Happy National Margarita Day!


[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]


Mexican Food

Recetas deliciosas to transport your tastebuds south of the border.

Whoever declares these things has decided that February 22nd is National Margarita Day, and we're not going to argue. If it doesn't feel like a real holiday to you, maybe that's because you haven't had a margarita yet today!

Who invented the margarita? In The Tex Mex Cookbook, Robb Walsh gives us a little background:

The margarita is a success with a thousand fathers (and a few mothers). Among those claiming credit for the original drink's invention are a San Antonio society dame, Mrs. William (Margarita) Sames, who first served her Margarita's cocktail at a party in Acapulco in 1948; a Juarez bartender named Francisco "Pancho" Morales, who says he accidentally invented the drink on July 4, 1942, while trying to make something else; and bartenders in Pueblo, Tijuana, and a host of other places. But until the frozen margarita came along, the original shaken version was seldom encountered.

Who was responsible for popularizing the frozen margarita? According to Walsh, Mariano Martinez of Mariano's Mexican Cuisine in Dallas wanted to serve frozen margaritas at his restaurant in the early 1970s, but had trouble with bartenders who made inconsistent batches in a blender. Martinez was at a 7-Eleven one morning when he was inspired by the Slurpee machine. He acquired a soft-serve ice cream machine and started tinkering with the margarita recipe. Once he figured out that more sugar was needed to get the alcohol mixture to freeze properly, the margaritas at Mariano's became wildly popular (and widely imitated.) The drink's success helped Tex-Mex restaurants make a comeback.

That's worth celebrating! Here are a few Serious Eats-approved margarita recipes to get you started:

Of course, it's not a terrific idea to drink all these margaritas on an empty stomach. How about some snacks?

Guacamole and Salsa


Terrific Tacos

Other Margarita-Friendly Bites