A little salt on the rim

Run, don't walk to happy hour: It's National Margarita Day!

Run, don't walk to happy hour: It's National Margarita Day!

As if we need another reason to throw some salt on a glass rim, squeeze some limes and pull down that top shelf tequila, today is National Margarita Day!

This is no over-hyped hallmark holiday like the one some may have celebrated last week. No, this is the real thing — a day to celebrate our love of that amazing traditional Mexican cocktail known as the margarita.

In it's simplest form it is perfect — tequila, orange liqueur, and lime — sweet and salty, poured over ice or blended into frozen magic.

Over time, mixology has strayed from the simplicity of that original recipe. Now you can find cherry, peach, strawberry and even kumquat renditions of the cocktail. You can call those margaritas if you want, but I call them boat drinks. The margarita is all about the lime.

For those who drink with little concern for history, here's the scoop on where our beloved cocktail originated — from none other than the Smithsonian Magazine — and of course, a Texan is involved:

As with so many popular things, more than one person has claimed to have invented the margarita. One of the most prevalent stories is that Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed the drink at his Tijuana-area restaurant, Rancho La Gloria, around 1938. As the legend goes, Herrera dreamed up the cocktail for one of his customers, an aspiring actress named Marjorie King who was allergic to all hard alcohol other than tequila. To make the liquor more palatable to his fussy client, he combined the elements of a traditional tequila shot—a lick of salt and a wedge of lime—and turned them into a refreshing drink.

Another top contender for the inventor title is Margarita Sames, a wealthy Dallas socialite who claimed she whipped up the drink for friends at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. Among her well-connected guests was Tommy Hilton, who eventually added the drink to the bar menu at his hotel chain.

According to The Complete Book of Spirits by Anthony Dias Blue, though, the first importer of Jose Cuervo in the United States advertised with the tagline, “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name,” in 1945, three years before Sames claimed to have invented the drink."

In case you were wondering, the frozen margarita machine was invented in 1971 by, who else, a Texan — Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez.

Just six years after that invention, Jimmy Buffett put the margarita into legend with his iconic "Margaritaville" and the rest, well, they are just a drink, a margarita will change your attitude all day.

Enjoy! And from all of us at CultureMap, happy National Margarita Day!