As with most classic cocktails, the exact origin of the Margarita is murky at best.

Some say it was invented by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his Tijuana restaurant, Rancho La Gloria, sometime around 1938. As that tale goes, actress Marjorie King was in the house, and she was allergic to all hard alcohol except for tequila. So to make the spirit more palatable, Herrera added lime juice and salt. Others say that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames served the cocktail at her Acapulco, Mexico, vacation home in 1948, where hotel mogul Tommy Hilton was in attendance (he later added it to the drink menu at his properties). Some claim the drink was invented at the Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas, for singer Peggy Lee. Whatever the Margarita’s actual origins may be, one thing is for certain—it is one of the most refreshing, crowd-pleasing cocktails of all time.

As with all libations, a Margarita’s delicious flavor is dependent on the quality of ingredients you use. While you don’t have to splurge on a super-expensive bottle of tequila to make this drink, always go for a quality, 100 percent agave bottling. Fresh lime juice is key, so you should always freshly squeeze it to order. And while some people love their Margarita to be made with triple sec, we much prefer agave nectar to sweeten the cocktail and bring out its grassy, earthy notes. A salted rim is optional, but we definitely suggest adding a pinch to the cocktail shaker to make the Margarita even more perfect.

The Classic Margarita, cocktail with salt rim and lime wedge

The Classic Margarita

Photo by Brent-Hofacker/Shutterstock

Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • .5 oz. Agave Nectar
  • pinch of Salt
  • Salted Rim (Optional)
  • Lime Wheel (to Garnish)

Preparation: Add the tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and pinch of salt to a cocktail tin with ice. Shake and strain into a salt-rimmed rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.