FOOD & WINE

Celebrating National Margarita Day on February 22 – Salud!

February 20, 2016
The Pedregal Reyes Margarita with charred pepper garnish
The Pedregal Reyes Margarita with charred pepper garnish

The Pedregal Reyes Margarita garnished with charred pepper served at The Resort at Pedregal

National Margarita Day is celebrated each year on February 22. This year, it falls on a Monday so unless you are lucky enough to be somewhere in Mexico, it’s a festive time to visit a Mexican restaurant or make a margarita at home.

When it comes to margaritas, there are many variations on the theme. Recipes often depend on the specific location where the cocktail is being made and the creativity of the mixologist making the drink. But the basic ingredients remain the same: a mix of tequila, Triple sec or Cointreau, and lime or lemon juice.

Cadillac Margarita at El Farallon Restaurant at The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas

Cadillac Margarita at El Farallon at The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas


Frozen Margarita at Mi Casa in San Jose del Cabo

Frozen Margarita at Mi Casa in San Jose del Cabo


Jalapeno margarita served in a mason jar

Jalapeno Margarita served in a mason jar at Flora Farms in San Jose del Cabo


Frozen margarita with cucumber garnish at Manuel's in San Jose del Cabo (now closed)

Frozen Margarita with cucumber garnish at Manuel’s in San Jose del Cabo (now closed)


Jalpeno pepper margarita at Don Sanchez in San Jose del Cabo

Jalpeno Pepper Margarita at Don Sanchez in San Jose del Cabo


Tomato margarita at Los Tamirindos Farm in San Jose del Cabo

Tomato Margarita at Los Tamirindos Farm in San Jose del Cabo


Tamarind margarita at Los Tamarindos in San Jose del Cabo

Tamarind Margarita at Los Tamarindos Farm in San Jose del Cabo

Although especially refreshing when consumed poolside, preferably with an ocean view, margaritas are considered a four-season cocktail. They can be served on the rocks, frozen or straight up—with or without salt on the rim of a class. More often than not, margaritas are served in a cocktail glass that looks like an inverted sombrero.

When we travel to Los Cabos to conduct margarita research, it is also an opportunity to overindulge in the cocktail’s natural pairing: freshly made tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole.

Tortilla chips: The universal pairing for Margaritas

Tortilla chips: The universal pairing for Margaritas

This year, we were introduced to a new margarita, which is one of the most popular and delicious libations at The Resort at Pedregal in Los Cabos. Head bartender David Hernandez graciously, shared his wonderful recipe for the Pedregal Reyes Margarita (below).

Head bartender David Hernandez and Jerry Levine at The Resort at Pedregal

Head bartender David Hernandez and head Margarita taster Jerry Levine at The Resort at Pedregal



Must-try recipe for the Pedregal Reyes Margarita

Served at The Resort at Pedregal

Ingredients:

  • 2 Oz. Tequila Reposado
  • 1 Oz. Ancho Reyes Liquor
  • 1 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 Oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Oz. Pasilla Pepper Syrup
  • Splash Fresh Pomegranate Juice Preparation

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients to a shaker and strain into a tumbler glass with the salt in the half rim and full of ice.
  • Garnish with Grapefruit and Pepper Tuile.

A Few Facts about Margaritas 

  • The origins of this famous drink are uncertain. Some claim it was borne in Mexico, others say Texas, somewhere between 1930 and 1940. But a similar drink called a “mezcal brandy” won an award at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, according to The Complete Book of Spirits, by Anthony Dias Blue.
  • Esquire Magazine is said to have published the first recipe for a margarita in its December 1953 issue.
  • Freshly squeezed limed juice is considered key to making a good Margarita.
  • Margaritas can be made with any type of tequila—blanco, reposado or anejo; each changes the character of the drink.
  • Perhaps one of the most expensive margaritas is called the “Cadillac” because the ingredients include Grand Marnier and reposado instead of blanco tequila.
  • Contrary to what you may guess, the Margarita is not the most popular tequila-based cocktail in Mexico. It’s the Paloma (made either with tequila and grapefruit-flavored soda or with grapefruit juice and club soda, both with lime juice).

For more information about Margaritas:

Salud! Do you have a favorite margarita?

  • Reply
    Lauren
    February 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    That’s my kind of Holiday–National Margarita Day! Love those Margarita recipes–thanks so much! Three cheers for National Margarita Day!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 20, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Yes, if there has to be a fake holiday, this is a good one!:-)

  • Reply
    Donna Janke
    February 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I love your photos of the different margaritas. I’m thirsty now. I think I would like the Pedregal Reyes margarita.

  • Reply
    karen escalera
    February 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I’m ready for my happy hour and margaritas — after all, have to do my part to support a good cause!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Stavert
    February 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I am so sorry you had to do so much research! They all look amazing! I am a big fan of the Margarita!

  • Reply
    Janice Chung
    February 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    My favourite line in your post was “conduct margarita research”. You DO know your stuff and although I don’t drink them that often, I was delighted to hear that they can be four-season cocktails!

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    February 22, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Oh no! It’s the 22nd! No tequila around. Maybe we can make something out of beer and wine and take a rain check.

  • Reply
    Debbra Dunning Brouillette
    February 22, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    My favorite is still the traditional lime margarita with salt on the rim — the perfect accompaniment to guacamole and chips!

  • Reply
    Linda ~ Journey Jottings
    February 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    It is a sweltering hot day here in sub-tropical Queensland (east coast of Australia) and having scrolled down that drinks eye candy you have me thinking – is it too early to throw in the towel and get out that drinks shaker LOL
    And all those fresh juices I can even say its healthy! 😉

  • Reply
    noel
    February 23, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I could definitely go for one now after my hula class, these all sound good but the most intriguing drink for me would probably be with the tamarindo, I found of those, so the drink version would be so delicious, I’m sure.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 23, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Tamarind sure makes a nice flavor addition to a Margarita!

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    February 23, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I was at our weekly Karaoke Time last night at the Viewpoint Golf Resort in Phoenix, Arizona and the host sang Margaritaville. Now I know why he did! Do you know from where the name came?

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 23, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Jimmy Buffet’s song did come from the drink—he also has a chain of hotels with that name.

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    February 23, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I see you really did your due diligence on the research Irene. I’d love to try the tomato margarita that sounds really really different and delicious.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Good choice! That was an especially good one!:-)

  • Reply
    Billie Frank
    February 23, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    What fab-looking margaritas! Exciting news in Santa Fe for National Margarita Day- the city introduced their upcoming Santa Fe Margarita Trail at a press and industry event. Starts fittingly on Cinco de Mayo- a good reason to come back to Santa Fe for a visit.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 24, 2016 at 9:11 am

      I love food trails; this sounds like an interesting one~

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    February 23, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Thinking I may need to book a stay at the Betty Ford Center; I seem to be drooling on myself as I scroll through your drink photos. We are off to Scottsdale for a long weekend so I am saving my Margarita drinking until then. . .and come Friday, as you said, “Salud!!!”

  • Reply
    Karen Warren
    February 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I was recently in a cafe in Auckland which had ten different types of margarita and a book about the history of the drink – my kind of place! Didn’t know there was a National Margarita Day, I’ll have to look out for it next year.

  • Reply
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    February 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    LOVE your collection of margarita images. I make them at home with lemons from our Meyer lemon bush. Here’s the simple recipe if you like, http://berkeleyandbeyond.com/Way-Beyond/SuperSimple-Recipes/Classic-Margarita/classic-margarita.html

  • Reply
    alison abbott
    February 29, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I love the fact that you conducted Margarita research! Good to know there are so many variations on a there and I love the tomato version-would be a fun change from a Bloody Mary-but I think the Paloma will be the next one to try on my list.

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