Belly Up to the Bar – It’s National Margarita Day


February 22 is National Margarita Day.  Many claim to have created America’s favorite cocktail, but we’re sticking with story from Galveston.

According to Galveston historian Jami Durham it all began in a nightclub where the Bank of America now stands called the Turf Grill.  Bartender Santos Cruz was working the Studio Lounge where singer Peggy Lee was performing.  She wanted something refreshing, and liked tequila.

“The story is Santos Cruz modified the recipe for a popular drink called a Sidecar and substituted tequila for brandy,” explains Durham.  He also substituted lime for lemon juice and salt rimmed on the glass instead of sugar.

The story is Lee and her husband were delighted, and the rumor is her husband christened the name after the Spanish formal name for Margaret, her first name.

It’s as good a story as any if you need a reason to drink tequila today.  A December 1953 article in Esquire Magazine named the Margarita the “Drink of the Month,” and provided this recipe:

1 ounce tequila

1 Dash Triple Sec

Juice of ½ lime or lemon

Pour over crushed ice and stir.  Rub the rim of a stem glass with a rind of lemon or lime and spin in salt.


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