Margarita is Spanish for daisy, and one of the many stories explaining the origin of this drink theorizes that the tequila-laced beverage that we call a Margarita started as merely a version of the brandy-based Daisy cocktail first popularized in the 1890s.
The invention of the drink has been attributed to various bartenders and party hosts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border as early as the 1930s. Although the details of its history are now uncertain, we do know that the Margarita is now enjoyed all over the world in an abundance of varieties: plain or frozen, in various fruit flavors, made with different liqueurs, in salt- or sugar-rimmed glasses, etc.
Almost as varied as the recipe is the wide range of vessel types and sizes that have been used for serving margaritas through the years. What is popularly known as a margarita glass is a stepped-diameter variant of the champagne coupe—the same glass often used for serving shrimp cocktails. Restaurants sometimes present margaritas in such diverse containers as goblets, steins, tumblers, bowls, pitchers, and jugs, as well as in basic all-purpose cocktail glasses. Of course, when you make a margarita at home, you can pour it into whatever glass you like.
This basic version of the classic Margarita is perfect for a hot summer day or an evening with friends. You'll make this recipe over and over again!
- Kosher salt for the rim of the glass (optional)
- 1 ounce good quality tequila (white or reposado)
- ½ ounce triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon with sugar
- crushed ice or ice cubes
- lime slice (optional)
If you would like to salt the glass, place a generous layer of salt on a saucer or small plate. Take a lime wedge or a bit of triple sec and rub it around the outside edge of the glass to moisten. Turn the glass upside down and press the rim into the salt. Return glass to upright position and continue with the recipe. Rimming a Glass, Step by Step
- Note: The salt should be on the outside of the glass so that it comes in contact with the lips but does not mix in with the drink itself. This same treatment can be done with sugar if you desire a sweeter cocktail experience.
Shake the tequila, triple sec, lime juice and sugar in a shaker, or stir ingredients vigorously with a spoon. (Alternatively, you can process the mixture in a blender, if you prefer.) Pour over ice. Garnish with a slice of lime, if you like, and enjoy!
-Edited by Robin Grose