We all know and love a good Margarita! This happy hour favorite is the most popular cocktail in America and for a very good reason—it’s the perfect combination of sweet, sour, salt, citrus, and most importantly, tequila. Margaritas are an undeniable modern classic, and they’re a much newer cocktail than you think.
The History of the Margarita
There are at least half a dozen conflicting stories about who really invented the Margarita, but they all agree on one thing—that it was born somewhere between the 1930s and 1940s. That makes good historical sense because the Margarita probably evolved from a Daisy. Daisies were a popular cocktail made with liquor, citrus, and a liqueur—just like the Margarita. Other notable variations of the Daisy include the Brandy Daisy, Sidecar, and Gin Daisy. They may have fallen out of fashion, but the Margarita has only grown in popularity since then.
By 1955, José Cuervo was advertising their tequila in a cocktail they called a Margarita: 1 oz Cuervo tequila, 1 oz triple sec, and 1 oz lime juice shaken over shaved ice and served in a salt rimmed glass. The ratios of those three simple ingredients have changed over time (and depending on who you’re talking to), but today the International Bartender’s Association lists the “official” recipe for a Margarita as 50 ml tequila, 20 ml triple sec, and 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice shaken over ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. (For our fellow Americans who think in ounces, that’s about 1.5 oz tequila, a little over .5 oz triple sec, and .5 oz lime juice.) Turns out we like drinks boozier than we did back in the 50s!
Twists on a Margarita
A Margarita is the perfect canvas to get creative with flavors and finishings. Nowadays, Margs are served neat, on the rocks, or blended with ice. They’re mixed with different fruits and liqueurs and that salted rim has been swapped for sugar, spice, and everything nice. Here are a few funky and exciting ways to get outside of your comfort zone:
Infuse your tequila with flavor. May we humbly suggest our Margarita Duo? It features a strawberry jalapeño infusion and a mango hibiscus infusion to level your Margs waaaaaay up.
Swap out your liqueur or lime! Use another liqueur, an infused simple syrup, agave nectar, or fruit juice to find a perfect flavor balance.
Make it sparkle by topping it with soda, tonic, or sparkling water.
Switch up the traditional salted rim with a spiced salt (think chili, mustard, pepper…) or a sugary twist (mix your sugar with cinnamon, citrus zest, or shredded coconut for more flavor).
And of course, don’t forget to blend up some Frozen Margaritas in the summer with ice—or better yet, frozen fruit!
Our Favorite Margarita Recipes
There are many delicious twists on classic margaritas, but we keep coming back to these two oh-so-tempting sippers.
Sweet n’ Tang Margarita
2 oz Out of Office-infused tequila
1 oz grapefruit juice
.5 oz orange liqueur
.5 oz simple syrup
Grapefruit wedge for garnish
Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a grapefruit wedge. Sip, pucker, repeat.
Spicy Watermelon Cooler
1/2 cup Parrot Head-infused tequila
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
5 cups frozen diced watermelon
Lime wheel to garnish
Add first three ingredients to a blender and mix until all watermelon pieces are smoothly blended. Pour into your favorite Margarita glass and coooooool things down.