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An appreciation: the Hubcap Margarita at Nacho Mama's

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, Baltimore.

And while the time-honored tradition of raising a "Mexican" beer or other frosty beverage in honor of the Mexican army's triumph over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla (but you knew that, right?) may seem, ahem, so very college, there's no shame in participating in that game when it comes to fully owning it and indulging in a comically oversized margarita.

There is no other place in this city that you, intrepid reveler, should be enjoying such a thing as the crowned King of Comically Oversized Margaritas at Nacho Mama's of Canton Square.

For just over 20 years, Nacho Mama's has been harvesting classic car hubcaps, polishing them to a high shine and putting decommissioned Chevy parts to use in the very best way possible: creating a margarita built for six in it. Yes, the classic combination of tequila (with over a dozen to choose from), triple sec, a house-made lime mix and plenty of ice served up in a metal bowl-dish (that may or may not have been involved in a police chase at some point) can be had for the low starting price of $18.

Not to be outdone by their own accomplishment, the Hubcap Marg can actually be scaled up in quality, with every flavor available on the regular drink menu, including the $34 Ruby, consisting of Herradura Reposado, a sophisticated 11-month-aged premium line of tequila combined with pomegranate liqueur, agave nectar and sour mix. It's almost a sacrilege, putting a tequila that retails at $40 a bottle into a hubcap, but hey, when in Rome-o (um, it's a Mexican village). Either way, the flavor is spot-on for refreshment and with the proper company it's an instant party in a can — so to speak.

Bartender Dean Etheridge has made quite a few Hubcap Margaritas in his 18 months at Mama's. "We move well over 100 of them a night on the weekends," he claimed. "Making them isn't an exact science but they make people happy, that's for sure."

While the hubcap full of booze is great, I think the potential for serving other things in hubcaps seems appealing: Hubcap Chili, Hubcap Nachos, Hubcap Foie Gras, the options are limitless.

Take my advice, Nacho Mama's, and reap the rewards.

How to make the Hubcap Margarita (in a glass; in this case, the Ruby)

1 1/2 oz. Herradura Reposado tequila

1/2 oz. Pama Pomegranate liqueur

1/2 oz. agave nectar

2 oz. lime juice

Lime slice

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake; strain into Margarita glass either over ice or chilled. Salt the rim if desired, garnish with lime wedge.

Where to get the Hubcap Margarita

Nacho Mama's

2907 O'Donnell St., Canton


$18 to $34

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