Some say it took its name from a girl called Rita de la Rosa, others say it was from a girl named Marjorie and third say it was a name of a flower… We ask this cocktail as Margarita.
The search for the origin of Margarita is probably one of the most exciting journeys one could take and discover the colourful history of beautiful Mexico with its flavours, aromas and of course the magic world of Tequila.
Searching for the roots of this remarkable cocktail, that has created so many memories for many of us and its original recipe, might be a bit disappointing. The reason? Well, nobody has discovered the one and only true story, yet!
The good thing is that one can hear many stories about beautiful women from Texas high society and Baja California, gorgeous movie stars from the 40s who claimed the creation of Margarita. Bartenders were also taking their claim behind the bars with their own stories making the trips to the endless, beautiful beaches of Mexico a life experience for all the Patrons at the bars back then.
All those stories had their own magic and truth that somehow make you want to believe they are all true and authentic. And who said that is a bad thing, maybe it is not needed to figure out the true one, because sometimes it might not be what was expected. Why do we need to know it all? For some, this will remain a mystery wrapper in this sweet and sour flavor that will create so many memories.
One truth for sure is that in Mexico it is a challenge to find a place where they serve Margaritas unless it is a tourist place. It is like a secret that locals are carefully hiding but everyone knows about with a little taste of bitterness in their hearts. As weird as this may sound!
I am saying that as there is literarily not even one bar in Mexico that does not have all the ingredients for a perfect Margarita but still… Though every time you order the mouthful cocktail their face light up.
Truths and reality
There are many things that we can say about this cocktail with certainty that no one can doubt. First of which is that it is the most popular tequila based cocktail in the world. The other truth is that Margarita was the reason for tequila to become world known spirit and helping the category by “hiding” the little bit “harsh” taste that tequila had back then. It kind of makes you wonder what would have happened to the spirit if it wasn’t for the Golden Rush period that gave a tremendous boost to tequila sales worldwide while every bar was serving Margaritas.
Last but not least since the 90’s Margarita has been and still is in the TOP 5 World’s most famous cocktails, which have helped the spirit also become bartenders “best friend”.
Travelling around the world to represent the category and visiting so many amazing bars gave me the opportunity to meet numerous super talented and innovative bartenders and discuss new ideas and interesting twists on a classic Margarita with new techniques and alternative ingredients. All that creativity had overcome expectations for the spirits development and it will keep overcoming.
Hold on a minute! Which Margarita are we talking about for so long?! Which is the Margarita we all know and what do we actually celebrate on 22nd of February (Margarita International Day)?
Is it the”Daisy” Margarita with tequila, citrus, Triple Sec and soda? Is it the traditional Margarita with tequila, lime and Triple Sec? Is it Julio Bermejo’s Tommy’s Margarita with agave syrup that brought back Margarita in the menus of the top bars… Or are we all talking about the Picador cocktail that has salt on the rim?
One thing is for sure, that it has become a little messy and we must clarify.
Tequila + Citrus + Sweetener = Margarita
Margarita belongs to the sour category and not the Martini or any other category. As my good friend Thanos Prunarous, owner of one of the best rum outlets “Baba Au Rum” once said that Daiquiri is the “Holy Trinity” – Rum, Lime & Sugar, our beloved Margarita has its own “Holy” and one of them can also be sugar! Oh yes, it can! I met so many people who “hide” the simple syrup they use in their classic Margaritas because they are afraid of being criticized. Really? Can one of those who criticize tell me which of the million types of Triple Sec (all with different amount of sugars) they use for their true classic Margarita?
I believe that it is up to us –professionals– to show that it is all about a balanced and well-executed Margarita always using quality tequila that is the proper one as every tequila brand is different and it matches well with different ingredients. And last but not least, always with great respect and appreciation for what our customer wants, needs and likes. Salt or no salt, On the rocks or clean, Margarita will always be the beautiful path to the “Magical world of Tequila”.