AskDefine | Define margarita

Dictionary Definition

margarita n : a cocktail made of tequila and triple sec with lime and lemon juice

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A cocktail made with tequila, an orange-flavoured liqueur, and lemon or lime juice, often served with salt encrusted on the rim of the glass.



Greek μαργαρίτης


margarīta (nominative, vocative and ablative singular female)
  1. pearl



margarīta, From Greek μαργαρίτης


  1. daisy
  2. margarita (cocktail)

Extensive Definition

The Margarita is the most common of tequila-based cocktails, made with Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueurs, and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the glass rim. Silver or blanco tequilas are preferred for margaritas, though some will use reposados or 'gold' tequilas.
Margarita is the Latin word for pearl and the Spanish word for daisy.


Common ratios for a margarita are
  • 2:1:1 = 6:3:3 (50% tequila, 25% Triple Sec, 25% fresh lime or lemon juice)
  • 3:2:1 = 6:4:2 (50% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 17% fresh lime or lemon juice)
  • 3:1:1 = 6:2:2 (60% tequila, 20% Triple Sec, 20% fresh lime or lemon juice)
  • 1:1:1 = 6:6:6 (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 33% fresh lime or lemon juice)
although the IBA (IBA Official list of Cocktails)standard is
  • 7:4:3 (7 parts tequila, 4 parts Triple Sec, 3 parts fresh lime or lemon juice)
Some bartenders also add a small amount of water, which some say smooths out the flavor of the three main ingredients.
The drink is usually served shaken with ice, on the rocks, or blended with ice (the "frozen margarita"). All three methods are frequently served with salt on the rim of the glass. Some bartenders specializing in tequila have the opinion that salt hides the flavor of bad Margaritas made with inferior tequilas. For people who insist on a salt rim, the bartender typically only coats half the glass or offers a straw, so that they can still taste the drink without being obscured by the salt's taste.
While the most common margaritas contain tequila, orange liqueur, lime or lemon juice, and sometimes an additional sweetener, such as simple syrup, many variations are becoming more and more common. Bottled lime juice (which contains sugar) is another method used to add sweetness.
Other than Triple Sec, other types of orange-flavored liqueur are sometimes used, such as Patrón Citrónge, Cointreau or the Blue Curaçao, yielding the blue margarita (JC). The "grand", "royal", or "Cadillac" margarita often contains Grand Marnier. Often, when sweeter fruit juices or freshly muddled fruits are added to the margarita, the amount of orange-flavored liqueur is often reduced or it is eliminated entirely.
Many consider fresh squeezed lime juice the key ingredient, but fresh-squeezed lemon juice may be used and, because lemons are more consistent and sweet, is often less bitter. The most common lime in the U.S. are the thick skinned Persian limes. However, margaritas in Mexico are generally made with Mexican limes (Key limes). These are small, thin skinned limes and have a more tart and an often bitter flavor compared to Persian limes. Meyer lemons may be used for a sweeter taste as well.
Since some bartenders and margarita experts consider froth a good thing in margaritas, some people will add egg whites to a blended (but non-frozen) margarita in order to add more frothiness.
Alternate fruit juice mixtures can also be used in a margarita. When the word "margarita" is used by itself, it typically refers to the lime or lemon juice margarita. But when other juices are used, the fruits are typically added as adjectives in the name, with lime juice or lemon juice added like a condiment (and a wedge of lime often added to the glass). Examples of popular combinations are:
  • Raspberry margarita, with lime juice.
  • Strawberry or peach margarita, with lemon juice.
  • Mango margarita, with lime juice.


Origin of the Margarita

There are many stories about who invented the margarita and why. The following are perhaps the most commonly repeated tales of the creator of the margarita cocktail.
  • Ratios: 1:1:1 = 6:6:6 (33% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 33% fresh lime juice).
According to Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the family story goes that Daniel opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David. The day before David's marriage, Daniel presented the margarita as a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law.
It was a combination of one-third Triple Sec, one-third tequila and one-third squeezed Mexican lime juice. The drink was not blended and was served with hand-crushed ice.
A bartender, Pancho Morales invented the margarita on July 4, 1942, at a Juárez, Mexico bar named Tommy's Place. Supposedly, a woman requested a Magnolia (brandy, Cointreau, and an egg yolk topped with Champagne). Morales was a little fuzzy on the recipe; he improvised and his ersatz creation was a big hit.
  • Ratios: 3:2:1 = 6:4:2 (50% tequila, 33% Triple Sec, 17% fresh lime juice).
Carlos "Danny" Herrera mixed a jigger of white tequila with lemon juice and Triple Sec, creating a smooth and salty concoction he named "margarita", in October/November of 1938
The bar was Rancho La Gloria, midway on the old road that connected Tijuana with Rosarito Beach. A showgirl and sometime actress who called herself Marjorie King/Rita De La Rosa (she regularly played piano in and around San Diego at the Hotel Del Coronado and Del Mar, just to name a few) was one of the customers. She was allergic to all hard liquor, except for tequila, but she didn't like to drink it straight or even with a lemon and salt.
Mr. Herrera started experimenting and came up with a concoction that was three parts white tequila, two parts Cointreau and one part fresh lemon juice. He added shaved ice and blended the mixture with a hand shaker.
  • Ratios: 2:1:1 = 4:2:2 (50% tequila, 25% Triple Sec, 25% fresh lime juice).
Sames, who created the drink at her Acapulco bar, gave the reason of being "close with a lot of famous hotel and restaurant people" in introducing the margarita.
Sames used one part Cointreau, two parts tequila and one part lime juice for her margarita. Knowing that most people drank tequila preceded by a lick of salt, she chose to garnish her cocktail with a rim of coarse salt.
Sames moved to El Paso, TX in 1958 where she was well known for her lavish parties. In 1982 she appeared on NBC's Today show demonstrating the proper way to make a margarita.
According to the promotional flyer for the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas, head bartender Santos Cruz created the Margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee in 1948.
The Balinese Room was opened in 1941 and was Texas's finest nightclub with A/C, casino gambling, superb food and drinks, and stellar entertainment until the Texas Rangers finally shut it down in 1957.
Gutierrez, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico, boasted to have created the Margarita as a homage to actress Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino.
Other versions of the story claim the Margarita was indeed named after the actress, but in the 1930s, before she adopted her screen name. As a teenager, Margarita Cansino worked as a dancer at the Foreign Club, in Tijuana, where she supposedly inspired a bartender.


The margarita cocktail was the "Drink of the Month" in Esquire magazine, December 1953, pg. 76:
1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.

First frozen margarita machine mix

The first frozen margarita machine mix was invented in 1971 for Dallas restaurant Marianos by chemist John Hogan. He was also recognized by the Smithsonian as the inventor of the frozen margarita machine. Mr. Hogan realized that pure cane sugar was the secret to obtaining a solution that would be consistent and enjoyable for the masses.

Margarita Thursday

Margarita Thursday is a spin-off of the more traditional "Thirsty Thursday" after work drinking social event. The host typically provides fresh limes and has the guests participate in the juicing and mixing of the drinks.
margarita in Bulgarian: Маргарита (коктейл)
margarita in German: Margarita
margarita in Spanish: Margarita (cóctel)
margarita in French: Margarita (cocktail)
margarita in Korean: 마가리타
margarita in Italian: Margarita (cocktail)
margarita in Hebrew: מרגריטה
margarita in Dutch: Margarita (cocktail)
margarita in Japanese: マルガリータ
margarita in Norwegian: Margarita
margarita in Norwegian Nynorsk: Margarita
margarita in Polish: Margarita (drink)
margarita in Portuguese: Margarita (bebida)
margarita in Romanian: Margarita
margarita in Russian: Маргарита (коктейль)
margarita in Slovenian: Margarita
margarita in Swedish: Margarita
margarita in Chinese: 玛格丽塔
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