Basically the quintessential cocktail of any Mexico vacation, the sweet and sour margarita is a refreshing alcoholic option that will instantly whisk you away to a warm sandy beach and brilliant Cancun sunset. But who should we be toasting for this popular libation? It turns out, like many recipes throughout history, figuring out who actually invented the margarita isn’t so simple. There are multiple claims to creating the drink, including one of the most popular versions out of Mexico’s Tijuana area. In this version, Carlos Herrera invented the drink around 1938 at his restaurant in order to please a favorite customer named Marjorie King. This aspiring actress was apparently allergic to every alcohol except for tequila, but also wanted something more fun and refreshing than a typical shot. He then called it a margarita after her name. Another claim is by a Dallas socialite named Margarita Sames, who is said to have created the concoction in Acapulco on a Mexican vacation with friends in 1948.
But no matter who actually invented it, today the margarita is as popular as ever with creative bartenders capturing new and inventive spins like red chile margaritas, cucumber cilantro margaritas, and even dark chocolate margaritas. Yet, there’s nothing quite like the classic.
Classic Margarita Recipe
Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 oz. tequila blanco
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- ¾ oz. simple syrup
- Kosher salt (optional)
- Sliced lime wheel or wedge for garnish
- If you like a coating of salt along the rum of your glass, pour some salt onto a small plate. Next, rub the rim of an old-fashioned or rocks glass with your lime (save the lime for serving) and dip the rim in salt. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
- To prepare the drink, combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously for approximately 20 seconds, or until outside of shaker is cold.
- Strain cocktail through a strainer or a slotted spoon into the reserved glass. Garnish with your lime wheel.
- Close your eyes, take a sip, and pretend you’re in Mexico.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit