National Margarita Day on February 22nd rims a glass with salt and serves up a beverage that tastes like the summer sun.
Known to be the most common tequila-based cocktail served in the United States, the margarita is a cocktail that consists of tequila, triple sec, and lime or lemon juice. A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice. In the United States, the most common lime is the thick-skinned Persian lime. When margaritas are made with lemons, they have a much softer taste.
When it comes to sorting out the legends associated with the origin of the margarita, there are many. Two things are certain; the cocktail included tequila, and the bartender edged the rim of the glass with salt. In Mexico, when drinking straight tequila (especially if the quality was bad), the best course of action was to down it in one swallow, suck on a wedge of lime and lick a dash of salt off the back of your hand.
It makes sense that the salt followed the lime and the tequila to the margarita glass. Today, lime is not the only flavor of margarita, and the specialists behind the bar have gotten creative mixing dried herbs, infused sugars, and exotic salts to enhance both the presentation of the glass and the flavor of the cocktail.
Margaritas can be served on the rocks (shaken with ice), frozen (blended with ice), or straight up (without ice).
There are many different stories and myths, beginning as early as 1938, as to how and when the margarita was created.
In the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, the margarita cocktail was the “Drink of the Month.” The recipe as printed was:
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 a rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.
The margarita was further popularized with the 1977 release of Jimmy Buffett’s song “Margaritaville.”
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