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Summer Cocktails #4: The Margarita (Part 2)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 29, 2017

Jerry Thomas 1887 Bartenders Guide

Part 1 of my Margarita Series postulated that the origins of the Margarita Cocktail should be traced to a mixed drink called the Tequila Daisy which is mentioned in 1936 in the Syracuse Herald. I argued the Tequila Daisy was almost certainly based upon an earlier Brandy based libation called the Brandy Daisy (1876, Jerry Thomas, Bartenders Guide (Second Edition)). The Tequila Daisy became to be known in Spanish Communities as the Margarita because the Spanish word for the daisy flower is the Spanish word, Margarita. To bolster my argument I pointed out that in 1953, the first known published recipe for the Margarita (in Esquire Magazine) appears to be a variation of the Jerry Thomas recipe with the French Brandy (and the spot of rum) replaced by Mexican Tequila.

Although the earliest known printed recipe for the Margarita appeared in 1953, there was an earlier known printed reference to the mixed drink which appeared in 1945 ad campaigns run by Jose Cuervo (Source: Anthony Dias Blue, The Complete Book of Spirits). The slogan of the advertisement,

“Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.”

implies that by 1945 the bar drink was so popular that at least one major Tequila producer sought to make that particular mixed drink synonymous with their brand.

Today, the Margarita contains the same basic ingredients as found in the early Esquire Magazine recipe:

1 ounce tequila, Dash of Triple Sec, Juice of 1/2 Lime or Lemon
Pour over crushed ice and stir, Serve in a Salt Rimmed Glass

However the present construction appears to have a better balance of flavour between the sour and the sweet:

2 parts Tequila, 1 part Lemon or Lime Juice, 1 part Orange Liqueur
Shake with Ice, Strain and serve in a Salt Rimmed Glass

Interestingly, this construction is almost identical to W.J. Tarling’s 1937 recipe for the Picador (found in W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book). It appears that Tarling’s Picador was created independent of the Margarita, although it should be noted though that the Tarling recipe never called for a Salt Rimmed glass which most bartenders consider to be an essential component of the modern cocktail.

Although the Picador vanished (until it was rediscovered by cocktail researchers), its form was adopted by the next generation of bartenders who apparently preferred to serve their patrons a better, more balanced Margarita. Although I would argue that the Tequila Daisy was the true genesis of the modern Margarita, I also tip my hat to W.J. Tarling for giving us the path to its present form. As indicated in Part 1, The Margarita is perhaps the most popular Cocktail in North America (if not the entire World.)

Although most cocktail books favour the use of lime juice for this libation, I sometimes use both lemon and lime when making Margarita Cocktails with Reposado Tequila spirits like Casamigos:

The Margarita

2 oz Casamigos Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Bols Triple Sec
Lime slice

Add the ingredients to a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a salt rimmed Margarita Glass
Garnish with a slice of Lime
(Note: salt on outside of glass only)

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


has been in the news recently as the brand was recently acquired by Diageo Spirits in a deal which was rumored (italics because the key work is rumored) to be potentially (note again the italics) worth up to $1,000,000,000.00 (yep that Billion is in italics again). I thought the recent acquisition was a good excuse to revisit my reviews for the Casamigos brands.

Here is a link to my revised review for the Casamigos Tequila Reposado Spirit:

Review: Casamigos Reposado Tequila

” … The initial entry is a little soft and buttery with a stronger impression of caramel sweetness than the nose implied. Milk chocolate and a little bit of sea salt seem to ooze from the caramel making this a very interesting tequila to sip …






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