BIT Blog

An Iguana's History of the Margarita

Margaritas are officially America’s favorite mixed cocktail and we can see why. With the scrumptious combination of tequila, orange flavored liquor and lime juice - how could you go wrong? Served shaken, frozen or on the rocks, it’s refreshing and perfect to end a hot summer like this one.  But where did the Margarita come from?

The truth is ...not even an iguana knows for sure. Several theories circulate and we’ll let you be the judge. Leave us a comment to place your vote.

1.    Honoring Hot Germans.

 In October 1941, at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, a bored, bottle-flipping Don Carlos Orozco was greeted by the daughter of a German diplomat, named Margarita Henkel. In an attempt to impress the lovely European lady, he whipped up a unique concoction and proceeded to name it after her to show the source of the drink’s inspiration (and probably try to land a date.) His Margarita has equal parts of tequila, orange liquor and lime juice over ice with a salted rim.

2. Calling all Dancers

In the late thirties, Carlos “Danny” Herrera, a bartender at a Mexican hotel, El Rancho La Gloria, had a thing for a special showgirl, a Zeigfeld dancer named Majorie King. He invented the tasty treat to woo her into dancing for him. Herrera shared the recipe with another bartender, Albert Hernandez, who brought it from Mexico to San Diego in 1947.

3.    A Wild Daisy (Prohibition Changes)

An early 20th century American cocktail called the Daisy was made with brandy, orange liquor and lime juice. During prohibition, people wandered across the border in the search for booze. Swapping brandy for the local libation (tequila) made the Margarita, a Spanish word for daisy.

Whatever the true history of this common tequila drink, we certainly enjoy them today and have made lots of changes and combinations in the original recipe. They can be made with a variety of fruits, like mango, strawberry, or orange, liquors, like melon or raspberry, and even lemons in place of lime. While the recipes may change, the idea stays the same. Sip one on a summer day. Take your temperature down and give your sense of humor a boost.