There are seemingly as many stories about the history of the cocktail as are the histories of any specific drink. My theory on this is the inventors of many older, long-living cocktails never really thought much of their inventions at the time of creation and consumption, they forgot, or were just too inebriated, to document the beginning.
One thing that has fascinated me as of recent is the North American rise and serious popularity of the Martini. There are countless bars and restaurants noted for their superior creations using a standard “martini” glass and concocting something extraordinary. My findings reveal the same is not true for the Margarita. There are countless bars and restaurants that serve the Margarita, yet very few that lay claim that they are a “Margarita Bar”, and even less talk and claim that their establishments actually make a very good Margarita . . . if not an outstanding series of them. One thing seems to be for sure. Unlike the Martini, which undoubtedly contains either Gin or Vodka, the Margarita always contains Tequila; and that’s ok with me. In its classic form, the Margarita is made of tequila, lime juice and Cointreau or Triple Sec, served in a glass with a salted rim. (Smithsonian.com, 2009)
The history of the Margarita has me confused. I really like some of the stories I read but the one that makes the most sense is actually from Wikipedia. Wiki says “The most accepted of all stories is that the Margarita was invented in October 1941, at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, by bartender Don Carlos Orozco. One slow afternoon, Don Carlos was experimenting with mixing new drinks when a prestigious visitor arrived: Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German ambassador, who lived with her husband Roy Parodi near the city in Rancho Hamilton. Don Carlos offered the drink to Margarita, and named it after her for being the first person to taste it.” (Wikipedia, 2013)
Other claims of origin come from various articles and blogs across the internet. “The first mention in print of a Margarita cocktail is in the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine where it states simply that, ‘She’s from Mexico, Señores, and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative”, a blogger writes along with many other claims and stories told. (Imbibe, 2009)
The margarita seems to have no real beginning and seemingly no near site to its end. The stories abound and I can find no set history that was documented, just crazy stories about drunken times in some bar in Mexico. But the best part is that the Margarita drink is not consumed by Mexicans as a standard in that country. It seems only Americans drink them as they are the most popular North American alcoholic cocktail consumed in this country. The historical birth I’m going with on this trip is, “there are several mentions of Tequila Daisies as early as 1936 in the Syracuse Herald, almost none of them actually cite a specific recipe.
For reasons unknown, the Daisy eventually went to the great cocktail cemetery in the sky but it would seem plausible that the Spanish word for Daisy (Margarita) was simply translated and thenceforth took its place in the cocktail pantheon as the Margarita”. (Imbibe, 2009) Well, I don’t know who this “Daisy” is . . . nor do I care; just give me another, bartender; blended with salt on the rim!
Blue, Anthony Dias, and &. “The History of the Margarita | Food & Think.” History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian.com, 12 May 2009. Web. 5 Sept. 2013. <http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/food/2009/05/the-history-of-the-margarita/>.
Caminos, Eben Klemm â€“ Dos, and New York. “Once upon a time in Mexico â€“ The origin of the Margarita â€“ Imbibe.com.” Imbibe.com â€“ Media & Events for UK on-trade drinks professionals. Imbibe, 1 Mar. 2010. Web. 5 Sept. 2013. <http://imbibe.com/feature/once-upon-time-in-mexico/7589>.