What is the ideal margarita? For starters, at least in summer, the answer is typically one that is blended with ice. There’s not a better thirst quencher around. Choose the Southland’s best versions of these tequila-based cocktails and you’ll be sure to revel in the results.

(credit: Lawrence L./yelp)

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen
141 S. Glassell St. 
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 633-3038

The bar at Gabbi’s gets busy at and after happy hour, but is is worth the wait if you are selectively seeking out arguably the most sensational frozen margarita in Orange County. This Old Towne Orange-based hot spot is named for owner Gabbi Patrick, a veteran of the culinary world and a stickler when it comes to these tequila-based drinks. Try the house version or ask for the Cadillac, both served in jumbo cobalt glasses made south of the border. Or, if you really want to spice up your evening, ask for the hot jalapeno and cucumber margarita, a tart iteration made with  Hawaiian red salt. Ole!

(credit: Cha Cha Latin Kitchen)

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen
110 W. Birch St.
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 255-1040

Head for the high octane bar at Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen which is known for its frozen margaritas and where the the watermelon-based cocktail of this type (made with Maestro Dobel Tequila, fresh watermelon, hibiscus juice and agave nectar) is at the top of the list for initiated takers. However, if you aren’t sure about what to order, ask the barkeep to stick to the house special and then expect a slushy blend of El Jimador blanco, Cointreau, agave nectar, house-made sour, and a fresh lime. Whichever you choose, know that all margarita syrups at Cha Cha’s are made on the premises.

(Credit: Donna M./yelp)

Crystal Cove Promenade
7832 E. Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92657
(949) 494-1239

Get a grip on a robust blended margarita at Javier’s, a generous joint that pours these tasty hand crafted libations into traditional tumblers that are salt rimmed and gussied up with a lime garnish. Those who are into real taste treats–like the Fruto De Cactus margarita, which is a mix of Reposado, lime juice, fresh prickly pear and agave nectar– have found a winner at this Newport Beach establishment that happily offers astounding views of the ocean and outstanding sunsets to toast to with your choice of cocktail created from arguably Orange County’s longest list of fine tequilas.

Related:  Best Bars By Neighborhood In Orange County

(credit: Arina P Habich/shutterstock)

Bar Raya
1 Ritz Carlton Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2000

Belly up to the stunning and very stylish Raya Bar overlooking the Pacific inside the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel (it’s just off the lobby next to Raya Restaurant) to order a super special hand crafted frozen cocktail. Tops is the tangy Patron Silver margarita made with tamarind and heartily rimmed with togarashi salt. Oh, and plan to stay for dinner if you have time. The Latin-inspired carte gives even the most ardent foodies a fine meal to remember.

(credit: Tim B./yelp)

Rita’s Baja Blenders
Disney California Adventure Park
Pacific Wharf
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-3463

This isn’t your typical bar. However, if you’re craving a frozen margarita during an all-day Disney California Adventure visit, don’t over analyze the situation. Instead, beat a path to Rita’s Baja Blenders where both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this tangy Mexican drink are on offer. Choose a flavor, like strawberry or lemon-lime, and sip away in what was once a water tower/fishing warehouse. Talk about a unique ambience paired with the perfect theme park thirst quencher.

Related: Best Mixologist Bars In Orange County

By Jane Lasky