History Of The Margarita Cocktail

Margarita Cocktail

It’s hard to find a cocktail more popular worldwide than the famous margarita. It contains tequila, lime juice, and triple-sec orange liqueur. Add a salt rim to the glass and have a perfect drink for a summer’s day.

Still, even though everyone likes to consume it, only a few people know the history of the margarita cocktail. But if you wish to learn more about it, you’re in the right spot. 

In this blog, we’ve explained what is a margarita, how its development went through the years, and most importantly, who invented the margarita. 

If all this talking about cocktails makes you want to have a few, come to Glass and Vine. We’re the perfect spot for a casual night in Miami.

So wait no more, and start reading about the origins of the margarita!

The History of the Margarita Starts in 1936 With the Tequila Daisy

The Spanish word for “daisy” is Margarita. And it’s thought that the margarita is essentially a play on a group of cocktails called Daisy. They usually have citrus juice and sweet syrup. And, of course, some sort of alcohol. In this case, we have a tequila daisy.

This category of cocktails was popular at the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, the Albuquerque Journal described the Daisy group as “ubiquitous” back in 1939. 

The first time we see a mention of the Tequila Daisy is in 1936, in the Moville Mail. The owner and editor of the newspapers visited Tijuana, Mexico, so we aren’t surprised this is the case.

After all, who invented the margarita, if not the Mexicans?

Picador Is the British Version of the Margarita Cocktail

Who knew that the margarita’s origins had anything to do with the British? In 1937, a cocktail book by William James “Billy” Tarling featured a drink called Picador. 

Many believe this cocktail is the predecessor of the famous margarita. And it predates any other mentions of similarly mixed drinks by more than a decade and a half. In fact, the drink proportions are identical to what we call the margarita today. So the history of the margarita actually starts in Great Brittain. And who invented the margarita? The answer is the British.

Tequila Sour Comes from New York

But when did the margarita come to the United States? The answer is likely 1939. At least as far as we know.

Charlie Connoly’s 1939 The World Famous Cotton Club: 1939 Book of Mixed Drinks is the first book that mentions a tequila sour as one of its featured drinks. 

It contained the same ingredients as the Picador but was served in a glass with a salted rim. And, of course, a lime wedge.

And the one detail that makes this an authentic margarita is that this tequila sour was sweetened up with agave syrup and orange liqueur. That would make a simple tequila sour, instead.

What Is a Margarita? We Learned in 1953

1953 was the year we first saw the term margarita used for a tequila daisy cocktail. It was in a California newspaper called The Press Democrat. Once again, the drink was consumed in Mexico and enjoyed thoroughly.

During the same year, we saw the recipe for the drink. And it contained an ounce of tequila, a half lime’s juice, and only a dash of triple sec.

In the following years, we see more and more mentions of this famous cocktail.

Who Created/Named the Margarita?

Multiple people claim and wish to be a part of the origins of the margarita. Below, we’ve listed some of the people that are mentioned as the ones to name or invent the margarita cocktail.

  • Sara Morales

This Mexican folklore expert claimed that Dona Bertha created the first margarita in 1930. Dona Bertha was the owner of the renowned bar in Taxco, Mexico, Bertha’s Bar.

  • David Daniel Danny Negrete

Danny’s story claims that he stirred the first drink in 1936 because his girlfriend liked salt in her drinks. Danny worked as the manager in the Hotel Garci Crespo in Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico, and created the beverage as a gift to his girl.

Danny reolcated to Tijuana in 1944. There he bartended at the Agua Caliente Racetrack. This place is also referred to as the margarita’s birthplace.

  • Johnny Durlesser 

Vernon worked at Young’s Market Company in 1937, starting out as a salesman but steadily working his way up to become the company’s leader in 1963. This company was the LA distributor for Jose Cuervo tequila.

It is believed that he asked Johnny Durlesser to come up with something with a new brand of alcohol. Other stories believe he was there to check on a drink that Durlesser had already invented, though.

Still, Underwood is often mentioned as the person who gave the margarita its name after his own wife, Margaret. However, his wife’s real name was Adrienne, so this story doesn’t seem that true.

  • Francisco “Pancho” Morales

Pancho claims that he was the inventor of the margarita. He states that he invented the drink in 1942 while employed at a bar called Tommy’s Place. 

A lady stepped into his bar and asked for a magnolia. The bartender couldn’t remember all the ingredients and created a drink with tequila, Cointreau, and lime.

When he served it to the lady, he said, “I thought you said a margarita.” Since the lady liked his invention, Pancho kept serving margaritas to his guests.

  • Carlos Daniel “Danny” Herrera

Danny is another person who claims to be “the father” of the cocktail we all love today. By his claims, it happened in Mexico somewhere between 1947-48.

Marjorie King was an actress who enjoyed no other hard liquor but tequila. So, to make her happy, Danny mixed the alcohol with Cointreau and lime. He added the famous salt rim to catch a few extra eyes in the bar and named the drink Margarita. It’s a Spanish version of the name Marjorie, or as close as there is one to it.

  • Santos Cruz

If you’d like to believe that margaritas were invented in the United States, then Santos Cruz has a story for you. 

Accordingly, he was the one to create the margarita in Galveston, Texas. 

Peggy Lee, a well-known jazz vocalist, who wanted a tequila drink without the mess. And as Santos invented something she liked, her husband named it the margarita. Peggy is and was the shortened version of Margaret, and the drink had a Spanish background, so margarita was an obvious choice.

  • Margaret Sames

Margaret Sames is also mentioned as one of the inventors of tequila. The story claims that it happened in 1948 in Mexico in the city of Acapulco during a Christmas party.

Visit Glass and Vine

Not many cities are as ideal for cocktail drinks as Miami. This place is made to enjoy pleasant weather, cool drinks, and delightful company. 

Glass and Vine is one of Miami’s hidden gems that allows you to have an enjoyable night with friends, accompanied by some of the best cocktails in the world. Give us a visit and see what makes our spot unique.