What Will You Be Drinking on National Margarita Day?
Classic or reinvented, there’s no wrong way to celebrate National Margarita Day, so long as your drink’s made with the best tequila.
Salty, sweet, sour and spirit-forward: The Margarita is a crowd pleaser. Nearly a century after it was first invented, the tequila-based cocktail has become one of the most-ordered cocktails of the twenty-first century. Bartenders love to make them, and patrons love to sip them. This is why the delicious libation is one of the few cocktails with its own day, which is celebrated with much cheersing on February 22.
Today, there are dozens upon dozens of Margarita variations for you to craft in celebration of National Margarita Day, but the classic Margarita—made with quality tequila like Patrón, lime juice, and orange liqueur, served in a salt-rimmed glass—is iconic. Although the Margarita is one of the most well-known cocktails, the drink’s actual origins are hazy. Multiple people claim to have invented the tantalizing tipple.
Carlos “Danny” Herrera, the owner of Rancho La Gloria, said he came up with the concoction in 1938 when Marjorie King, a stunning showgirl, waltzed into his Tijuana bar with a problem: She wanted a cocktail, but was allergic to every spirit save tequila. The solution: The Margarita. Less than five years later, in Juárez, Mexico, Francisco “Pancho” Morales would also claim to invent the very first Margarita while working as a bartender at Tommy’s Place Bar. Dallas socialite Margarita Sames would throw her hat in the ring in 1948, averring to have come up with the cocktail while entertaining guests at her Acapulco vacation home. According to the myth, Tommy Hilton (of hotel chain fame) was at the party and loved the cocktail so much he had them put it on the menu at his hotels thereby popularizing the drink. That same year over in Texas, Santos Cruz, another claimant for the title of Margarita creator would join the mix. He maintains that he created the drink for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee. As the story has it, he named the drink after the Spanish version of her name, Margarita.
Cocktail historian David Wondrich doesn’t buy any of these tall tales, though. According to the spirited academic, Margaritas can trace their origins back to a popular prohibition-era cocktail called the Daisy, which was a mix of citrus juice and grenadine served over shaved ice. There were Rum Daisies, Brandy Daisies, and when Mexican-imported tequila started becoming popular in the U.S., Tequila Daisies, which were renamed the Spanish word for daisy: Margarita.
The Margarita’s history may be shrouded in mystery, but the drink’s future is crystal clear: This libation is destined to remain at the top of the cocktail pantheon. The drink owes its unending popularity to its flexibility. Salt-rimmed, long-stemmed cocktail glasses have been replaced with modern Margaritas made with everything from sparkling guava juice to coconut milk.
While today’s Margaritas vary wildly, tequila remains the Margarita-defining ingredient. Super premium tequilas, such as Patrón, have bolstered the Margarita’s reputation transforming it from a party drink into a connoisseur’s cocktail.
It might take mere minutes to mix up a delicious Margarita, but intrepid sippers know that the world’s best Margaritas take time. It takes seven years for the Weber Blue Agave plants to reach peak maturity before Patrón’s jimadores uproot the giant succulents. Then, the trimmed piñas (the hearts of the agave) are slow roasted in small brick ovens for up to 79 hours until they develop the complex and layered flavours that define Patrón tequila. After the piñas emerge from the oven, it can take over 3 years to complete the fermentation, distillation and aging processes. Creating the world’s highest quality tequila takes more than time, it takes dedication and Patrón’s unwavering commitment to perfection.
This drink will keep evolving, but ultra-premium tequila will always be essential to crafting this perfect cocktail. Be it a classic or a modern Margarita, Patrón’s time honoured tradition of creating the world’s finest tequila makes it the ideal ingredient to be used when mixing your next Margarita.
For more information, visit patrontequila.com
The Perfect Way to Enjoy Patrón is Responsibly. © Patrón Spirits International AG 2018 40% abv.