Happy Hour: The Margarita

Although we’ve all probably enjoyed one too many of this classic cocktail, do you know it’s origin story??

As with most drinks, the origins of the classic Margarita are widely debated. Several stories exist as to the creation.

The most commonly accepted is that it was created in October 1941. Bartender Don Carlos Orozco worked at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico. The German ambassador’s daughter was in town, Margarita Henkel. As she was allergic to most spirits, excluding tequila, Orozco decided to serve her a drink he’d been working on made with tequila, an orange Mexican spirit called Controy, and lime juice. He mixed the ingredients, shook them in ice and served it in a salt-rimmed glass.

Margarita was delighted by the cocktail and by the fact that she’d found something that didn’t cause an allergic reaction. Henceforth, Don Carlos Orozco called the concoction a “Margarita”.

Esquire Magazine’s December 1953 issue shared the Margarita as their “Cocktail of the Month”, and popularity spread throughout the US. As time went on, we began serving them with a wide variety of flavors and offering the option of “rocks” (over ice) or “blended” (mixed with ice in a blender).

If you feel so inclined as to order a Margarita at the bar, here are a few things you should know…

Don’t order blended. It’s tacky.

Don’t try to be a baller and order top shelf tequila. It’s not going to alter the flavor of the drink. If anything, order something mid-range so as to not guarantee yourself a hangover.

Salt or no salt is completely up to you. Salt is the original concoction, but it’s not essential to the drink.

A “skinny” margarita is basically just substituting the sugar for agave, which is also packed with sugar. If you’re at a respectable establishment, their ingredients should be just fine.

If you’re making a Marg at home, here’s what you’ll need:

2 oz Tequila Blanco

.75 oz Cointreau or another Orange Liqueur

.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Mix all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 20 seconds, strain into an old fashioned glass with a salted rim* over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

*you salt the rim of a glass by pouring salt onto a plate and spreading out into a thin layer. Then take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of your glass to add moisture. Flip the glass upside down and gently press it into the salt. The moisture of the lime will grab the salt and hold it to the rim.


header image via seriouseats.com

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