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Here are 23 bars and restaurants to check out during Portland Margarita Week

From June 6-12, $4 from every drink will be donated to a nonprofit that's building a community and technical school in Guatemala.

PORTLAND, Oregon — The recent warm weather may have you saying 'salud' — or 'cheers' — to the margarita, the unofficial drink of the summer. Portland Margarita Week runs June 6 to June 12. This year, 23 bars and restaurants are taking part, each with a unique and delicious twist on a margarita.

The money raised from every drink will be donated to build a vetted, nonprofit school in Guatemala. The goal this year is to raise $15,000. 

Believed to have been invented in 1938 somewhere between Tijuana and Rosarito, Mexico, a margarita consists of tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice.

"I just love a margarita. That's usually what I drink when I go to a bar," said Sierra Kirk-Luebke. 

She was behind the bar for years at Portland tiki institution, Hale Pele, before opening her own bar during the pandemic. It's called Cliff's, named after her grandfather-in-law, on Northeast Russell Street under the Wonder Ballroom.

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"Every month, we pick a different charity and we pick a different spirit to focus on and we create a cocktail based around that," she said.

When she heard from a friend about Portland Margarita Week, it fit perfectly. Bars and restaurants are taking part in every quadrant of the city.

Brad Stephens, the chair of the Oregon Bartenders Guild, came up with the idea in 2021. He wanted to help get people excited for summer, and get them out of the house and onto a patio to help businesses struggling because of the pandemic.

Credit: Brad Stephens
A few of the margaritas from 2021 Portland Margarita Week.

With every margarita sold, $4 will go to build El Patojismo. It's an innovative community and technical school for kids in a hard-hit area of Guatemala. Leading tequila brands — including Herradurra, Patron, Cazadores, el Jimador and Ilegal Mezcal — will match the donations, along with each participating bar and restaurant.

El Patojismo is vetted, top-ranked and site-visit verified by the Global Giving organization. The nonprofit is also a winner of the CNN Hero award. 

Stephens was happy to choose this year's nonprofit and tell them the news.

"When I told [founder] Juan Pablo that our goal was to raise $15,000, he lost his mind. He said, 'We can finish the school with that kind of money,'" Stephens said.

Margarita lovers who take part will get to enjoy spicy margaritas, sweet margaritas and others with a fruity twist. 

Cliff's plans to serve up a drink called 'The Lost Weekend.' It includes elements of pineapple, Caribbean pineapple liqueur and el Jimador Blanco. They also have a house spiced chili syrup and their house chili salt rim. 

Click here for a full list of participating restaurants and bars

Credit: Nina Mehlhaf, KGW
'The Lost Weekend' margarita with pineapple liqueur, chili syrup and chili salt rim on the menu for Portland Margarita Week at Cliff's on NE Russell St.

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