It's not quite noon, but all of a sudden I'm craving Mexican food. Could it be because it's National Margarita Day 2011?! Now, I'm not quite sure who we have to thank for this brilliant excuse to drink lime-ified tequila, frozen or on the rocks. It's not really an official holiday, and it's sort of inconvenient falling on a Tuesday after a long weekend. It's clearly just a marketing ploy. But it's still AWESOME!
Did you know that Americans drink 185,000 margaritas every hour? Neither did I, but that's one fun fact about margaritas that the Jose Cuervo and Cointreau guys want you to know and embrace today. For you history buffs, there are tons of legends about the drink's origins. Most of the tales date back to the mid-to-late 1930s ...
One story goes that in 1938, a Mexican bartender named Danny Herrera was in love with an American actress named Marjorie King. King hated her tequila on the rocks, so Herrera concocted the margarita for her. Awww ... so it's almost like today is a celebration of love -- even if that love is for the delectable pairing of salt, lime, sugar, and tequila!
I'm not shy about my love for the drink. It's my favorite, hands-down. I know you can quickly wrack up fat-making calories quickly, though, so I usually skip mixes in lieu of a homemade version. Seriously, no offense to Bethenny Frankel -- but you don't need to spend $15 on a bottle marked "Skinny Girl Margarita" to enjoy your margarita sans high fructose corn syrup and yellow #5. My sister and I make our own skinny 'ritas all the time.
All you need is fresh lime juice (squeezed from real limes), tequila (clear or "silver" types are best -- gold is unaged and tainted with artificial coloring), and a splash of Cointreau, Triple Sec, or even just O.J. Blend with ice for frozen or serve on the rocks. Either way, rock salt on the rim is a must (at least, that's how I roll).
As much as I love my at-home margarita, I'll always be on the hunt for the ULTIMATE restaurant version. So far, I think my favorite is from a restaurant called Hacienda in Paterson, New Jersey. My friends and I swear by their pitchers of frozen margs -- they have tons of fruit flavored ones, too. The banana is killer. But as much as we love the drinks there, it's always a blast because we go as a group and share a lot of laughs.
A-ha! Epiphany! Obviously, no National Margarita Day would be complete without friends! So, therein lies the REAL magic behind the marg. It's one of the ultimate libations to be shared and enjoyed at happy hour or during a fiesta. So, what are you waiting for? You now have the perfect excuse on this dreadfully cold winter's day to drink up with your closest amigos. Enjoy!
How will you be celebrating National Margarita Day this year?
Image via Brandi Sims/Flickr