February 22 is National Margarita Day! A day to celebrate the most popular tequila-based beverage consumed in the United States.
The food holiday was created by a man from Ohio who really loves margaritas but dislikes the high fructose corn syrup mixes. He wanted to celebrate the traditional margarita recipe: tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. In the past few years, the margarita has been one of the best-selling cocktails in the world.
The origins of this famous beverage are not clear as there are several accounts of its creation. What does seem to be consistent is the date of origin, sometime during the 1930s and 1940s.
Pancho Morales, a lead bartender at the famous Tommy’s Place in Juarez, claims to have created the margarita accidentally and on purpose in 1942. The story says he was asked to make a Magnolia, which he didn’t quite know how to make. He did know it was a mix of Cointreau, lime, and booze, so he made it with tequila and served it (the salt rim came later). The name came about as the translation of the popular floral cocktails of the time, the magnolia and the daisy. Daisy in Spanish is ‘margarita’.
Another origin is attributed to Carlos “Danny” Herrera, who claims to have first served the margarita at his Tijuana restaurant in 1938. He too was serving a woman named Marjorie King, who was allergic to everything except tequila. As he tells it, he started experimenting and settled on a recipe that was three parts tequila blanco, two parts Cointreau, and one part lime juice. The lime and salt rim came as an alternative to the Mexican tradition of sucking on a salted lime wedge after drinking shots of tequila.
It’s also believed that the margarita recipe originated from a cold remedy that Mexican doctors were promoting in the 1930s – half ounce of tequila, half ounce of agave nectar, and half ounce of fresh lime juice.
Whatever the origin of the margarita may be, one thing is for sure, it must have tequila.
Tequila is one of the most popular spirits in the united states, but tequila can never be American. For it to be considered tequila it must originate and be distilled from Jalisco and other approved regions in Mexico. Any agave-based spirits made outside of these places are considered a mezcal.
Herradura is one of the original tequila distilleries in the valley of Tequila, Jalisco, and continues to be renown around the world. All of the recipes below were made with Herradura Reposado.
Here are three of my favorite margaritas to make at home to celebrate National Margarita Day! Click the links for the full recipes.
A recipe directly from the Herradura website, this is a simple and classic recipe. A purist recipe with nothing but good tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar for a little sweetness. This one is best served on the rocks for the chilled citrus flavor.
This recipe from Muy Bueno Cooking has been my go-to for some time. It’s a perfect hybrid of a margarita and the iconic Mexican drink, the Paloma. The fresh grapefruit juice (and omission of soda) gives this margarita a smooth and delicious finish.
Margaritas a traditionally made with lime juice, so this Lemon Drop recipe puts a fun twist on the original drink. By swapping out lime juice for lemon juice and agave nectar for powdered sugar, you get the sour patch kid candy margarita – sour at first and then a little sweet.
Do you enjoy margaritas? If so, where have you found your favorite? Or are you like me, and your favorite margarita is at home?