National Margarita Day is observed annually on February 22nd. Friday is a special Margarita Day and it’s an all-day party for America’s most common tequila-based cocktail. DeKalb County area bars and restaurants will be celebrating the spirited made-up holiday with discounted drinks. Some salt-rimmed specials are available frozen and others on the rocks.
Known to be the most common tequila-based cocktail served in the United States, the margarita is a cocktail that consists of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice. A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice. In the United States, the most common lime is the thick-skinned Persian lime. When margaritas are made with lemons, they have a much softer taste.
There are many different stories and myths, beginning as early as 1938, as to how and when the margarita was created. When it comes to sorting out the legends associated with the origin of the margarita, two things are certain: the cocktail included tequila, and the bartender edged the rim of the glass with salt. In Mexico, when drinking straight tequila (especially if the quality was bad), the best course of action was to down it in one swallow, suck on a wedge of lime and lick a dash of salt off the back of your hand. It makes sense that the salt followed the lime and the tequila to the margarita glass.
Today, lime is not the only flavor of margarita, and the specialists behind the bar have gotten creative mixing dried herbs, infused sugars and exotic salts to enhance both the presentation of the glass and the flavor of the cocktail. Margaritas can be served on the rocks (shaken with ice), frozen (blended with ice), or straight up (without ice).
In the December 1953 issue of Esquire Magazine, the margarita cocktail was the “Drink of the Month.” The recipe as printed was:
- 1 ounce tequila
- Dash of Triple Sec
- Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip.
The margarita was further popularized with the 1977 release of Jimmy Buffett’s song “Margaritaville.”
Whether you prefer your margarita with the standard tequila, triple sec and a swipe of lime or with an infusion of fruity flavors, make sure you celebrate this most auspicious day.
For National Margarita Day, Ellwood Steak and Fish House (DeKalb, IL) will have some special deals. Ask Ellwood’s Bar Manager, Wes Galvin, to create a special Cuervo Blue Margarita, Tropical Sunrise Margarita, Blueberry or Pineapple Margarita.