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IBA Official Cocktail
Type Mixed drink
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnish salt rimmed glass, lime slice
Standard drinkware
Margarita glass
IBA specified ingredients
Preparation Rub the rim of the glass with the lime slice to make the salt stick to it. Shake the other ingredients with ice, then carefully pour into the glass (taking care not to dislodge any salt). Garnish and serve over ice.
Margarita recipe at International Bartenders Association

The Margarita is the most common tequila-based cocktail, made with tequila mixed with triple sec and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the glass rim.


[edit] Variations

Common ratios for a margarita are

  • 2:1:1 = (50% tequila, 25% Triple Sec, 25% fresh lime or lemon juice)
  • 3:2:1 = (50% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 17% fresh lime or lemon juice)
  • 3:1:1 = (60% tequila, 20% Triple Sec, 20% fresh lime or lemon juice)
  • 1:1:1 = (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 33% fresh lime or lemon juice)

although the IBA (IBA Official list of Cocktails) standard is

  • 7:4:3 = (50% tequila, 29% Triple Sec, 21% fresh lime or lemon juice)

The drink is usually served shaken with ice, on the rocks, or blended with ice (the "frozen margarita"). All three methods are frequently served with salt on the rim of the glass. Some bartenders specializing in tequila have the opinion that salt hides the flavor of bad Margaritas made with inferior tequilas. For people who insist on a salt rim, the bartender typically only coats half the glass or offers a straw, so that they can still taste the drink without being obscured by the salt's taste.[citation needed]

While the most common margaritas contain tequila, orange liqueur, lime or lemon juice, and sometimes an additional sweetener, such as simple syrup, many variations are becoming more and more common. Bottled lime juice (which contains sugar) is another method used to add sweetness.

[edit] Flavored Liqueurs

Other than triple sec, other types of orange-flavored liqueur are sometimes used, such as Patrón Citrónge (produced in Mexico), Cointreau (produced in France), blue curaçao yielding the blue margarita. The "grand", "royal", or "Cadillac" margarita often contains Grand Marnier or Gran Gala. Such higher quality or "top shelf" margaritas will usually use a better grade of tequila as well. Often, when sweeter fruit juices or freshly puréed fruits are added to the margarita, the amount of orange-flavored liqueur is often reduced or it is eliminated entirely. In addition to orange-flavored liqueurs, secondary liqueurs may occasionally be added to the cocktail, including black raspberry-flavored Chambord.

[edit] Fresh Lime Juice

Margaritas come in a variety of flavors and colors.

Fresh squeezed lime juice is the key ingredient. The most common lime in the U.S. is the thick skinned Persian lime. However, margaritas in Mexico are generally made with Mexican limes (Key limes). These are small, thin skinned limes and have a more tart and an often bitter flavor compared to Persian limes. Margaritas made with lemon have a softer taste, especially when Meyer lemon are used.

[edit] Other Fruits

Alternate fruits and juice mixtures can also be used in a margarita. When the word "margarita" is used by itself, it typically refers to the lime or lemon juice margarita, but when other juices are used, the fruits are typically added as adjectives in the name; with lime juice or lemon juice added like a condiment (and a wedge of lime often added to the glass). Examples of popular combinations are:

  • Raspberry margarita, with lime juice
  • Strawberry or peach margarita, with lemon juice
  • Mango margarita, with lime juice
  • Melon margarita, often with melon liqueur such as Midori

[edit] History

[edit] Origin of the Margarita

A blended margarita

There are many stories about who invented the margarita and why. The following are perhaps the most commonly repeated tales of the creator of the margarita cocktail:

Sammy Cruz, 1948
According to the promotional flyer for the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas, head bartender Santos Cruz created the Margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee in 1948.
The Balinese Room was opened in 1941 and was Texas's finest nightclub with A/C, casino gambling, superb food and drinks, and stellar entertainment until the Texas Rangers finally shut it down in 1957.
Barman "Willie" from Mexico City, 1934 in the employ of the Melguizo Family
Marguerite Hemery lived in the Rio Grande Valley since the 1930s and went to a restaurant in Matamoros called Los Dos Republicas. She was friends with the owner and, as the story goes, his bartender composed a special drink for her.
Los Dos Republicas @
Danny Negrete, 1936
  • Ratios: 1:1:1 = 6:6:6 (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 33% fresh lime juice).
According to Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the family story goes that Daniel opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David. The day before David's marriage, Daniel presented the margarita as a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law.
It was a combination of one-third Triple Sec, one-third tequila and one-third squeezed Mexican lime juice. The drink was not blended and was served with hand-crushed ice. [1]
Enrique Bastate Gutierrez, early 1940s
Gutierrez, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico, boasted to have created the Margarita as a homage to actress Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino.
Other versions of the story claim the Margarita was indeed named after the actress, but in the 1930s, before she adopted her screen name. As a teenager, Margarita Cansino worked as a dancer at the Foreign Club, in Tijuana, where she supposedly inspired a bartender.
Francisco "Pancho" Morales, 4th of July, 1942
A bartender, Pancho Morales invented the margarita on July 4, 1942, at a Ciudad Juárez bar named Tommy's Place. Supposedly, a woman requested a Magnolia (brandy, Cointreau, and an egg yolk topped with Champagne). Morales was a little fuzzy on the recipe; he improvised and his ersatz creation was a big hit. [2]
Margaret Sames, December 1948
  • Ratios: 2:1:1 = 4:2:2 (50% tequila, 25% Triple Sec, 25% fresh lime juice).
Sames, who created the drink at her Acapulco bar, gave the reason of being "close with a lot of famous hotel and restaurant people" in introducing the margarita. [3]
Sames used one part Cointreau, two parts tequila and one part lime juice for her margarita. Knowing that most people drank tequila preceded by a lick of salt, she chose to garnish her cocktail with a rim of coarse salt.
Sames moved to El Paso, TX in 1958 where she was well known for her lavish parties. In 1982 she appeared on NBC's Today show demonstrating the proper way to make a margarita.

[edit] Popularity

A strawberry margarita in can.

The margarita cocktail was the "Drink of the Month" in Esquire magazine, December 1953, pg. 76: [4]

1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.

[edit] First frozen margarita machine mix

The first frozen margarita machine mix was invented in 1971 for Dallas restaurant Marianos by chemist John Hogan. He was also recognized by the Smithsonian as the inventor of the frozen margarita machine. Mr. Hogan realized that pure cane sugar was the secret to obtaining a solution that would be consistent and enjoyable for the masses.[5]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ William K. Lombardo. "The margarita chronicles: Did Danny do it?". Retrieved on 12 August 2006. 
  2. ^ Brad Cooper (October 1974). "The Man Who Invented the Margarita". Texas Monthly. 
  3. ^ Today's Columbus Woman. June 1994. 
  4. ^ Barry Popik. "Texas, The Lone Star State: Margarita (cocktail)". Retrieved on 12 August 2006. 
  5. ^ Houston - News - ¡Viva la Margarita!
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