Origins:   From our cyber-experts at wikipedia

There is no solid proof who “invented” the Margarita. 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. He concocted a mixture of equal parts tequila, orange liqueur and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.

Another common story related the Margarita being invented a few years earlier at the Rancho La Gloria Hotel, halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito, Mexico, by Carlos “Danny” Herrera, for a former Ziegfeld dancer named Marjorie King. This story was related by Herrera and also by bartender Albert Hernandez, who is acknowledged for popularizing the Margarita in San Diego after 1947, at the La Plaza restaurant in La Jolla.  Hernandez claimed the owner of La Plaza, Morris Locke, knew Herrera and visited Mexico often.

Another common origin tale begins the cocktail’s history at the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas where, in 1948, head bartender Santos Cruz created the Margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee. He supposedly named it after the Spanish version of her name, Margarita, and it’s been a hit ever since.

Another explanation, however, is that the Margarita is merely a popular American drink, the Daisy, remade with tequila instead of brandy, which became popular during Prohibition as people drifted over the border for alcohol. There is an account from 1936 of Iowa newspaper editor James Graham finding such a cocktail in Tijuana, years before any of the other Margarita “creation myths”. Margarita is Spanish for Daisy. It is likely that Orozco, Herrara, and Cruz merely perfected the “Tequila Daisy”.

My personal discovery of the margarita was over 25 years ago when a local bar was having a Cinco de Mayo party.  What was I a young lad to know about tequila?  That night I discovered tequila was my first Mexican love and margarita was definitely her “twisted sister”.  That night I remember, not clearly;but clear enough.  I recall the the tasty cocktail with the sugary-tart lime bar mix balancing the oft pungent harshness of the Cuervo blanco tequila.  After downing the first margarita rather quickly a brain freeze ensued and for a few minutes my head was in agony.  Upon recovery I ordered a second margarita – this time I opted for it over ice rather than the more popular slushed-ice variety.  Now all these years later I still love margaritas but my tastes allow me to dictate terms as to its creation.  I like fresh ingredients and so real lime juice is preferred to the powder or liquid-sugar bar mix most bars (including mine use).  I like a more balanced mix of orange liqueur (Grand Marnier my preference), and tequila (reposado or anejo por favor).   There are thousands of recipes and tequila can be served neat, on the rocks or slushied. The most important thing is to enjoy the company.





  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz tequila (anejo or reposado)
  • dash of lemon or lime juice
  • 3 oz sour mix
  • lime wedge for garnish
  • salt or sugar to rim the glass (optional)


  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well until the mixture froths.
  3. Salt or sugar the rim of the glass as desired.
  4. Pour contents, with ice, into the glass.
  5. Garnish with the lime wedge.

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