Lemons, not limes? Is it a 'real' Margarita?

A commonly asked question when discovering our Classic Margarita Mix is made with a lemon (not lime!) base is, whether it is in fact, a 'real' Margarita. And the answer is YES! It is absolutely a Margarita, and we won’t shy away from our opinion that ours will be the best Classic Marg you’ll taste! 

Like so many inventions discussed over a cocktail or in a bar, ideas scrawled down on napkins only to end up crumpled in the bottom of a purse or pocket, there are numerous stories relating to the origin of the “original” Margarita recipe. And believe me, we’ve dug deep on the topic to prove our point! 

Whether you look at the influence of a 1920’s cocktail called the Daisy (the recipe was a combination of a citrus juice - lemon or lime, a spirit, and orange liqueur) or one of the most widely repeated claims of invention by Margarita Sames, a Dallas socialite who was apparently the first to rim the glass with salt during a party in 1948; or the declaration made by Carlos “Danny” Herrera that he invented the drink for actress Marjorie King, who didn’t like to drink tequila straight, but combined the tequila/lemon/salt (the widely known combination for a tequila shot, right!?), it’s important to consider this: the word “daisy” is translated to “Margarita” in Spanish, thus giving possible weight to one of the claims that one of the original names for our fave cocktail was ‘Tequila Daisy’.

From the mid-1930’s onward, there were scores of Margarita origin myths and to add confusion to the matter, (and weight to our personal claim of lemon being the true hero and original base of a good Marg); in the book “Cafe Royal Cocktail Book," by W. J. Tarling, which was published in London in 1937, reads a recipe for a cocktail called The Picador. It has the same ingredients and proportions as a Margarita but was published years before the first reference of a ‘Margarita’.

In the 1953 December issue of Esquire Magazine, the first printed mention of a ‘Margarita’ recipe read: one-ounce tequila, a dash of triple sec and the juice of half a lime or lemon

Stories of its origin are as numerous as the variations of the drink, and as with most classics, bartenders and enthusiasts find ways to tweak the recipe. One widely known twist on the original has become a modern day classic: the Tommy’s Margarita. The Tommy’s version is characterised by omitting the orange liqueur from the recipe. To give some context to our [lemon v lime] debate, there are some that argue that eliminating the orange liqueur actually makes this a version that is not a margarita!

While researching this, we read an article that confirmed that when the Margarita was gaining momentum in popularity, the 3 similar drinks in circulation were the picador (lemon based); the sidecar (lemon based); and the daisy. The article states (and I wholeheartedly agree) that any bartender worth their salt (pun intended) would have known of these cocktails, and would have been fully capable of coming up with variations - and while lime might be the typical ingredient listed in recipes nowadays, it was unlikely to have been the original influence or ingredient. 

World renowned mixologist Andrew Nicholls muses: “Is it possible that the same drink was created on opposite sides of the Atlantic, differing only in name? Or … that the Margarita was actually created in London under the name Picador in the early 1930′s and changed name after reaching the U.S.A? My advise [sic] on the matter is make the above recipe, call it what you like then sit back and ponder. If by the end of the drink you still have no answer, make yourself another and try again.…”

Regardless of which recipe you choose to follow or prefer, a Marg served on the rocks and with a salt rim is a necessity in our humble opinion, and if you want to guarantee a perfect Marg every single time you make one, you need The Classic Margarita mix, by Margarita Margarita.

J x 

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