Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Legend of the Margarita

Several posts ago, I wrote about Tequila and gave you a “pea” size history on its’ origins and manufacturing and a recipe for Tequila Muffins. What I didn’t give you were these intriguing legends that I’ve found over the years about how the “margarita” originated. I’d like to share those with you now.

So far, I have found four different versions as to how the most popular tequila drink, the Margarita, was first created. If you know of another one, or know which one is the correct story, blog me and share it with us. Here goes:

1st version: There was a wealthy caballero who was totally consumed with the beauty of a young woman named Margarita. So, he had a drink created in her honor by the local bartender. Sadly, he woke one morning to find both Margarita and his money gone. Only her garter remained. ( Sounds iffy to me.)

2nd version: A man by the name of Francisco "Pancho" Morales is credited with the creation of the Margarita. It is said he first designed the drink in 1942. Presumably he was working at a place called Tommy's Bar when a woman came in and asked for a drink he had never heard of. Not wanting her to think of him as inept (and for fear of ruining his reputation as an excellent bartender), he conjured up a drink mixture of tequila, cointreau and lime juice. The woman loved it and asked Pancho for the name of the drink. He told her it was a Margarita. Pancho died in El Paso, 1997. This one sounds quite convincing.

3rd version: The Margarita was named for Margarita Sames of San Antonio. The drink was especially created for her for a Christmas party she was hosting in Acapulco in 1948.

4th version: The Margarita was named after Margorie King, a young actress. She reportedly could not drink any alcohol except tequila. The owner of Rancho La Gloria, Danny Herrera, created the drink so that Margorie would not seem unlady-like as to drink straight tequila. This was back in the late 1930's.

Most Expensive Tequila!

Dos Lunas Grand Reserve
$2,500/750 ml bottle

The most expensive tequila comes not from Mexico, but from Texas. It is distilled by the Dos Lunas distillery. The owner, Richard Poe, always said he wanted to make the world’s best tequila and he probably has.

The tequila is made from Jalisco’s best agave and is aged for 10 years in Spanish sherry casks. This particular brand is rare and only a reported 1,000 bottles have been made. Those still not sold are kept under lock and key, very safe, very secure.

An announcement was made in August of this year stating that “Dos Lunas Tequila Celebrates Its Third Year of Being Herbicide and Pesticide-Free.” Founder and CEO Richard C. Poe II made the announcement and said, “I am proud of Dos Lunas Tequila, not only because it is all natural and chemical-free but also because it continues to be a standout in terms of flavor and taste, and is undoubtedly the smoothest tequila on the market today".

El Paso’s own, Park Kerr, author, foodie, and part owner of the El Paso Chile Company, has authored two marvelous cookbooks about the “Margarita” and Tequila. They are named; Viva Margarita and El Paso Chile Company Margarita Cookbook. Just like Mexican Chocolate, where the uses are endless and its’ origins are from Mexico, Tequila recipes abound in Parks’ cookbooks. He offers recipes for Margaritas (of course) but also recipes for desserts and savory dishes as well. I have these books and I love using them not only for special occassions but also for everyday meals that you want to make special for someone. Think about getting his books, they sure would make a great Cristmas present for someone.

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a few (7) margarita recipes of my own that you can enjoy.

7 Margarita Recipes for YOU


Makes 1
1 slice of lime
Course salt
½ ounce fresh limejuice
1 ½ ounces tequila
½ ounce orange flavored liqueur
2 to 4 ice cubes
Rub the inside rim of the chilled glass with the slice of lime. Pour salt into a saucer and dip the glass until a thin layer of salt adheres to the moistened rim. Combine the limejuice, tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into the salt-rimmed glass. Makes one serving.

Margarita Sunrise
Makes 6
1 lime, cut in half
Granulated sugar
3 cups cracked ice
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 cup tequila
1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Rub rims of 6 stemmed glasses with 1 lime half; dip rims of glasses into granulated sugar. Squeeze juice from both lime halves into blender. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and blend on high speed until foamy. Pour into glasses.

Jalapeño Margaritas
Makes 1
Steep jalapeño peppers in a sour mix (1 part sugar syrup and 1 part lemon juice). In a blender, mix your tequila, Triple Sec, sour mix, a dash of Tabasco Sauce. Garnish with a whole jalapeño and a slice of lime.

Chocolate Margarita
Makes 2
Chocolate Chipotle Powder, recipe follows
1½ ounces dark chocolate liqueur
1½ ounces chocolate vodka
1½ ounces tequila
1½ coffee flavor liqueur

Chocolate Chipotle Powder*
2 tablespoons Mexican Chocolate ground into powder
1-tablespoon ground chipotle powder (or red chile powder if you prefer)
Mix completely

Spread the Chocolate Chipotle Powder out on a large plate. Rim 2 (8-ounce) martini glasses by rolling the edge of each glass on a clean wet sponge, then rolling the edge over the powder. Tap the glass gently to knock off the extra powder. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Strain immediately into the glasses and serve.

Peach Margaritas
Makes 6
1 lime, cut in half
Granulated sugar
3 cups cracked ice
1 cup tequila
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ can (12-ounce size) frozen orchard peach juice concentrate, thawed
6 peach slices
Rub rims of 6 stemmed glasses with 1 lime half; dip rims of glasses into granulated sugar. Squeeze juice from both lime halves into blender. Add remaining ingredients except peach slices to blender. Cover and blend on high speed until foamy. Pour into glasses. Garnish with peach slices.

Lemony Margaritas
Makes 6-7
2 large lemons, cut in half
Coarse salt
2 cups cracked ice
1 ¼ cups tequila
1/3 cup triple sec
Rub rims of stemmed glasses with 1 lemon half; dip rims of glasses into coarse salt. Squeeze juice from lemon halves to measure ½ cup. Place lemon juice and remaining ingredients in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed until foamy. Pour into glasses.

Strawberry Margaritas
Makes 4
6 ounces tequila
2 ounces triple sec
8 ounces frozen strawberries
4 ounces frozen limeade concentrate
6 cups ice
Place ice in a blender and crush for 15 to 20 seconds. Add frozen strawberries, tequila, triple sec, and limeade. Blend until smooth.


Esi said...

Margaritas are pretty much the only way I can drink tequila. Nice roundup!

Gloria Chadwick said...

Margaritas are so good. Actually, they are named after me since my middle name is Margaret and they were created to celebrate my birth. NOT! Teresa, are you trying to get us all drunk? So many recipes for drinks... My daughter likes Frozen Margaritas. I have a recipe for Avocado Margaritas in my new cookbook. :)

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Esi, thanks for stopping by. Haven't talked to you in a while. My bad. I hope you like and try the different recipes. I'll come over to your blog after a while.

Gloria, hey girlfriend. When's your birthday? Maybe we'll create a margarita just for you. So are you going to share your recipe for avocado margarita with everyone????? Just kidding.

Adam said...

Great stories Teresa :) I think I'm going to vote for the second one, especially because it mentioned El Paso (nudge, nudge) :)

Sign me up for a strawberry margarita please...

Dee said...

I know version one sounds far-fetched, but I quite like the story - garter and all!

I was buying some liquor at the duty free and came across some fancy brand tequila that cost as much as premium single malt scotch. I like the stuff, but not that much.

Thank you for the recipes. As I said, I like the stuff :)

Foodycat said...

I'll have a nice classic one please - frozen if you have to! And a salted rim to the glass. Yum yum!

VG said...

Thank Teresa...really good post and I am gonna try some of these recipes soon...summer is around the corner here...bring it on!

Alison said...

Teresa - this is such a great write-up. I had no idea about the history of this fabulous drink! I love all the recipes too and will try to restrain myself from making all of them on the same night.

Debinhawaii said...

Very interesting post--I like story #1 the best, true or not. All the recipes sound delicious!

Michele said...

The lemon version has my name written all over it! But I can't drink too much makes me very mean. Back in the day it got me in a lot of trouble. I'll chance it to have a taste of that lemon margarita! :-)

RecipeGirl said...

Love the various stories of origin. Jalapeno margaritas sound interesting. I've never been much of a tequila drinker, but I've heard that those really, really expensive brands are in a class all their own.

Kelly said...

I really want one of those chocolate margaritas! In fact, I think I'll change my "Craving Now" space on Foodbuzz to reflect that. :)