At northeast Denver’s Urban Sombrero, the Billionaire Margarita is worth its weight in gold. It’s a combination of expensive ingredients at a surprisingly inexpensive price—and when it lands at the table, you can expect everyone will be jealous, ready to order one for themselves. That’s why manager Rob Greco teaches servers to deliver the giant goblet with three ounces of alcohol “the long way,” putting the massive margarita in eyesight of as many tables as possible. Heads turn and moments later, tickets at the bar start to print in quick succession, all bearing the same name: Billionaire Margarita.
Primary liquor Roca Patrón Barrel Select Reposado is made with a tahona wheel, a two-ton volcanic stone that crushes the agave into a pulp before distillation. That tradition lends a smooth base to the tequila, with vanilla, butter, and caramel flavors that fall off as it ages in American oak. There are easier and cheaper ways to make tequila, but as at Urban Sombrero’s bar, Patrón takes no shortcuts; the liquor makes the cocktail fit for a billionaire without the bite you’ll find in most margaritas. Still, it’s well worth the price. At first glance, 35 percent pour cost is a dangerous profit margin. But discerning clientele already know the secret: It’s a steal. While the house margarita remains Urban Sombrero’s top seller, once its flashier cousin lands at the table, the second round is full of Billionaire Margarita orders. It begs to be shared, to be remembered, and begs the question, ”What else is great here?”
Five different flavors of the margarita are available: strawberry, mango, strawberry/mango, raspberry, and original, each a different hue. It’s no surprise that Urban Sombrero’s second best-selling premium margarita provides $1,000 in weekly sales. Patrón Lime Citrónge, hand-squeezed citrus juice made daily, and a deep-salted rim in a giant goblet make ordering this margarita less a precursor to a memorable night than a highlight that will bring customers back for the value of two margaritas in one.
This high-end cocktail pairs well with the restaurant’s blackened tilapia as well as its fried shrimp with mango. The drink is smooth and subtle, with acidity and tannic notes from the Roca barrel (which was hand-selected by Urban Sombrero at Hacienda Patrón in Jalisco) that carry complexity through the entire drinking and dining experience. At Urban Sombrero, you don’t have to be a billionaire to drink like one.
- Restaurant: Urban Sombrero, 16221 East 40th Avenue, Denver
- Brand: Patrón
- Bartender: Krystal Diaz
- Bar Manager: Rob Greco
- Drink: Billionaire Margarita, $14.99
- 1-1/2 oz. Roca Patrón Barrel Select Reposado
- 3/4 oz. Patrón Lime Citrónge
- 3/4 oz. Gran Gala
- 4 oz. sour mix (Urban Sombrero makes its version daily with fresh-squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice, and simple syrup)
- Full, deep-salt rim in a 22-ounce curved goblet
- Pour Cost: 35%
- Sales: $1,000 per week/$52,000 per year
- Popularity: #2 most popular cocktail
Ian Mitchell is a bartender at Boulder’s River and Woods.