10 Things You Might Not Know About Margaritas

10 Things You Might Not Know About Margaritas

(Source: Libre Mexican Cantina Facebook Page)

What could be finer than an icy margarita on a hot day? This classic cocktail, composed of tequila, triple sec, and lemon or lime juice is most frequently served frozen or on the rocks, and comes in a glass with a sugared or salted rim. Flavor-wise, it’s the perfect combination of sweet, sour, and boozy. All things considered, it’s not hard to see why it’s been one of America’s favorite cocktails for close to a century.

If you love margaritas, then you’ll enjoy learning these interesting facts about your favorite drink. These facts are guaranteed to supply you with plenty of banter for your next happy hour with friends. Without further ado, here’s our roundup of fascinating trivia about the drink that Jimmy Buffet famously referred to as “that frozen concoction that helps me hang on”. Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere!

1. “Margarita” means “daisy”. Yes indeed, the translation of “margarita” is daisy. Actually, this translation may offer a clue as to how the drink came about. As it turns out, there is a cocktail called the daisy, which precedes the margarita by as many as 50 years. The daisy is a sweet-tart cocktail composed of a base spirit, simple syrup, and a sour. It is widely viewed as the predecessor to another cocktail, the sidecar, which has similar ratios to a margarita, but includes cognac and lemon. Moreover, it’s not hard to see how the margarita could have also evolved from this floral-named beverage.

2. Nobody really knows who invented it. While it seems that the aforementioned daisy cocktail might have influenced the creation of the margarita, who actually did create it remains a mystery. There are certainly stories, though; here are two of the most popular ones. When looking up the history of the margarita, you’ll find a number of variations on these basic stories.

One of the most widely-spread stories is that the margarita was named after an American socialite named Margarita Sames, who created the drink while socializing with friends in 1948. One of those friends was apparently Tommy Hilton, who added the drink to the bar menu at his hotels. Great story, right? Just one problem: the margarita had already been advertised by tequila importers several years before Ms. Sames’ story is said to have occurred.

Another common story is that a Tijuana restaurateur named Danny Herrera created the drink in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Apparently, a showgirl named Marjorie requested a cocktail with tequila, and the margarita was what was created after some tinkering. To fancy up the name a little bit, he named the drink after the girl; Margarita is the spanish version of the same name.

Margarita(Source: Libre Mexican Cantina Facebook Page)

3. 1953 marked its grand American debut. While the margarita had likely been around for a dozen or more years by this point, 1953 was a banner year in its worldwide celebrity status. In December 1953, Esquire magazine printed a recipe for the beverage and dubbed it the “drink of the month”. Apparently readers liked what they saw and tasted, because this print mention is credited with spreading the drink’s popularity far and wide.

4. Margaritas have a connection with slurpees. Picture this: it’s the early 1970s. Margaritas are popular with customers, but were a huge pain for bartenders and restaurateurs. They took too long to make, and customers complained that the ice melted too quickly.

But when Dallas restaurant owner Mariano Martinez saw a slurpee machine in a local 7-11, he had a lightbulb moment. In short order, he transformed a soft serve ice cream machine into a purveyor of frozen margaritas. To say they were a hit would be a vast understatement: these days, a more refined version of the machine can be found across the nation.

5. Margaritas are even more popular than you think. For years, margaritas have appeared on “most popular cocktail” lists nationwide. This might not surprise you. But do you have a grasp on just what this means in terms of consumption? In 2008, a staggering statistic was released that Americans were consuming 185,000 margaritas per hour…on average. That’s a lot of very happy hours!

6. There is, in existence, a margarita that you couldn’t hope to finish. Do you feel like you could drink margaritas all day? You’re not alone, but you and all of your friends (and probably their friends too) couldn’t drain this glass. In 2011, the Flamingo Hotel’s Margaritaville Casino in Las Vegas made the largest margarita in the world. It weighed in at 8500 gallons and was served in a huge tank. It took 60 people around 300 hours to create the drink. There’s no data on how many units of chips and salsa were brought in to help wash it down.

7. The South loves margaritas most of all. Think you’re the biggest fan of this mixed drink? Think again. While the margarita is beloved across the nation and world, it’s the American south that wants them most in their mouth. According to some reports, the Southern states (the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida) top margarita sales, accounting for over 30% of the total sales in the nation.

Margaritas(Source: Libre Mexican Cantina Facebook Page)

8. Margaritas have their own holiday. Guess what? Margaritas actually do have a nationally recognized holiday. While you might be tempted to think it’s Cinco De Mayo, you’re quite wrong. National Margarita Day occurs annually on February 22nd. Why? Can’t say, but who doesn’t need a margarita in the doldrums of winter? So take a moment to mark your calendars! Not that you needed an excuse.

Margarita salt(Source: Libre Mexican Cantina Facebook Page)

9. That salt (or sugar) exists for a reason. Traditionally, the rim of a margarita glass is garnished with salt (or sometimes sugar). Either way, it’s not mere garnish: it’s a flavor complement. The bitterness of Cointreau or triple sec can upset the balance of the drink; salt or sugar helps reduce it for a more pleasant sensation to the palate. At the same time, either of these substances can soften the “bite” of tequila and balance the flavor of the lime juice. So never decline that garnished rim!

10. There’s a $1200 margarita out there. In 2016, the London Bar in New York city unveiled a very expensive margarita to celebrate National Margarita Day. Called the “Billionaire Margarita”, this pricey potable, only available for a limited time, featured beyond top-shelf premium ingredients, and came with a hefty $1200 price tag. Of course, that does beg the question: how much tip should you leave?

Whether it’s on the rocks or frozen, one thing’s absolutely certain: margaritas are massively popular. Come to Libre Mexican Cantina and try our creative concoctions and make it National Margarita Day every single day!

Do you prefer margaritas frozen or on the rocks?