The Margarita: Mexico’s Gift to the World

The Margarita: Mexico’s Gift to the World


It’s been a while since we’ve featured the back story and recipe for a worldly cocktail, and we are heartily sorry for that. You know that our minds and livers have never strayed too far from the drink, though, so we’re going to try to be a little more regular with our alcohol-infused posts from now on. And what better way to relaunch our series on global drinking culture than with a profile of one of the most widely recognizable cocktails in the world?

We’re obviously talking about the margarita.

When you think of a margarita, chances are your mind immediately travels to Mexico – the sand, the surf, the body shots, etc. While we all know the margarita was invented south of the border, the true story of its invention is still somewhat of a mystery. The most widely accepted origin story for the cocktail dates back to an afternoon in 1941 when a bartender in Ensenada, Mexico was playing around with new drink recipes as Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German ambassador, walked into his bar. He mixed equal parts tequila, orange liqueur and lime, poured it into a salt-rimmed glass over ice, and handed it to her to try. She apparently loved it, because the bartender kept serving it under her name.

This story might just be a myth, but we’re fine with believing in the fairy tale. There’s no real analysis of how the margarita became so popular outside of Mexico, but as you are aware, it’s the go-to form of tequila consumption around the world besides taking it straight out of a shot glass. It was even named Esquire magazine’s “Drink of the Month” in December 1953 – just 12 short years after its alleged invention. It even has it’s own eponymous serving glass!

One thing has changed since the first days of the margarita, however: there’s more booze! The IBA Official list of Cocktails calls for a 7:4:3 ratio for a standard margarita, which in layman’s terms is 50% tequila, 29% Cointreau, 21% fresh lime juice.

cayman jack margarita
via Tumblr

Don’t feel like buying the ingredients yourself? Don’t worry. The margarita has become so popular worldwide that it’s available ready-to-drink (alcohol and all) straight from the bottle. When going for a pre-made ‘rita, we’re partial to Cayman Jack. The brand uses organic limes, 100% agave nectar and pure can sugar to craft the traditional margarita base. The one difference is that they use premium malt liquor instead of tequila to give the drink its kick, but we’re cool with that – sometimes you just want to drink a refreshing margarita, not black out and pop your top off like a spring breaker in Puerto Vallarta. Find out where you can find Cayman Jack near you on their website, and crack one open the next time you want something that says “fiesta” a little more than a beer.

It may seem common to you, but every sip of a margarita no doubt transports you to Mexico for at least a minute. And in the busy, beach-free life that most of us live, it’s always a welcome escape.

Full disclosure: we received a free sample of Cayman Jack margaritas before writing this post, and they were delicious.

photo credit: rvill7 via photopin cc



  1. […] The Margarita: Mexico’s Gift to the World (via Travel Freak) Today is National Margarita Day, which I will in fact be celebrating tonight. Our friends at Travel Freak were kind enough to enlighten us with the origins of this fabulous tequila drink and provide a recommendation for Cayman Jack’s pre-made margarita. […]

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