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Margarita, Swank Cocktail #51

🏠 » Cocktails » Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

Margarita cocktail
Margarita cocktail

The Margarita is cocktail number 51 on the Swank Cocktail Guide.

Margarita cocktail history

There are quite a few origination stories for the Margarita cocktail, which basically consists of tequila, lemon or lime juice, and Cointreau, which adds a touch of orange flavor.

So, let’s start with the main ingredient. Tequila is a distilled beverage that has been made for centuries from the blue agave plant in the region around the town of Tequila, Mexico. Mexican laws state that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.

The Margarita Daisy Theory

One theory is that the Margarita was an adaptation of the Brandy Daisy cocktail, which dates back to the late 1800s. The word margarita is Spanish for daisy.

Brandy Daisy cocktail

Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 7, Brandy Daisy.

Gum syrup is similar to simple syrup, so the Brandy Daisy consisted of lemon juice, orange cordial, a sugary syrup, and brandy. That is very close to today’s Margarita.

As for the idea of using a different liquor in the same “daisy” drink, the same recipe book includes:

Gin Daisy cocktail

Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 23, Gin Daisy.
Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 23, Gin Daisy.

Ginger Daisy cocktail

Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 27, Ginger Daisy.
Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 27, Ginger Daisy.

Rum Daisy cocktail

Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 40, Rum Daisy.
Official Hand-Book and Guide Bartenders’ Association of New York City, 1895, p. 40, Rum Daisy.

By the 1930s, Tequila Daisies were making the news.

"Tequila Daisy Cocktail Course," newspaper article, El Paso (El Paso, Texas), 15 Mar 1934, p. 6, col. 4.
“Tequila Daisy Cocktail Course,” newspaper article, El Paso (El Paso, Texas), 15 Mar 1934, p. 6, col. 4.
"Taste the Celebrated Tequila Daisy," newspaper arrticle, Berwyn Life (Berwyn, Illinois), 16 Apr 1939, p. 4, col. 2.
“Taste the Celebrated Tequila Daisy,” newspaper article, Berwyn Life (Berwyn, Illinois), 16 Apr 1939, p. 4, col. 2.
"Tequila Daisy," newspaper article, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 19 July 1939, p. 1, col. 7.
“Tequila Daisy,” newspaper article, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 19 July 1939, p. 1, col. 7.

The Picador cocktail

In the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, Coronation Edition, published in 1937, a recipe for the Picador cocktail appeared, which bore more than a strong resemblance to the Margarita.

Picador

1.4 fresh Lime or Lemon Juice
1/4 Cointreau
1/2 Tequila
Shake.

The Margarita: More Than A Girl’s Name

The first Jose Cuervo Margarita print ads began running in the 1940 with the tag line, “The Margarita: Its More Than Just A Girl’s Name.” Variations ran through the 1960s.

Jose Cuervo Tequila 1965 magazine advertisement
Jose Cuervo Tequila 1965 magazine advertisement

Margarita cocktail recipe

Margarita cocktail recipe
Margarita cocktail recipe

1 jigger Tequila, 1 jigger Cointreau, 1 jigger lemon juice. Add shaved ice. Shake well. Serve in salt rimmed Champagne glass.

Ingredients used:

  • Hornitos Plata Tequila
  • Cointreau
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

We used our Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine to make shaved ice.

Margarita cocktail review

Our ratings (1-5 🍸)

Greg: 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸
Kim: 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸

We love Margaritas, although we rarely make them at home. We made the Swank version with the shaved ice and lemon juice.. The next day, we decided to make an easier version with crushed ice from the refrigerator and then substituted the lemon juice for lime juice. Both were divine.

Lime Margarita
Lime Margarita

Next up… Cocktail # 52, Martini (Dry)

Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

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