The margarita has become one of the most well known of the tequila based cocktails and has given birth to a number of different variations.  In its most basic form, it consists of tequila, triple sec such as Cointreau and either lime or lemon juice.  It even has a glass named after it, a distinctive two level version of the classic cocktail glass also known as the champagne coupe.


The exact origins of the margarita is something of a mystery but one claimant to its invention is a man called Carlos Danny Herrera in his restaurant between Tijuana and Rosarito, Mexico in 1938.  He made it for a customer, a former Ziegfeld dancer named Marjorie King who was allergic to almost all spirits but not tequila.

Another story was that it was invented in October 1941 by Don Carlos Orozco, a bartender at Hussong’s Cantina in Esenada, Mexico.  He made it as an experiment and served it to the German ambassador’s daughter, Margarita Henkel using one part tequila to one part orange liqueur and lime with salt rimming the glass.  She tried it, liked it and he named it for her.

Margarita Versions

According to the IBA official list of cocktails, the correct ratio for a margarita is 7:4:3 – this is 50% tequila, 29% Cointreau and 21% lime juice.  Alternatively, my cocktail bible tells me that 1 ¼ measures of tequila with ¾ measure of Cointreau and 1 ¼ measure of lime juice with 4-5 ice cubes will also do a good job.


The classic margarita

In addition to this, a number of different versions have been created.  Firstly, these include substituting the Cointreau for another orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Gran Gala or even a blue curacao, making a blue margarita.  In the Grenadines, starfruit liqueur is used in its place.  If fruit juice or puree is added to the mix, the orange liqueur is often removed entirely.

Fruits such as strawberry, peach, banana, melon, mango and raspberry have all been used in fruity margaritas, sometimes with a splash of orange juice.

Frozen margaritas are where blended ice slush is used in place of the ice cubes.  The ingredients are poured over ice then mixed up in the blender to reduce the ice to slush before being served into the glass.

What’s your favourite way to drink a margarita?

The Margarita is one of the classic tequila cocktails that has also been remade with many different flavours