There’s more than one margarita creation story, but the top three involve a socialite, a dancer, a singer and, of course, bartenders.
One of the earliest stories is when Ziegfeld Follies dancer Marjorie King visited Rancho La Gloria Hotel in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, in 1938. She asked bartender Carlos “Danny” Herrera to create a drink that included tequila, and, voilà, the margarita, after a Spanish variation of Marjorie’s name, was born.
Another story occurs in 1948, when wealthy Dallas socialite Margarita Sames hosted a Christmas party poolside at her home in Acapulco, Mexico.
She created her version of the margarita that night, and legend has it guest Tommy Hilton brought it back to the Hilton hotel chain.
Also in 1948, bartender Santos Cruz at the legendary Balinese Room nightclub in Galveston, Texas, invented the margarita for popular singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee.
This one’s our favorite. At Tommy’s Place in Juárez, Mexico, a lady came in and ordered a Magnolia. Bartender Pancho Morales could not recall the ingredients except for Cointreau. By mixing in tequila, he named his new drink The Daisy.
The Spanish word for daisy is margarita, of course.
Cue Jimmy Buffet’s music in your car, and you’re on your way to the perfect margarita crawl.
At Casa De Los Milagros, 5111 N. Classen Blvd., there are 11 margaritas to choose from. Deciding is difficult, but bartender Jacob Ross is there to help.
“Our raspberry chipotle ’rita is the most unusual of our margaritas; it’s an original creation which includes Avión tequila, lime juice, raspberry puree and a dash of Cholula hot sauce,” he said. “It’s fruity and spicy at the same time.”
Also try the cilantro mangorita made with mango puree and a hint of cilantro.
Pace yourself; on to Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill, 706 S. Broadway Ave., Edmond, for its refreshing hibiscus margarita.
“We make our own hibiscus syrup here from dried Mexican hibiscus flowers,” said owner Jorge Zarate.
At Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 NW Ninth St., the Coralsnake margarita is what’s up next. This spicy version of the margarita is made with Iguana’s own Coralsnake salsa reduction, which imparts a pleasant, slow burn. This is the perfect place to find the perfect tequila, too.
“We have over 200 types of tequila here at the bar,” said manager Rebecca Daley.
Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy, 17 E. Sheridan Ave., has the classic blended to perfection.
The agave margarita has blue agave nectar, 1800 Silver Tequila and fresh lime juice.