The Margarita: A Classic


The Margarita: A Classic

Let's lift your Spirits!

Raihn Sibblies

Thursday, February 18, 2021

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Today #ThirstyThursday, we delve into the thirst-quenching, romantic history of the margarita. The fuzzy genesis of the cocktail has some pretty colourful theories around how it came to be! In his book, Imbibe , cocktail historian David Wondrich agrees that the margarita was invented circa 1940. Wondrich says the drink evolved from the Tequila Daisy which calls for tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and a splash of soda. Fun fact: Margarita also means daisy in Spanish.

As the story goes, Carlos “Danny” Herrera, owner of Tijuana (Mehico) restaurant Rancho La Gloria, claims he invented the drink in 1938. Danny made it for a Ziegfeld showgirl, Marjorie King, who was supposedly allergic to all spirits except tequila and didn't like to drink it straight. So, Herrera reworked the shot with tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime, and salt and threw together the margarita! The LA Times dubbed him the inventor in their tribute to him when he passed.

Another famed contender for the title of OG margarita maker was Dallas socialite Margarita Sames (aka Margarita), who mixed one up for her friends while at a house party, vacationing in Acapulco in 1948. Margarita paired her two favourite spirits, Cointreau, and tequila, together with lime juice — and a classic was born! One of her friends, Tommy Hilton (yes, those Hiltons), put the cocktail on the bar menu at the Hilton hotel chain.

Today, whether you take your margarita shaken or frozen it can be made in just about any bar and certainly at home. To make the original margarita you will need Cointreau (1oz) — because a margarita without Cointreau isn't worth its salt — silver Tequila (2oz), and fresh lime juice (1oz). First, make a salt rim on your glass — you can dip it in lime juice then salt. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a margarita glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

The Original Triple Sec

@cointreau Harmony, passion and purity are a few words that come to mind when I think of Cointreau. What makes Cointreau unique? Let's dive deeper and learn a bit more about this 172-year-old liqueur (est 1849) and the story behind a true icon that begins with the story of two brothers — Adolphe (confectioner) and Edouard Cointreau! Birthed during the Industrial Revolution and bred of La Belle Époque in Angers, France, in the heart of the Loire Valley, the essence of Cointreau lies, above all, in the quality of the ingredients. After years of research and experimentation, Édouard and his wife Louisa succeeded in creating a crystal-clear spirit (40% alc/vol (80 proof)) that was three times more concentrated in flavour (highest amount of orange essential oils) and the least sweet — in short, the perfectly balanced French liqueur!

“I have passionately thrown myself into researching this liqueur. I wanted it to have the purity of crystal and a delicately subtle flavour, thanks to the perfect harmony of sweet and bitter orange peels.” Édouard Cointreau

From Brazil to Spain, Ghana to Morocco, Cointreau sources its sweet and bitter orange peels from the finest terroirs and respected producers before blending them to perfection — subtle and natural harmony. More than 300 international awards later, Cointreau remains the most versatile bottle on your bar for cocktail creations #TheArtoftheMix. A unique alchemy, it's reinvented year after year. Cointreau is the result of Édouard and Louisa's visionary talent, free and creative spirit. A short and intense distillation that yields a complex aromatic palate of more than 40 different aromas. Today Alfred Cointreau, sixth generation of the Cointreau family, is the brand ambassador and heritage manager. Carole Quinton is currently the sixth master distiller “nose” of the House and guardian of the brand's historic savoir-faire.

Appearance: Cointreau is no stranger to the unexpected and its deep amber bottle conceals a visual surprise: A perfectly transparent liqueur. When mixed it becomes opalescent which is a physical testament to the high concentration of orange essence.

Aroma: Cointreau is an aromatic feat coming from the complex blend of orange peel essences. Cointreau is a captivating ode to orange on its own and an enhancer of other flavours when mixed.

Taste: Colourful zest. Cointreau's flavour profile is a symphony of unexpected dualities — it has instant freshness, lingers on the palate, with nuanced notes while remaining intensely orange. In cocktails, Cointreau serves as a flavour amplifier. Simple flavours become extraordinary bringing balance, depth, and brightness to the mix.

Tequila, Tequila!

The other key ingredient of equal importance is silver tequila. The name tequila comes from the Tequili Indians and a volcano of the same name in Jalisco. Tequila can only be produced in 181 municipalities within five Mexican States including Jalisco, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, and Guanajuato. See my faves below.

@eljimadortequila 100% hand-harvested blue agave tequila. I was 2020 years old when I discovered el Jimador. It was introduced in 1994 as the world's first premium tequila at an accessible price. The tequila was named in honour of “Jimadores,” the farmers who work tirelessly to harvest agave plants. Every drop is crafted at the legendary Casa Herradura in the Amatita region of Jalisco, Mexico. Young and fresh, el Jimador Silver tequila steps it up with truly authentic character. It's made with 100% hand-harvested blue Weber agave and double distilled with a sparkling clarity. It's fermented naturally with wild yeast produced by fruit trees and agave plants surrounding the distillery. Crisp and buzzing with citrus flavours, this tequila goes down easy and drinks more like a vodka …fresh and clean! Sip it neat, on the rocks, or in any cocktail!

@donjuliotequila Relentless curiosity, care, quality, and craft define Don Julio González and his passion continue to live on! This tequila comes from 100% pure Blue Weber Agave plants grown in one of the country's most fertile agave-growing regions, Jalisco. The microclimate and mineral-rich red clay soil allow the blue agave plant to flourish. Seven to 10 years of growth are allowed before each harvest, resulting in the mellow, fully developed agave flavor Don Julio Tequila is known for. The Jimadors are viewed as “highly respected craftsmen” that hand-cut and hand-pick the leaves (pencas) to increase the quality of the juice. It takes about eight pounds of blue agave to make one bottle of tequila! Crisp agave flavour with hints of citrus are the products of a time honoured distillation process. Enjoy in cocktails, sip it or serve over ice.

Anyone up for delicious margs to-go should make their way over to Chilitos and grab a drink or, go large with a couple litres @chilitosjamexican …the home of Jamexican food culture located in Kingston, Jamaica!

“If life gives you limes, make margaritas.”

Jimmy Buffet Classic Margarita Cocktail kits are also available.

Find me on Instagram @raihndrops to order! If you try the recipe in this article tag me and use the hashtag #MargaritaDay.

Let's lift your Spirits! #savourresponsibly and enjoy!

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