Margarita, who?

As part of the sour cocktail family, Margarita – in its classic form- consist in tequila, lime juice and Cointreau or Triple Sec, is served in a glass with a salted rim, and may also be blended with ice and served frozen.

We bet that you might already know what we are talking about but as you might know its name but not its story, here you have a little about the origin of one of Mexico’s most beloved exports.

Like with so many popular things, more than one person has claimed to have invented it so it is kind of a mystery cocktail,  but as you will see  most famous stories about this cocktail include a beautiful woman.

One of the most prevalent is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed the drink at his Tijuana-area restaurant, Rancho La Gloria, around 1938 for gorgeous Ziegfeld showgirl Marjorie King, who was allergic to all forms of alcohol except tequila but didn’t like to drink the stuff straight. Herrera supposedly solves the problem by adding salt and lime and creating the world’s first margarita, turning traditional tequila shot into a refreshing drink.

Another top contender for the inventor title would be the brainchild of Texas socialite Margarita Sames, who claimed she whipped up the drink for friends at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. Among her well-connected guests was Tommy Hilton, who eventually added the drink to the bar menu at his hotel chain.

Other theories say that it may have been named for actress Rita Hayworth – Hayworth’s real name was Margarita Cansino-, who was offered one by an admiring bartender during a theatre gig in Tijuana in the 1940s. And also for a Texas singer Peggy Lee – being Peggy a traditional nickname for Margaret-.

But according to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the best guess is that the margarita as we know and love it evolved from a cocktail known as the “daisy”, a popular during the 1930s and 40s. This was a mix of alcohol, citrus juice, and grenadine served over shaved ice. There were then gin daisies and whiskey daisies and, eventually, inevitably, tequila daisies, the original recipe for which called for tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and a splash of soda.

So at some point, this Mexican-influenced daisy became known by its Spanish name, margarita, which means daisy in Spanish. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, margarita—meaning “a cocktail made with tequila and citrus fruit juice”—first appeared in print in English in 1965, though other sources point out that margaritas were popping up in Jose Cuervo ads as early as 1945.

Whenever and wherever Margaritas were invented, their popularity has remained steady and we can agree on that is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

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