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Mixin’ It Up


Who can resist a margarita? Certainly not you, once you take a sip of Mexicali’s most famous cocktail. Located in downtown Bakersfield and on the southwest side of town, Mexicali is a local staple for Mexican cuisine and has also become well-known for pouring a mean margarita.

So much so that, for some, cocktail hour is code for “Mexicali.” The drink alone is reason enough to patronize this establishment, but the food and ambiance make this place a triple threat and a must-go for dining.

Mexicali was opened by Santos Gamez and his wife, Trinidad, in 1939. But Gamez had been in Bakersfield since 1913, when he began working for the railroad. After saving up his money, Gamez was able to purchase a small piece of property on Baker Street, where he opened a gas station and, later, a tortilla factory. It’s this rich history that is apparent in every Mexicali speciality. That includes the drinks.

Ruben Crews, General Manager for Mexicali said the recipe for the margarita has been in the family since the late ‘50s and has been kept as simple as possible. “We don’t use mixers,” he said. “We keep it simple and made to order. We use lemon juice, triple sec, and tequila. You can have it blended, on the rocks, or flavored.” Nothing like a customized margarita! And there’s no “summer stigma” attached to this drink here. “Sometimes people may think of the margarita as a summer drink,” Crews added. “But the margarita is a year-round enjoyment for both men and women.”

We know where we’re going for our get-togethers this winter—how about you?

Mexicali’s Heavenly Margarita

  • 1 1/2 oz. White Tequila
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice

Shake well and serve blended or on the rocks.

And don’t forget to salt the rim!

Article appeared in our 27-5 Issue - December 2010