February 22, 2013 was National Margarita Day…who knew such a day existed? Like National Hot Dog Day, National Chocolate Day (who doesn’t love that one?), Valentine’s and Easter, so too is there a National Recognition Day for Margarita’s.
Who dreamed up the idea of a National Margarita Day, you ask? This blogger hasn’t a clue and has uncovered countless urban legends to attest to the contributor and nationalization of such a day, none of seem to be accurate in my analytic thought process.
The margarita Cocktail however is a different story—a beautiful, sometimes frothy drink, poured into a distinct glass for the purpose of enjoying this particular cocktail is a recipe famous for a concoction of tequila, Cointreau or Triple Sec, and lime juice. Around since the 1940s,
when folklore has it that at “Hussong’s Cantina”, in Ensenada, Mexico, there once was a handsome and suave (isn’t this how all good stories go?) bartender ; Don Carlos Orozco. One slow afternoon, Don Carlos was experimenting with mixing new drinks when a prestigious visitor arrived: Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German Ambassador, who lived with her husband Roy Parodi near the city in Rancho Hamilton. Don Carlos offered the newly concocted drink to Margarita, and named it after her for being the first person to taste it. A mixture of equal parts tequila, orange liqueur, and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. Interestingly, Don Carlos’ recipe was made with Damiana Liqueur, not Cointreau orange liqueur, as so often used today. There is some rumor that he in fact did name the libation after the beautiful and legendary, Margarita Henkle,
Every bartender in the world has put a unique spin on this classic, but no one really knows who created the first ever to be called a “Margarita”. Another classic legend is a claim another bartender named Willie from Mexico City came up with the elusive cocktail. He said that in 1934 he created and named the drink for his friend “Marguerite Hemery”. Another popular legend is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed the drink at his restaurant in Tijuana in 1938. He invented it for Marjorie King, a customer who was allergic to all hard alcohol except tequila. Another story is that the Dallas socialite Margarita Sames mixed up the drink in 1948 for a house full of guests. One of them was Tommy Hilton who later added the drink to the bar menu in many of his Hilton Hotels. Interestingly in the 1940’s the preference in alcohol consumption included Gin, Whiskey and Scotch, however Tequila was veritably unknown and Vodka didn’t make it’s way onto the scene until well into the 1950’s.
Regardless of who came up with the recipe, it is certain to be said that The Margarita will go down in history as one of the most popular mixed drinks of all time and to sustain the style’s of the decades moving ahead. With the rise in the market saturation of products and savvy consumption continues its march across the market, its likely this recipe will vary, have edited ingredients, or present in a different way to include the infusion of additional flavors, it remains true that the authentic, traditional margarita (shaken not blended until the 1970’s by the way….) will always remain a staple in the Tequila World.