stage as they compete in friendly competition at Tucson’s own World Margarita Championship.

Four lucky winners will be crowned as the competition’s best: First and Second Place “World’s Greatest Margarita” awards to the judges’ favorites and First and Second Place “People’s Choice” honors to the crowd favorites. The evening also includes live entertainment, a silent auction and carefully crafted food and beverage pairings from Tucson Originals Restaurants and Purveyors.

“Kitchen and chef work and mixology usually goes unseen by the general public,” said Jason Blackburn, manager at Tavolino Ristorante. “The live stage adds a level of excitement and interaction for our patrons.” Tavolino will join the list of Tucson Originals Restaurants who will create signature margaritas for the competition.

Tequila, a key margarita ingredient, is only produced in Mexico — our neighbor to the south, just an hour from Tucson. While the competition is sure to see eclectic variations, all competing mixologists must include the following “classic” margarita ingredients in each drink — tequila, a sweetening ingredient, a tart citrus ingredient and an orange component.

“This event gets bigger and more exciting every year. Tucson Originals Restaurants is excited to partner with SAACA to present the World Margarita Championship — an event that Tucsonans love and that draws people from all over the country. The chefs present incredibly innovative margarita creations and Tucson Originals Restaurants are rolling out beautiful food pairings for the event,” said Sam Alboy, president of Tucson Originals Restaurants and owner of Mamas Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue.

Admission includes margarita and food sampling. Get your tickets early and save – early bird tickets sell for $45 until Oct. 17 and $55 on event day.

  • What: World Margarita Championship
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Plaza Colonial, southwest corner of Campbell Avenue and Skyline Drive
  • Tickets: $45 until Oct. 17; $55 on event day.
  • Online: www.saaca.org

Jennifer Tersigni is a well-traveled foodie and yogi. She is also founder and Lead Consultant of Raise the Bar Consulting in Tucson, Arizona.