National Margarita Day
annually on February 22nd
Today celebrates the margarita, the most common tequila-based drink in the United States. The day was created by Todd McCalla in the late 2000s because he was sick of high fructose corn syrup and all the other chemicals that were being used to make low-quality commercial margarita mixes. He later said that that the day takes place when it does because February is a "sad, gray time of year for people and it'd be worth brightening it up with a margarita." McCalla not only started National Margarita Day, but National Drink Wine Day as well, which is held four days prior.
Margaritas are made from tequila, triple sec (oftentimes Cointreau), and lime juice, and are commonly served in margarita glasses. The rims of the glasses are dipped in lime juice, and then coarse salt. They can be served straight up, on the rocks, or blended. There are many different varieties and flavors, differing somewhat by region. Besides the classic margarita, common flavors include strawberry, mango, watermelon, pomegranate, raspberry, and blackberry.
There are many stories as to the origin of the margarita, dating its creation to as early as the 1930s. Here are a few:
- It was first made at a bar at the Agua Caliente Racetrack, in Tijuana, Mexico, around 1930.
- A Los Angeles bartender, Daniel Negrete, claimed to have invented it while working at the Hotel Garci-Crespo in Pueblo, Mexico, in 1936; he said he named it after a girlfriend.
- One of the more prominent stories says Margarita Sames, a woman from San Antonio, Texas, made it for her houseguests in 1948, while she was living in Acapulco.
- It was created at the Tail o' the Clock restaurant in 1955, and named after a Hollywood starlet.
- According to a 1974 GQ Magazine article, Pancho Morales invented it in 1942 while working as a bartender at Tommy's Place in Ciudad Juárez.
- Mariano Martinez created it at Dallas' El Charro Bar.
Although Martinez may or may not have created the drink, it is believed his son, Mariano Martinez Jr., built the first "frozen margarita" machine out of a soft-serve ice cream machine, in 1971. The margarita increased Americans' interest in tequila in the 1960s, particularly with college students in the West. Today a majority of the nation's margarita sales take place in the South, and the United States is the number one market in the world for the drink.
How to Observe National Margarita Day
Celebrate the day by having a margarita. Make one with tequila, Cointreau, lime, and serve it on the rocks in a salted glass. You could even add some agave nectar as a sweetener. There are many recipes you could make, or you could order one at a restaurant. Follow the days' Facebook page for more information.