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Switch On The Night

Party Time

22 Feb 2017

#MargaritaDay: The Legend. The Icon. The Cocktail

The only thing better than a margarita is two.

It seems that everyone loves a margarita. But that’s like saying you love pizza - everybody does and it’s hard not to. Partly because they’ve evolved and adapted over the years to include so many variations and flavours that it’s hard not to find a margarita mix you love. They come in strawberry, mango, blended with shaved ice, crushed ice, shaken over ice or served straight up with a salted rim. It seems there’s literally one for everyone. But with so many margaritas out there, what does an original margarita look, or rather taste, like?

To try and answer that you’d have to look into the flavourful past of the margarita. As with most things so popular, there are a few people who have at one point or another claimed to be the margarita’s original inventor. Firstly, there’s the Dallas socialite who claimed to first serve the drink at one of her many glamorous Acapulco parties, which were attended by the famous Hiltons who later added it to their hotel bar menus. Then there’s the story of the dashing young Don Carlos Orozco. A barman who claimed he was the first to mix it in Ensenada, Mexico, for the German ambassador’s beautiful daughter, the aptly named Margarita. The most likely origin story however goes to Carlos “Danny” Herrera, owner of Tijuana restaurant Rancho La Gloria, claims he invented the drink in 1938. As Herrera told it, the margarita began as an experiment when he tried to concoct something that would quench the thirst of a beautiful young showgirl named Marjorie King, who was allergic to everything but tequila. So he took the elements of tequila shot, a dash of salt and a wedge of lime, and turned them into a refreshing drink. 

At its core, a margarita is made with tequila, lime juice and Cointreau or Triple Sec. The more cocktail minded might argue that the margarita doesn’t really have such a colourful origin story but simply originated as a variation on the Tequila Daisy Cocktail, which is made with Tequila, Lime and Grenadine (also, there’s the fact that a “Daisy” in English is called a “Margarita” in Spanish). Similarly, one could also argue that the Margarita is just a Tequila Sidecar, with lime instead of lemon juice. One thing we know for sure is that the popular frozen margarita only came about in the 70s when an inventive barman decided to replace all the ice cream in a soft serve machine with margarita mix – inventing the summer staple and proving not all heroes wear capes.

Perhaps the fact that it pops up so often and in so many places, is a testament to just how great the margarita really is – and an original is however you take it. Our recommendation though? The original Altos way.

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