Drink up!

Revelers at Candlelighters Margarita Taste-Off kill 40 bottles of tequila and raise $12k

Revelers at Candlelighters Margarita Taste-Off kill 40 bottles of tequila and raise $12k

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Candlelighters' annual Margarita Taste-Off at Antique Bar raised $12,000. Photo by Elizabeth Haines
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Members of Candlelighters' YP group gather to raise funds and pick the best margarita in town. Photo by Elizabeth Haines
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More than 250 people came out to enjoy the day on the patio. Photo by Elizabeth Haines
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Candlelighters' third annual Margarita Taste-Off recently drew an overflow crowd of 250 for a glorious day of patio revelry. The event at Antique Bar raised more than $12,000 for the organization's Childhood Cancer Family Alliance, which provides emotional, educational and practical assistance to children with cancer and their families.

Several of Houston's best loved Mexican eateries, including Tila's, Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, El Tiempo, Taco Milagro, Yelapa, Maria Selma, Xuco Xicana, and Armandos were out to support the cause and mix margaritas, along with Beaver's, whose bartenders offered a twist on the more traditional margaritas.

Guests sampled and selected their favorite margaritas to award first, second and third-place honors. Although we'd have ranked the top three (from first to last) as Maria Selma (last year's winner), Tila's and then Beaver's for their innovative grapefruit juice and rosewater margarita, the masses gave first place honors to Sylvia's, followed by El Tiempo and a two-way tie between Tila's and Taco Milagro for third.

Tequila was generously provided by sponsor Don Julio, whose rep, the affable Jorge Raptis, remained upbeat even after the 40-bottle supply ran out at just 3 p.m. Luckily, there was beer on hand as reserve supplies were shipped out to whet the whistles of the dancing throngs, who stayed on well past the competition's close to dance to the music of Sensual Soul.

Revelers included Will Evans and Allison Monteith Evans, Aron Will, Fred Dahr, Tim Zawinsky, Tommy Hensley, Clark Henry, Roula Zoghbi, and attorney Joellen Snow.