An Enthusiast’s guide to cocktails: the Margarita


While there is much debate about the exact history of the drink, the lore that surrounds the Margarita is rich and interesting. Initially tequila was not used in cocktails. Rather, it was served straight in a shot glass with a side of lime and salt (sound familiar?). Starting in the mid ‘30s, examples of mixed drinks that include distilled agave began to pop up. In fact, the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book includes not one, but 15 different tequila concoctions. One of which is called the Picador, which calls for 2pts tequila, 1pt citrus, 1pt Cointreau (note the absence of salt). Also, around the same time there was a well-known cocktail called the Tequila Daisy that combined tequila, citrus and grenadine. Incidentally, the Spanish word for “daisy” is margarita. Coincidence? I think not.

So clearly this combination was not completely original in the late ‘30s—early ‘40s when it was purportedly “invented” in the Americas.
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