It was born of perseverance
Like any good cocktail, the margarita has several people who lay claim to pouring the very first one. But one of the most accepted of several creation myths encompasses hope and perseverance in the face of a serious adversity: an alcohol allergy. The story is that Carlos “Denny” Herrara mixed up the first margarita for a Ziegfeld girl in his Tijuana restaurant in 1938, after she claimed to be allergic to all hard liquor but tequila. Figuring a straight-up tequila shot wasn’t exactly first-class service, he went the extra mile and invented the way more sippable version (and hopefully got at least 20% gratuity).
And now it’s literally America’s favorite
With stars aligned and blenders churning, the margarita quickly ascended to America’s cocktail of choice. According to Nielsen, it’s the go-to drink for 60% of Americans, and Brown-Forman, one of the largest spirit corporations in the world, claims that Americans collectively drink 185,000 margs every hour. We consume 80 percent of all exported tequila, and that’s done mostly by sipping margaritas, because in Mexico most enjoy their tequila neat. In fact, we almost drank the place dry of margaritas during a boom in the early 2000s; a country-wide tequila shortage forced one desperate NYC bartender to make a “rum rita.” For shame.