The Margarita is a cocktail that needs no introduction. The tequila-based tipple has been synonymous with good times for what seems like forever. Just in case you were wondering though, a margarita consists of tequila, orange liqueur (usually Cointreau or triple sec), and lime juice often served with salt on the rim of the glass. If you’re looking to refine your margarita trivia, sit back with an ice-cold zingy marg on the rocks and read on to discover some interesting margarita facts.
Facts about Margaritas
1. No one really knows who invented the margarita.
If you’re wondering who made the first margarita, you’re out of luck. Margarita history is foggy at best and not even experts can agree on who invented the margarita.
Numerous legends, anecdotes, and stories surround the popular margarita. A number of people have been credited with inventing the famous tipple. These include socialites, a hotel magnate, and even illegal distillers way back in the ’30s.
Probably the most widely spread rumor is that an American socialite named Margarita Sames concocted the drink for her guests at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948.
What is certain is that the margarita was first created in the 1930s – either in Mexico or in the USA.
2. There is a possibility that the margarita is merely a variation of another cocktail – the Daisy.
Some believe the Daisy inspired the Margarita. The Daisy is a refreshingly tart cocktail with lightly sweet undertones that is made combining a base spirit, simple syrup, curaçao liqueur, lemon juice, and soda water.
It’s rumored that smugglers running booze over the border with Mexico during Prohibition experimented with a tequila daisy one night, calling it a “margarita”, which is Spanish for “daisy.”
3. The Margarita is by far the most popular cocktail in the United States.
A survey conducted by Cheers Magazine in 2018, ranked the margarita as the most popular cocktail in America. Research from 2008 also found that Americans consume approximately 185,000 margaritas per hour!
Furthermore, based on data from Nielsen, 56% of Americans say the margarita is their go-to mixed drink of choice at on-premise establishments (restaurants, bars, etc.)
4. The first known publication of a margarita recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine.
Though the Margarita’s origins are shrouded in mystery, how the cocktail achieved its breakthrough is known. The first known publication of a margarita recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, which declared it its “Drink of the Month.”
The recipe called for an ounce of tequila, a dash of triple sec (orange liqueur), and the juice of half a lime or lemon.
5. Margaritas are traditionally served in a margarita glass rimmed with salt.
Although nowadays margaritas are commonly served in large mugs around the world, anyone who enjoys drinking margaritas knows that they are best served in the margarita glass rimmed with salt.
The classic margarita glass is a variant of the classic champagne coupe. Its distinctive shape includes a tall stem and curved bowl to hold the drink and the wide rim makes it easy to crust it with salt.
The Margarita glasses come in a variety of sizes, ranging anywhere from 6 to 20 ounces.
6. The rimmed salt on Margarita glasses serves a purpose and is not just there for aesthetic value.
One of the intriguing margarita facts is that crusting the rim of Margarita glasses with salt is not just for appearance but also complements the flavors of the margarita.
Even just a pinch of salt will help mitigate the bitterness of the orange liqueur. It also enhances the sweetness and sourness of the drink.
7. There are many Margarita variations.
Though the traditional margarita recipe involves tequila, Cointreau, lime, and a salted rim, there are a number of creative variations that put a unique spin on the cocktail. Several other flavors incorporating mangoes, peaches, pineapples, passionfruits, strawberries, can be found on bar menus.
8. The Margarita is so popular in the United States that there is a National Margarita Day.
National Margarita Day is celebrated every year on February 22. It was started by Todd McCalla, a commercial real estate industry executive, to honor the beloved margarita.
9. The first frozen Margarita machine was made in 1971.
In 1971, 26-year-old Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez invented the frozen margarita machine. Realizing that he was having trouble creating the frozen margarita for customers, Martinez cleverly transformed a soft-serve ice cream machine into one that churned out slushy margaritas.
The frosty margaritas were an immediate success and were the catalyst for spreading the popularity of the drink.
10. The largest glass of margarita ever made had a volume of 32,176 liters (8,500 gallons).
According to Guinness World Records, the Flamingo Hotel’s Margaritaville Casino in Las Vegas holds the honor of making the world’s largest margarita. The massive drink had a volume of 32,176 liters (8,500 gallons) and was served in a tank measuring almost 5 m (17 ft) tall and 3 m (10 ft) wide.
The enormous margarita took approximately 300 hours and 60 people to prepare. It was created for Margaritaville Casino’s grand opening and was aptly named the “Lucky Rita.”
11. Every year, the World Margarita Championship takes place in Tuscon, Arizona.
Each year, the World Margarita Championship is held in Tucson, Arizona. Eminent mixologists battle it out for the best margarita in Arizona title. Visitors also get to partake in helping vote for their favorite recipe.
12. The most-well known song written about margaritas is “Margaritaville” by American musician Jimmy Buffet.
Jimmy Buffett’s hit 1977 song “Margaritaville” is about a man spending an entire season at a beach resort, enjoying a carefree Caribbean lifestyle with margarita cocktails. Written by Buffet when he was visiting Austin, Texas, it is the most iconic song written about margaritas.
“Margaritaville” reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart. In 2016, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance.
“Margaritaville” remains the biggest hit of Buffet’s career and the singer even has his own line of Margaritaville tequila, in addition to a chain of resorts and restaurants bearing the same name.