With an origin legend more convoluted than stereo instructions or Russell Brand's appeal, there is no confusion about the allure of one of the most notable 'tropical' drinks, the Margarita. There are no less than seven, and likely more, tales of provenance for this classic beverage that can be served frosted (adult slushee!) or 'up', a nifty term for shaken and poured over ice. It has been around a while, from the 30's and 40's at least and it's appeal is as great as ever. As with many a great fable, there are often women at the heart of the stories. The word Margarita means Daisy in Spanish and is also a version of Margaret. So it is no surprise that some of the stories are salted similar sounding names.
One such is that it was at Hussong's Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico that a daughter of a German ambassador (one Margarita Henkel) happened to visit while the bartender was experimenting and as she was first to taste, the honor was hers. Name droppers might like the version that has Margarita Sames, a Dallas socialite, as the inventor who served it in her Acupulco home to the likes of Tommy Hilton who brought it back to the states where it has been a mainstay since. Another version has it named after singer Peggy Lee (Peggy is often a nickname to Margaret). My favorite version has it created for Marjorie King, a Ziegfield dancer who was allergic to many liquors but not to tequila. This legend has it's beginning in 1938 but there is evidence it was in existence prior that. So grab some salt and lime and shake up some yum or head out to Sea Critter's Cafe and have it done for you like those pictured! Happy salt and lime!
Regardless where it came from, it tastes great and definitely speaks to warm days basking in the sun...near a body of water if at all possible. Below is a recipe for the 'up' version this fabulous concoction (thanks Wiki-pedia!)- or you can stop by
2 oz Tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice (key lime often recommended)
1 oz Cointreau (or other orange flavored liquor)
Salt for the rim (use kosher- light and flaky)
Rub the rim of the glass with a wedge of lime to make the salt stick. Next (obviously), invert the glass into a plate of salt. Shake the ingredients in a chilled shaker, pour over ice and garnish with slice of lime.