The Origins of the Margarita and it’s National Day! 🗓

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The Origins of the Margarita and it’s National Day!

Words by Claudia Carrozzi

Just like the cocktail Margarita, there is dozen of people that claims to be the founder of the National Margarita Day, however, we rather give credit to Todd McCalla that establish this national day on the 22nd of February to spread his love for this amazing drink.

So what are the origins of the Margarita?

Just like many cocktails, there is a great and uncertain history behind, what we know for a fact is that Margarita in Spanish means Daisy, and is a popular woman’s name, and apparently it was a common name for a drink.

Technically speaking, the Margarita can be considered either a twist on the Sidecar (add Tequila instead of VSOP Cognac, Triple Sec, and Lime Juice instead of Lemon Juice), or a Tequila Sour (spirit, citrus, sweetener), however, we can find two different variations of the Margarita dated back to 1930: The Tequila Daisy and the Picador.

The Daisy was a category of cocktail popular in the 20th Century, the structure of this drink involves adding a little soda water to a Sour. Within the years this drink has undergone through multiple variations, earlier recipes include orange cordial, but by the early 20th century, grenadine had become the traditional sweetening agent. In any case, the Daisy should be cold, refreshing and garnished with seasonal fruit.

The Tequila Daisy has been firstly mentioned in the Moville Mail on the 23rd July 1936, and even if we could not source the original recipe we have created our Tequila Daisy that we believe reflects very closely the Daisy served at that time:

50 ml Tequila
25 ml fresh lemon juice
10 ml grenadine
5 ml simple syrup (1:1)
Top up with Soda Water
Method: Shaken and Strained over Crushed Ice (omit the Soda in the Shaker!)
Glass: Julep
Garnish: seasonal fresh fruit, fresh mint

Instead it is easy to find the original recipe of the Picador Cocktail, published in 1937 in the Cafè Royal Cocktail Book written by William J. Tarling, which predates by 16 years the first known mention of the Margarita:

¼ Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice
¼ Cointreau
½ Tequila
Shake.

Margarita

40 ml Tequila
20 ml Triple Sec or Cointreau
20 ml Fresh Lime Juice
Salt Rim

The Margarita can be served either straight up or on the rocks, omit the straw if served on the rocks (the frozen version is also very good!)

Method: Shaken and Strained (fine strain if served straight up)
Glass: Martini Glass if straight up, Rock Glass/Old Fashion Glass if served on the rocks
Garnish: Lime (wedge if on the rocks, twist if straight up!)
If you wish to add fresh seasonal fruit don’t forget to muddle your fruit at the bottom of the shaker before to add all the ingredients!

Timeline of the Margarita claimants:

1930
Vernon Underwood was president of the Young’s Market Company  and started to distribute Cuervo Tequila. He went to the Tail O’Clock Bar in Los Angeles and asked the Head bartender, Johnny Durlesser, to create something with it, the name comes from Johnny’s wife.

1930
Sara Morales, a connoisseur of Mexican Folklore claims that Doña Bertha, owner of the Bertha’s Bar, in Tako, Mexico.

1936
Daniel Negrete, manager of the Garci Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Mexico. Created this drink for his girlfriend Margarita as she liked salt in her drinks. In the 1944 Danny moved to Tijuana and became a bartender at the Agua Caliente Racetrack, a place which some people claimed has been the birthplace of the Margarita around 1930.

1942:
Francisco “Pancho” Morales, from Tommy’s place in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico was asked to make a “Magnolia” he did not remember the cocktail, so he created the Margarita, which seems to be the customer’s name.

1947
Carlos Danny Herrera from Rancho La Gloria Bar in Rosarito, Mexico, created this cocktail for Marjorie King, an actress that would drink only Tequila. He added Cointreau and the Salt rim.

1948
Margaret Sames, a socialite, sustain to have created this cocktail for her Christmas party, in Acapulco.

So many stories and many twists behind our lovely Margarita, feel free to believe the one you like the most, however, we should never forget to toast and raise a Margarita on the 22nd of February, with a classic or an amazing twist!
Tomorrow we toast at the Samarkand Restaurant with Casamigos Tequila, for the Till The Last Drop Night, don’t Forget to join us! Find here more info and the amazing drinks available!

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