There are almost as many different versions of the margarita’s origins as there are types of tequila. One says it was invented in 1938 by Carlos Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria near Tijuana. Another claims that the margarita was first mixed in Juarez, Chihuahua at Tommy’s Place Bar in 1942 by Francisco Morales. One thing’s for sure – Los Angeles arguably can take credit for launching the salt-rimmed drink into international stardom. Sit back and relax at home on National Margarita Day, February 22, with these tequila tips.
While Piccalilli in Culver City is open again for outdoor dining, you can also sip their Midsommar Margarita at home. General Manager Melissa Lambert shared her recipe with L.A. Weekly:
- 2 oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
- 1 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
- 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- .5 oz ginger syrup
- 1 kafir like leaf
- 6 leaves Thai basil
- Prepare the ginger syrup by peeling and juicing fresh ginger and using a 2:1 ratio of juice to simple syrup.
- Add all ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice. Make sure to crack the kaffir lime leaf in half to release the aroma.
- Shake hard for 30 seconds.
- Line half the rim of a rock glass with salt. Dump the contents of the shaker into the glass and garnish with a lime wedge. At Piccalilli, we buzz our salt with a little chili, shredded coconut and kaffir lime to give it a little more flavor.
Kick it up a notch and make your National Margarita Day a fiery one with Tanteo Tequila. With your choice of blanco, spicy jalapeño, smokey chipotle or extra spicy habanero tequila, whatever spirit you choose from Tanteo is guaranteed to knock your socks off in the best way.
As the original 100% agave spicy tequila, each bottle is artistically made by infusing peppers grown in Jalisco, Mexico with higher proof blanco tequila. They are partial to the jalapeño variety, and use it to make Tanteo’s signature Green Juice Margarita:
- 2 oz. Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 Medjool dates
- 1 large handful spinach
- 2 oranges (juiced)
- Fresh mint for garnish
Directions: Put all the ingredients in a blender. Blend well and pour into an ice-filled Rocks Glass. Garnish with fresh mint.
And if that’s not spicy enough for you, Santa Monica’s Lanea Cocktail Bar is launching their newest margarita, the Socaliente Margarita, their hottest concoction yet. The Socaliente is made with Cazadores Reposado, Thai chili, serrano, habanero honey, pineapple and citrus.
Starting on Monday, Lanea will be celebrating all week long with $20 Margarita flights, good until end of day February 28, featuring two of their staple Margaritas – the Spicy Margarita featuring Jaja Tequila, their regular Margarita featuring Cazadores, plus two new ones including the Picante Coast Highway featuring Nosotros Tequila infused with Spices and Passionfruit and the SOCALiente.
If you like to go green, we squeezed the recipe for the Water Grill’s Margarita Verde out of Kevin Felker, King’s Seafood Company Beverage Director:
Yield 1 cocktail
- 2 oz Rancho Allegre Silver Tequila
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 0.75 oz Cucumber Puree (see recipe below)
- 0.5 oz agave syrup
- 1 cucumber slice
METHOD FOR COCKTAIL
- Rim a lowball glass with ancho chile salt.
- Add tequila, lime juice, cucumber puree and agave syrup to a mixing glass.
- Add ice, shake and strain into the lowball glass.
- Float a thin cucumber slice for garnish.
INGREDIENTS FOR CUCUMBER PUREE
- 2 whole English//hothouse cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- 6 basil Leaves (medium size)
- 1 large jalapeño pepper, sliced and seeded
METHOD FOR CUCUMBER PUREE
- Combine all ingredients into a blender/food processor.
- Blend on high for approximately one minute or until smooth.
- Transfer to a quart size container and store in the fridge, until needed.
Staying sober? Refraining from alcohol doesn’t mean refraining from celebrating. We recently tried a batch of Optimist Drinks’ collection of distilled botanical spirits made without alcohol, sugar or additives and we fell in love. Created and distilled right here in L.A., each blend is a nod to the tastes and culture of our community using a complex blend of mindfully-sourced ingredients. Optimist Drinks comes in three distinct blends: Bright, Fresh, and Smokey. For a more tequila-forward taste, we recommend their Smokey bottle with tasting notes of bonfire, bittersweet and spice. Going down like a smooth tequila, this non-alcoholic botanical spirit is made with Lapsang Souchong, Bitter Red Orange, Clove, Ginger, Sage, Bergamot, Cinnamon Leaf, Habanero, Geranium, Oregano, Angelica Root, Valencia Orange, Cornmint.
The perfect serve: One part Optimist Smokey to two parts tonic or sparkling water over ice and garnished with pink peppercorns, jalapeño or orange peel.