For nearly ninety years, everyone and their mother has claimed to be the inventor of the margarita. The excitement, to me, in cocktail history is that all of this gets a bit “muddled” (Get it? That is a cross between bartender and dad joke). I like to choose a couple of variations and let my friends across the bar argue over who gets credited with the right story. 

The Daisy Template

The first thing to know is that the margarita is Spanish for the word “Daisy.” Why is that important? “The Daisy Template” is what many mixologists follow to build all cocktails. There are many templates in the spirits world and the daisy template that, by definition, has spirit, citrus and liqueur is a favorite to the American palate. 

Classic Margarita Origin

As I mentioned, there are SO many origin stories to choose from for this cocktail, but for the sake of time, I’ll just share my personal favorites.

The first origin story of the margarita – It was invented in 1938 by Carlos Herrera at his restaurant Rancho la Gloria in Baja California. He, as many stories go, was inspired by a beautiful woman. As a bartender, I firmly believe most great cocktails follow this exact inspiration. Well, he was quite smitten by a Ziegfeld dancer, Marjorie King. Now Miss Marjorie said she was allergic to all alcohols except Tequila. So he “invented” this cocktail just for her…

The second margarita origin story is from a man we all know, sometimes a bit too well. This is from Jose Cuervo himself and he claims it was invented for the beautiful showgirl, Rita de la Rosa. 

Another great story has it invented by a Dallas socialite in 1948. Here we have our lady Margarita Sames inventing it and serving it at one of her lavish parties. One of the guests claims to have fallen in love with the drink. His name was Tommy Hilton and he then put it in all his hotels.

So, what do you think is the true origin of our beloved classic margarita recipe?

Margaritas today

The tagline that brought it to America simply stated “Margarita, it’s more than a girl’s name.” In 1971 Mariano Martinez (the genius) converted a soft serve machine into the first frozen margarita dispenser which boosted the consumption of this cocktail even more. Margaritas are the most versatile crowd pleaser for any occasion and one of the most popular with Americans drink an average of 185,000 margaritas an hour. 

Check out the classic recipe below and let me know your thoughts!

Classic Margarita

2 oz Tequila (I prefer Casamigos Blanco)

.75 oz Lime Juice

.5 oz Agave 

.25 oz Grand Marnier 

Glass: Margarita Glass or Rocks Glass

Garnish: lime wheel

Preparation: In a mixing tin combine tequila of choice, lime juice, agave, and Grand Marnier (or triple sec of chose). Add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain your cocktail in a preferred glass and garnish with lime. Sip Boldly!