Margarita Wars returns to downtown Tampa for its 2022 rendition

Early bird tickets for this boozy competition are on sale now, starting at $65.

click to enlarge Margarita Wars 2019. - c/o Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
c/o Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
Margarita Wars 2019.
If you’ve ever watched a cooking competition show and secretly wished you were the judge, then Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s Margarita Wars might interest you.

On Thursday, May 19,  several Tampa Bay-based bartenders will compete for 2022’s Ultimate Margarita, as each guest will vote on their favorite buzz. This year’s Margarita Wars will take place at the scenic Tampa River Center, overlooking the Hillsborough River at 402 W. Laurel St.

After sipping on margarita samples from participating bars and restaurants, guests can vote on which cocktail is their favorite. Early bird general admission tickets for this collaborative event run for $65 (plus fees) , and include samples from each competitor, light Mexican-inspired bites, access to photo opportunities and one vote for Tampa Bay's Ultimate Margarita. GA Plus tickets cost $10 more and get you earlier access and one complimentary full-sized beer.

VIP tickets run for $85 and include all of the perks of the GA Plus ticket—in addition to even earlier entry, appetizers during the VIP-only hour, and an exclusive gift.

All tickets can be found at and guests are encouraged to purchase them ahead of time, as prices will increase as the event nears closer.  Early bird pricing will continue through April 7.

This will be Creative Loafing’s 7th time hosting Margarita Wars, but its first in-person rendition since 2019. Previous winners of Margarita Wars include Philipp VanHorn of Mandarin Heights with "The Outclaw" in 2019, Mo Pickering of First Chance Last Chance Bar with "The Sunsine-Rita" in 2018 and Julia Sowa of Besito Mexican with her "Not Your Average Margarita" in 2017. Only time will tell what mixologist will reign supreme at 2022’s Margarita Wars.

This year’s sponsors include Hornitos, Tres Generaciones, El Tesoro, White Claw, Cayman Jack, Rey Azul, and Zing Zang.

A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Laundry Project, a nonprofit that provides lower-income families with free washing and drying services.

About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
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