How everyone’s favorite Mexican cocktail came to be invented is unclear, since several people have claimed that distinction. The most popular tale credits Tijuana restaurant owner, Carlos Herrera, with creating the classic drink, back in 1938. As the story goes, it was inspired by one of his customers, an aspiring actress, who was allergic to all hard liquor except tequila. Her name was Marjorie, one of several girls’ names that translates into Spanish as Margarita.
The basic recipe consists of just three ingredients: tequila, lime or lemon juice (usually with sugar called “sweet and sour”) and orange liqueur, but there are many variations. Using different tequilas (silver, reposado, or anejo), different orange liquer (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, etc.) and different flavors of sweet and sour.
Tomasita’s is famous for our frozen margaritas – the frozen, the FROGG, and the SWIRL.
The true frozen margarita hit the headlines in 1971, when Mariano Martinez, an enterprising young Dallas restaurant owner, invented the frozen margarita machine. Faced with bartenders who complained that the drink took too long to make and customers who complained that it melted too quickly, Martinez was inspired by seeing a slurpee machine in a local convenience store. Retrofitting an old soft-serve machine, he succeeded, after some experimentation, in getting it to produce the perfect frozen margarita every time. The drink’s popularity soared.
And, in recognition of the cultural significance of that invention, the National Museum of American History in Washington DC, acquired that same machine from Martinez in 2005. Viva la Fiesta!
According to a 2016 consumer survey, margarita now tops the list of America’s most popular cocktails.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TEQUILA…
Mexican law states that tequila, in order to be labeled as such, has to be made from the blue agave plant and can only be produced in certain areas of the country. Not so mescal, which can be made from over 30 varieties of the desert plant, including blue agave. So all tequila is mescal, but not all mescal is tequila. In order to be called “tequila” the drink must contains 51% agave. The rest can be who knows what! However, all of the tequilas we use in our margarita are made from 100% agave. The only non 100% agave tequila in the building is Jose Cuervo, which we keep around for old times’ sake.
There are three types of tequila:
- blanco (silver) which is young and clear;
- reposado (rested) which has been stored in a barrel for two to twelve months; and
- añejo (aged) which has been similarly stored, but for over a year.
The barrels are made of different woods (oak being the most common) and have typically been used to store whisky or wine. It is the ‘host’ barrel that makes each brand and each batch of aged tequila unique.
In addition to our extensive selection of tequilas, we at Tomasita’s and the Atrisco Café are proud to offer our exclusive Patron Añejo tequila, especially bottled for us by Patron. Aged in a barrel made from used American and French oak, we think its smooth, smoky flavor is just the best. Whether you try it straight, or in a margarita, we hope you agree!
An upscale New York hotel is currently offering a ‘Billionaire Margarita’ for $1200! Plus a $250 tip?