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The Margarita is a Cocktail which consists of Tequila or Agave Wine, Triple Sec, and Fresh Lime Juice.

Margarita, as the name of a flower.

"Many of the flowers called Daisies in English are called Margaritas in Spanish (and Marguerites in French.)"


Common recipe

Shake with ice, and then strain into a cocktail glass. Salt Rim optional.

According to David Herpin

This drink is full of history. Many believe this drink was created by a woman named Margarita Sames in Alcopulco, Mexico in 1948. This is not true, many other stories surround this drink also, such as the drink being named after rita hayworth, whose birth name was Margarita.

All of these stories are inaccurate, this drink is much older than many believe. Here is an early printing of the drink:

The South American handbook: Volume 84 in1924

"Tequila, Ugarte 112. All the Mexican regulars, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, guesadillas, as vegetarian or .... a Margarita"

This drink hit international fame quickly, seeing as variations appeared in new york advertisements as early as:

The New Yorker: Volume 12, Part 1 in 1936

"Some of it is very good, although the less said about the "Greek inspired margarita," a lethal combination of tequila and ouzo, the better."

It is difficult to determine where this drink gets it's name, however, it is clear the drink originated in Mexico. The ingredients are rarely contested, even today. Although, prior to 1965 a margarita consisted of just tequila and lime juice. It would appear cointreau claimed the drink for themselves and added their cordial to the recipe. Cointreau was just becoming nationally available at this time.

There were several advertisements placed by cointreau in Time and Life magazines between 1965 - 1971 as seen here:

LIFE - Dec 1, 1967 - Page 70 Vol. 63, No. 22

"Margarita, Tequila Sour— 55 Proof."

This drink dates between 1918 and 1923 and contained at least as of then:

Shake these ingredients:


Lime Juice

Cointreau (modern 1963-1965)

Strain into a salt-rimmed ice filled rocks glass (Modern)

Other Recipes

Margarita No. 1

  • 1-1/2 oz white tequila
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice. Shake until well chilled. Pour the mixture into a salt-rimmed (optional) margarita or martini glass.

Margarita No. 2

  • 1-1/2 oz 100% blue agave tequila
  • 1 oz orange-flavored brandy, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice. Shake until well chilled. Pour the mixture into a salt-rimmed (optional) margarita or martini glass.

Margarita No. 3 - Frozen Margarita

  • 2 parts tequila
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part fresh lime juice

Combine the ingredients in blender 2/3 full of ice. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into salt-rimmed (optional) margarita or martini glasses.

Margarita No. 4 - 100% Agave Wine Margarita

  • 2 parted agave wine
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 1 part fresh orange juice
  • Pinch fresh sea salt

Should a Margarita's Glass have Salt on it?

To most people the Margarita is always served with a Salt rim on the glass, though these are usually people who do not drink Margaritas made with premium products. Tequila Expert Julio Bermejo, of Tommy's Bar in San Francisco is of the opinion that Salt only serves to hide the inferior flavour of bad Margaritas. If people insist on Salt, then he will only coat half the glass, so that they can still taste the drink without salt.

However, margaritas are commonly sipped through a straw and therefore the salt is not often tasted and acts more as a decoration.

Who created the Margarita?

There are 4 main contenders for the title of creator of the Margarita Cocktail.

Danny Negrete (invented 1936),

"I interviewed Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the purported inventor of the Margarita. Salvador says there are many fallacious stories about the origin of the Margarita, such as the one above, but that " this is the true story." The family story goes that Danny opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David. The day before his brother's marriage, Daniel presented the Margarita as a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law. Danny combined 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."

1:1:1 = 6:6:6 (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 33% fresh lime juice)

Francisco 'Pancho' Morales (Invented: 4th of July, 1942),

"A favorite story among Texans is that a bartender named Pancho Morales invented the Margarita on July 4, 1942, at a Juárez bar named Tommy's Place ("The Man Who Invented the Margarita," TM, October 1974). Supposedly, it all began when a woman requested a Magnolia (brandy, Cointreau, and an egg yolk topped with champagne). Morales was a little fuzzy on the recipe, so he improvised—and his ersatz creation was a big hit."

Carlos "Danny" Herrera (invented: 1947–48),

"Carlos "Danny" Herrera was always a little vague about the exact date he mixed a jigger of white tequila with lemon juice and triple sec, creating a smooth and salty concoction he named "Margarita." It would have been October or November of 1947 or 1948, he told friends."

"Rancho La Gloria, it was midway on the old road that connected Tijuana with Rosarito Beach. Among the bar's clientele was a showgirl and sometime actress who called herself Marjorie King. She was allergic to hard liquor, except for tequila, but she didn't like to drink it straight or even with a lemon and salt. Mr. Herrera started experimenting and came up with a concoction that was three parts white tequila, two parts Cointreau and one part fresh lemon juice. He added shaved ice and blended the mixture with a hand shaker."

3:2:1 = 6:4:2 (50% tequila, double as much Triple Sec than fresh lime juice).

Another version of the Carlos Herrera Story says (invented: 1938-39)

Associated Press (October 1992)

"Dateline: San Diego (AP) - Carlos Herrera, known locally as the man who topped a tequila concoction with salt and called it a Margarita, has died. He was 90. Herrera died Monday at Grossmont Hospital. His daughter, Gloria Amezcua, said he died of natural causes. Herrera's relatives say he invented the drink at Rancho La Gloria, a restaurant he opened in 1935 at his home south of Tijuana. He told friends that it was sometime in 1938 or '39 that he decided to mix a jigger of white tequila with lemon juice, shaved ice, triple sec and - the crowning touch - salt. Local legend has it that one of his customers was a showgirl and sometime actress who called herself Marjorie King. She was allergic to all hard liquor except tequila, and she didn't like to drink that straight. That reputedly sent Herrera to experimenting, and he named the result "Margarita" after the actress, the legend goes."

Margaret Sames (Invented: December 1948).

From Today's Columbus Woman, June 1994

"I was very close with a lot of famous hotel and restaurant people," said 81-yearold Mrs. Sames of the drink she concocted at her Acapulco home during the 1948 Christmas holidays. "I guess they played a big role in introducing the Margarita to our society."

From an Article called
America’s Cocktail by Robert Plotkin.

"Shortly before Christmas of '48, Margarita Sames was challenged by several ranking members of the team to devise a new and exciting cocktail,"

"She tried several different formulations; however, some came out too sweet, some not sweet enough. Then she hit on what she thought was the perfect blend: one part Cointreau, three parts tequila and one part lime juice. Knowing that most people drank tequila preceded by a lick of salt, she chose to garnish her cocktail with a rim of coarse salt."

3:1:1 = 6:2:2 (60% tequila, 20% Triple Sec, 20% fresh lime juice).

Other Creators of the Margarita (Join the line!)

Red Hinton

Daily Review,(1973).

"IT WAS a Virginia City bartender by the name of Red Hinton who is credited with having invented the Margarita. History records that it was named after his girl friend . . . Margarita Mendes"

Note: this comes from one of the most badly researched news articles of all time.

Johnny Durlesser

Van Nuys News, (1955)
"...way back in 1937 when tequila first appeared here, Johnny invented the famed "South of the Border" cocktail, the Marguerita, as a pleasant way to down the fiery Mexican liquid. Consisting of salt on the rim of a glass, 2/3 tequila, 1/3 cointreau and the juice of a lemon"

Fresno Bee", (1978)

"The Margarita was invented in 1940 by a bartender in a Los Angeles restaurant and bar, but the drink did not become popular until 1954 when a tequila distributor began promoting it. Vernon Underwood, chairman of the board of Young's Market Co., had the Jose Cuervo tequila distributorship at the time, which he says was when tequila was a slow-moving spirit. "We Were getting rather large orders for tequila from the Tail 0' The Cock Restaurant in Los Angeles and I decided to find out why," Underwood said in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles headquarters. He discovered that restaurant owner Shelton McHenry's head bartender, the late Johnny Durlesser, had invented a drink which had become popular with his customers. Underwood recalls that he sampled the drink and immediately liked it. He saw a chance to promote tequila and his firm launched a national advertising campaign which had as its slogan, "Margarita is more than a girl's name." McHenry said Durlesser named the drink the Margarita after a pretty girl named Marguerite, who frequented the bar."

Note: In 1954, Youngs Marketing Co, were heavily promoting a cocktail called a Tequila Matador. And it wasn't until 1956 that they started advertising Tequila Margaritas.

Dona Bertha

Sheboygan Press, (1944)

"Dona Bertha's place is easy to find in Taxco and one of her specials is just what 'Dr.' Blythe recommends for you."

"To hide her trembling chin she took more of the Bertha Special."

Daily Courier, (1944)

"a little keg of tequila and [I will] make for you two of Dona Bertha's drinks."

"ALL THE BEST IN MEXICO", by Sidney Clark, (1949)

"in Taxco, where a famous tequila cocktail called the "Bertha" is an established feature of life"

"The Bertha, made with lime juice and simple syrup, looks like a Tom Collins but tastes remarkably like a Daiquiri."

Enrique Bastante Gutierrez

may be spelt Gutierez.

Former World Cocktail Champion (yet to be verified)

Invented for Rita Hayworth (aka. Margarita Cansino) at the Agua Caliente Racetrack.

Agua Caliente closed in 1935, and as Rita Hayworth was born in October 1918, this would have made her 17 years old at the time of the Race-track being closed down. A bit too young to drink?

****Santos Cruz**** Santos Cruz mixed the first margarita for singer Peggy Lee at the “Studio Lounge” in Galveston, Texas in 1948. She liked tequila, but didn’t like the salt and lemon routine. Santos modified the Sidecar, substituting tequila for brandy, lime juice for lemon,and rimming the glass with salt instead of sugar. Peggy’s husband gave the drink it's name. Little Margaret, Margarita... From there, Peggy toured Mexico, taking the recipe to Acapulco with her. The rest is history. Santos, a humble man, must have had quite a crush on Peggy, because he would still get dewy eyed years many years later when someone would drag the story out of him. For the whole tale, see Santos Cruz's obituary, published in The Galveston County Daily News December 14, 2005

Who drank the first Margarita?

According to William Grimes, author of "Straight Up or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail (Hardcover)", and regular columnist for the New York Times, there are plenty of people who recollect drinking Margaritas in the 1930's, so it is safe to assume that the Margarita was not invented anytime after 1940.

Historical Margarita Citations

ESQUIRE, (December 1953)

"Drink of the Month"

"She's from Mexico, Senores, and her name is the Margarita Cocktail--and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative."

  • 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."

"Los Angeles Times," 8th December 1954

"ROSARITO BEACH--In the afternoon you sip a Margarita and gaze pensively across the wide strand. This is a sort of Mexican daiquiri belted hard by the international set at Acapulco. Tequila, Cointreau and lemon juice. Salt the rim of the glass like you sugar a daiquiri. They carry a big stick gently. When sipped in the afternoon, they mellow the memory of morning and tinsel the prospect of evening. I get the impression they were named for a sultry lady who was the toast of the foreign colony, although margarita is also Spanish for daisy. And it figures."

"Los Angeles Times," 8th February 1955

"Was introduced to the Margarita, tequila's answer to the Martini, while in Mexico some weeks ago. Now informed the Margarita was invented by Mr. Johnny Durlesser, head barman of the Tail o' the Cock, in 1937"

"Oakland Tribune", (November 1956)

"Try a Tequila Margarita." (Advert)

"Time Magazine," 21st June 1968

"Número uno for the American tequila fans is the Margarita, a cocktail made with lime juice, Cointreau or Triple Sec and tequila, all poured over shaved ice and served in a frosty glass rimmed with salt."

Margarita Ratios

2:1:1 = 6:3:3 (50% tequila, 25% Triple Sec, 25% fresh lime juice).

3:2:1 = 6:4:2 (50% tequila, double as much Triple Sec than fresh lime juice).

3:1:1 = 6:2:2 (60% tequila, 20% Triple Sec, 20% fresh lime juice).

1:1:1 = 6:6:6 (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 33% fresh lime juice).

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