Nolita’s Siobhan – Ireland’s Best Margarita-maker

Siobhan Darker from George’s Street bar Nolita was presented with the award for ‘Ireland’s Best Margarita’ by Cuervo Tradicional at the live finals in Opium, Dublin, recently. 

Siobhán’s entry, ‘Dublin Meets Mexico’, is her take on the classic Margarita with a Granny Smith apple syrup, Jalapeño-infused Lime juice with saline solution and Orange bitters, was shaken and fine-strained into a Nika Nora glass, then garnished with a dehydrated Lime wheel.

The day-long event allowed each of the nine finalists 20 minutes to prep and present their cocktail to the four judges:- Cuervo Tequila Educator Oli Pergl; 2018 Champions Dublin’s Andrew Ennis and Belfast’s Jonny Shaw and Edwina Van Kuyk from Hotpress magazine.

The nine finalists who took part in this year’s competition were:

  • Petr Navrat from Coppinger Row, Co Dublin
  • Padraig Storey from The Front Door, Co Galway
  • Blane McNab from The Jamaica Inn, Co Down
  • Patrick Orr from Fitzwilliam Hotel Bar, Co Belfast
  • David Richard Coe from Fitzgerald Room, Co Waterford
  • Siobhán Darker from Nolita, Co Dublin
  • Patrick Cannon from The Lucky Duck, Co Dublin
  • Seamus Og Birt from Me & Mrs Jones, Co Derry
  • Cheryl Devine from Tribeton, Co Galway.

The spirit for the competition, Cuervo Tradicional 100% Agave Tequila, uses the original recipe created by José Antonio de Cuervo himself more than 200 years ago.

The judging criteria were based on inventiveness and quality in both the recipe and presentation as well as a high level of technical skill.

Finalists were encouraged to keep sustainability in mind as well as the latest cocktail trends as they showcased the inspirations and stories behind their takes on the traditional Margarita.

Siobhán wins an unforgettable trip to the home of Cuervo in Tequila, Mexico.

“Using both Irish and Mexican ingredients I wanted to put a spicy twist onto a classic Margarita” commented Siobhán of her entry, “at the same time using different cooking techniques and bringing a taste of home with the Granny Smith apples.”

The Margarita owes its character to tequila which is the spirit that captures the heart and soul of Mexico, including its traditions, its magic and its history, commented Oli Pergl, Cuervo Tequila Educator and Head Judge, “Siobhán’s Margarita perfectly encapsulates what I’m looking for,” he said, “She celebrates traditional Mexican produce with the additions of Jalapeño and Limes, with a touch of crisp Irish Apples making it, above all else, a great-tasting margarita.”

Siobhán will witness first-hand the production process of Cuervo Tradicional: from exploring the Agave fields and learning how the tradition of the Jimador has been passed down generation-to-generation right through to distillation and maturation.

Siobhán will also get to savour a dram of Cuervo’s special Reserva de la Familia straight from the barrel where it’s finished in the private family cellar.

“My understanding of Mexican culture and tradition was enriched by my experience of travelling across the country, speaking, eating and drinking with the locals,” commented 2018 Dublin Champion and 2019 Judge Andrew Ennis of the grand prize, “I couldn’t have experienced or hoped of doing such things unless I entered Cuervo Tradicional’s Best Margarita competition.  The essence of this competition is based on the simplicity and beauty of its namesake drink: this is what has made it the enduring and ethereal drink it continues to be today.”



‘Dublin meets Mexico’


60ml Cuervo Tradicional 100% de Agave

25ml Granny Smith Apple syrup

25ml Jalapeño-infused Lime juice

2 dashes of saline solution

1 dash of Orange bitters



*    Shaken and fine-strained into a Nika Nora glass

*    Garnished with a dehydrated Lime wheel


Tommy’s Margarita


50ml Cuervo Tradicional Silver 100% de Agave 30ml fresh Lime juice

15ml Agave syrup (available in your local health shop)

Wedge of Lime to serve



*   In a rocks glass combine Cuervo Tradicional, fresh Lime juice and Agave syrup over ice

*   Garnish with Lime


For more information, please visit www.cuervo.com or follow @JoseCuervoIrl on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can also get in touch on cuervo@harrispr.ie.




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