Last night, I stopped in at South of Nick’s with my good friend, Ali North. It was early – 5:00ish – and we had an unexpected number of seats available to us. (If you’re a fan of South of Nick’s, you know that an empty seat is a rarity.)

While I’m an ardent Paloma fan (tequila with fresh grapefruit juice), I opted for the South of Nick’s margarita – Punta Nizuc – one of many in a long line of Margarita Specialties the menu boasts. Simply done, it’s reposado tequila, fresh lime, organic agave nectar and Grand Marnier. Sort of a “skinny” margarita if you don’t consider that float of Grand Marnier, which makes it even better.

While I have my definite favorites in Top Margaritas in this town (the column is somewhere in this blog), I’d say South of Nick’s is making a run for the crown with its Punta Nizuc. Topped with a candied orange slice and a chirpy mint sprig, this margarita arrived perfectly balanced with just enough (but not too much) ice. Well done, South of Nick’s. We’ll see if Best of Laguna Beach’s annual margarita contest will find the Punta in its top 5 this year!