I blew out my flip flop
Stepped on a pop top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.
Wasted away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know, it’s my own damn fault.
Judging from the iconic “Margaritaville” song lyrics, Jimmy Buffet prefers his frozen. Randy Gerber, who started Casamigos with George Clooney, likes his on the rocks with a splash of orange juice for sweetness. Even Oprah is a big fan of what is arguably one of America’s favorite cocktails.
What is it about the margarita? It’s a relatively simple drink, but with so many different variations: Frozen, On The Rocks, No Salt, Fruity, Spicy, and the list goes on. And, like any good cocktail, the number of stories of people who lay claim to its origin is numerous. This list includes my very own grandmother, whose name was Marguerite, and liked to weave a tale of her part in the naming of the cocktail. However, she also believed that in her previous life she was Queen Elizabeth I, so I certainly took that with a grain of salt (pun intended).
According to this Texan, a classic Margarita is made with three items: tequila, fresh lime juice and agave syrup, along with a splash of orange liqueur, like Cointreau or triple sec. Frances, my mother, would have argued that the only kind of Margarita to make would have equal parts tequila, lime juice and Cointreau, which was delicious but could also put hair on your chest. And you may ask where I stand on the type of tequila to mix in a Margarita: Silver (Plata), Gold, Reposado or Añejo? I prefer plata, and the experts will stand behind my choice: when we took a tour of Casa Herradura, in the Mexican town of Tequila from which the spirit originates, we were told that the taste profile and strength of the plata tequila was made to stand up to lime and other mixers. If you took an añejo and mixed it in a tequila, the subtlety of this special tequila would fall apart against the acidity of the lime. (Our trip to Tequila was one of my first posts…see story here.)
According to Nielsen, the Margarita is the cocktail of choice for 60% of (North) Americans, so it is with great aplomb that I celebrate February 22 as National Margarita Day. And with the fruit of my blood orange tree, I would like to share my Margarita recipe with you:
3 ounces fresh blood orange juice
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 ounces tequila (I usually use plata, or unaged (white) tequila, but this is really just a personal preference)
1 T agave nectar (again this is personal preference…the orange juice could give you enough sweetness without having to add agave nectar)
A float of St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
Rim your glass or not. I am a “sin sal” kind of girl, so I eschew the salt. The salt is said to balance out the acid in the lime juice, but I say give me all the acid I can get. Place all of the above ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake. Pour over ice into a glass rimmed with salt, or perhaps no sal, like me.
Should you find yourselves out on the town for National Margarita Day, there are a couple of fun deals below you may want to check out. Salut! xoM
Grimaldi’s – Locally owned and operated Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has an Italian twist on the classic margarita that would be fun to try. It is made with Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila, Luxardo Amaretto, fresh lime juice, and fresh Monin Cane Syrup.
Z’Tejas – Z’Tejas will offer the 6th Street Margarita for $5.00 all day, and both locations (Chandler and Paradise Valley) are creating a special margarita that will only be offered on 2/22. I am not sure what that is so it sounds like you have to go there to find out.
Taco Guild – Taco Guild will offer the 1893 margarita for $5.00 all day, plus will have specials on the Holy Grail margarita and Herradura shot.
TEXAZ Grill– 1/2 price house margaritas all day long, which will pair perfectly with their National Chili Day (also Feb. 22) special of $8.50 cups of unlimited chili from 11am-4pm. As a judge at the Terlingua Chili Cook Off for many years, TEXAZ owner Steve Freidkin knows what he is doing, so this would be a must do.
Sandbar Mexican Grill– Both Sandbar Mexican Grills will be offering 1/2 off margaritas all day.
Casa Amigos– Casa Amigos in Scottsdale will be featuring $5 house margaritas all day long. I have been dying to try this place out, so you may find me here on Thursday.
RnR Scottsdale– RnR Scottsdale will be offering $5 Altos Margaritas all day.
Joyride Taco House– From 11am to 5pm, all margaritas will be $5 (excluding The Boss special margarita.) Joyride will also be serving up a special elevated twist just for National Margarita Day. Joyride will be taking their classic margarita to the next level with The Boss featuring Astral Blanco Tequila, house made citrus agua fresca and Royal Combier. It will be available for $13 all day on National Margarita Day. These specials will be available at both Joyride locations.
Hula’s Modern Tiki– All day long at both locations, Hula’s Modern Tiki is offering two for one Lilikoi Margaritas, which features tequila, passion fruit, sweet & sour, oj, and lime juice.
All photos taken by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com.