About this recipe
The origins of the cocktail that author Kingsley Amis described as “one of the most delicious drinks in the world” are, to put it mildly, disputed. At least eight bartenders and one American socialite claimed to have created the Margarita – and perhaps one or more of them did.
Experts agree that the Margarita appeared in Mexico in the late 1930s, in the aftermath of several similar tequila cocktails that lack the defining salt rim: the Tequila Daisy, the Picador and the Tequila Sidecar.
The common story is that Carlos ‘Danny’ Herrera devised it at the Rancho La Gloria Hotel, near Tijuana, for a dancer named Marjorie King.
Following this, American holidaymakers brought their taste for Margaritas home from Mexico; by 1953, the Margarita, over crushed ice, was ‘Drink of the Month’ in Esquire magazine.
Frozen Margaritas grew in popularity until 1971 when a Dallas restaurateur named Mariano Martinez invented the frozen Margarita machine. This stroke of genius made the Margarita America's bestselling cocktail and led, inevitably, to the premixes of the 1980s.
Today the Margarita has returned to its roots – a classically styled, deliciously simple cocktail that showcases the herbaceous flavour of tequilas such as Don Julio Blanco. Many bartenders like to serve the drink with salt on only half the rim.
Variations on the classic Margarita include the Margarita Legendario, made with smooth aged Don Julio Añejo tequila to add depth and flavour, and the Grand Margarita, a luxurious variant that highlights the rich orange taste of Grand Marnier, while keeping the sharp, citrus taste to balance.